I don’t have skin cancer.
Well, at least I think I don’t… but for the past couple of weeks I was sure that I did. And while you’re reading this, I’ll be at the doctor having some skin with cell mutations removed. Happy Valentines Day to me!
It all started at the gynecologist. Weird… I know. I’d been putting it off, dreading all the awkward prodding, squeezing and nudity involved with lady doctors, but honestly it wasn’t that bad. Then I heard the “c word”… “cancer”. Now keep in mind, this one in a handful of times that I’d been naked in front of someone. And definitely the first time I’d been fully naked in front of a doctor. But as I was lying there she poked me… “Have you had that looked at? … And this one? And this one?” She had pointed to a few freckles and moles that I thought I’d had forever. “I don’t want to say that they’re cancer but…” and her voice drifted off. The vagina talk was over. I don’t even know if we really had a discussion past that really crappy word. I know she handed me a few pieces of paper and the business card of her favorite dermatologist and then I kind of stumbled out onto the street. So here’s my pep talk to ladies: go to the gyno. I know it sucks. But they get a good look at everything that other doctors just don’t see.
The dermatologist that she recommended was a man. My doctor phobia #1. He was very nice though and tried to skim over my nudity with a quick, discerning eye. He decided that only one of the spots she had pointed out seemed dangerous and wanted to take some tests, just to be sure. But throughout that day, and the entire week, the word “cancer” kept rolling around in my brain, over and over. I was sure that I had it, sure of it! I’d always been so fair compared to my family and my sister tanned instantly when she stepped into the sun. We never really used sun screen. I lived in San Diego for almost 4 years. Reading at the beach was basically my favorite thing to do.
The results came back: my cells were mutated. Um… doesn’t that mean cancer? Oh no! He assured me that I did not have cancer but we would have to remove everything because my mutation would likely become cancer over time. So like, not the most comforting news ever… but still pretty positive. Then I did what I always do… I laughed. I couldn’t help it, the situation is kind of funny!
Well I guess I didn’t mention the funny part… so this mutated skin? It’s on my boob. Yeah. So a doctor will have to slice and dice my boob, leaving a pretty little scar for me to look at. Take that gents! Calm down… just form a line to get at me now! When it comes to my body, the two things that I’m most sensitive about are my bad skin and my boobs. I think they’ve been repressed all these years and are now fighting back!
So I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit crabby lately… and posting a little less than I usually have. But I am still in need of that good hug.