It’s Halloween and I’m scared. I’m scared about the upcoming election. I’m scared about budget cuts here at work and I’m a little freaked out about something else.
A few months ago during a routine skin cancer screening provided by my work, the doctor asked about the little blemish on the side of my nose. It had been there for about a year and I just assumed it was a little wart because it was a small flaky white bump. He thought it may be Actinic Keratoses, the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. He suggested that I see a dermatologist and have it frozen off. *There are only two dermatologist in town and neither of them ware taking new patients. Fortunately, I remembered seeing one of them about three years ago so I was indeed an existing patient. They were able to examine me but I would have to wait two months. I finally got in last week. The doctor decided not to freeze it. Instead, he sliced the side of my nose off and sent it in for testing. Yesterday, the tests came back positive for Basal Cell Carcinoma. Even though they sliced a tiny sliver off my nose, I have to go in and have MOHS surgery. They basically use a microscope to detect the cancer cells and remove them.
Last night, I was laying in bed thinking. . .
How much cancer must one person have to have cancer? Does a few mutated cells count? What about the few times I picked at what I thought was a wart and it bled? Could I have dislodged a cancer cell? Is it floating around looking to latch on to a vital organ? What if the cancer bore deep into the side of my nose? Will they remove the side of my nose and disfigure my face? Why does this have to be on my face? Wasn’t years of teenage acne enough torture?
Chances are slim that anything is really wrong in a life threatening sort of way but after all the cancer I have dealt with over the past few years, I’m a little bit tense.
Outpatient surgery is scheduled for mid December up in Tucson. Let’s hear it for early detection.
*This is an open call to dermatologists. The Sierra Vista, AZ area needs another dermatology practice. It’s scarier than shit being told that you may have a precancerous thing on your face and have to wait four months to have it removed.