Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My "Battle with Cancer" ends abruptly and anticlimactically

And, thanks to the top-notch plastic surgeon my insurance company sent me to (okay, this is one reason I actually like CCSD), I probably won't even have a noticeable scar. I think it will actually look better now than it did after the dermatologist took a knife to it the first time.

So how did this all come about, you ask? And why am I spending the once-in-a-lifetime feeling of having beaten cancer tapping away at my pathetic little blog instead of starting some kind of cancer foundation or competing in the Tour de France?

Do I really have to answer that one? It's because I'm pathetic. There was no life-altering realization of my own mortality, no sudden epiphany, nothing. So, ergo, no post-cancer afterglow to report. Just three (very neat, I might add!) stitches in the side of my nose and a funny little tugging sensation when I smile or eat or smell something funny. I'm also grounded from getting sunburned for the rest of my life.

I had a spot on my nose (thank you, mom and Tyson, for harassing me nonstop from Thanksgiving until February), so as soon as I got the new insurance I found a doctor to cut it off for me. Over spring break, in between climbing in Joshua Tree and lazing on the beach in Oxnard, I got diagnosed with a superficial kind of melanoma and got an appointment with the plastic surgeon, who said I was just about the youngest person he'd ever cut this particular type of skin cancer off of. The original plan was to cut a dime-sized hole in my face, leave it open for two weeks until the pathology report came back, then take a skin graft from behind my ear to patch it back up, but when I went in on Monday, I got stitches instead.

So that's pretty much it. Granted, I still have what the plastic surgeon calls "scar therapy," which I'm guessing is some fancy way to put that scar-reducing lotion on (hello, people, look at the ingredients--it's just sunscreen and lube!) and getting the stitches out, and in about ten days I'll have official lab results back saying everything's good.

Unless it's not, in which case maybe I'll get a shot at that life-changing epiphany after all.


K said...

Wow. John and I wish you the best! Keep us posted. We are sending atheist wishes for no epiphany.

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