I have a huge wound. Huge. And it hurts. And is ugly as hell. I didn’t expect this. I thought it would be kind of superficial and tidy. It’s messy. And did I mention that it hurts? Actually, I’m mostly whining. It is much better. I don’t get the stitches out until the 12th, and I suspect I will need every one of those days to mend before they’re removed.
The good news is I came home late last night and found a message on the machine from the doctor’s office. The lab results confirm the doctor’s in-office findings….they got it all.
Use sunscreen religiously, y’all. You don’t want one of these “decorations.”
C is for…cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma, to be exact. On my chest. Smack dab in between The Girls. At least it’s not smack dab in the middle of my face!
Scared? You betcha. Pissed off? Totally. This was not in The Plan. I don’t have time or money for this. Of all the disorders that pop up as we age, I never saw myself as a cancer patient. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this one.
I don’t know when it started, for sure. I’ve been aware of this puffy, itchy, “weird” spot on my chest for a couple of months. Obviously, it’s been there a while, but it just started pitching a fit lately. It itched furiously for a while. I thought I had contact dermatitis from wearing a necklace close to my skin and sleeping with it on. Then, it calmed down a bit and kind of smoothed over. But didn’t go away. Finally, last week, my Gentleman Friend said, “So…when are you going to get that ‘thing’ on your chest looked at?” We’d never discussed it. That was enough of a nudge. Lo and behold! My dermatologist had an opening that afternoon.
I should have known. They came in and took pictures of it! Then, he started telling me about how…”IF it turns out to be malignant…” what we would do about it, describing in detail the surgical procedure. Helllloooo! Nope…nobody home. Total denial on my part. I asked no questions. Just nodded and wondered how long I was going to have to wear that stupid gown. So they took a big chunk out…stitched me up…sent me home with antibiotics and ointment.
They called yesterday morning. I’m having surgery at 8:00 Monday morning. I wish it was today. Or yesterday! I just want the nasty thing outa here!
I’ve never been a sun worshiper. But, at various times in my life, I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of boating, skiing, fishing and such. And, my generation didn’t bother with sunscreens. We were all about The Tan. I’ll admit I did use a tanning booth for a while. IDIOT!
Now that I’ve started asking around, it turns out many people I know have been down the same road. It’s amazing! The survival rate is high, but I AM concerned about the size of this thing – and the speed with which it became a problem. So, this is the price I pay for my Anglican heritage…and youthful stupidity. I want a do-over!