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Saturday, July 16, 2016

It's Always Something

If it isn't one thing it's another.

Here are the basics on skin cancers:
  • The vast majority of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cells carcinomas. While malignant, these are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. They may be locally disfiguring if not treated early.
  • A small but significant number of skin cancers are malignant melanomas. Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive cancer that tends to spread to other parts of the body. These cancers may be fatal if not treated early. 
I have talked with two friends that had the other kinds just to get an idea of the fun involved. Lucky me, I have basal cell carcinoma that is going to be dealt with this week. At least I get to go to (that bastion of Northern Minnesota culture) Duluth for treatment. Then I'll be pretty again. Since it is on my forehead I'll ask the doctor to feel free to go deeper and let out any evil spirits that might be lurking in my brain. Especially if he hears the same voices I do from in there.

A technique called Mohs surgery will be used. I'll let you look it up if you really want to know. It says in the little brochure they sent me, "Mohs surgery also is indicated for cancers located in areas such as the nose, ears, eyelids, lips, hairline, hands, feet, and genitals, in which maximal preservation of healthy tissue is critical for cosmetic or functional purposes."

It turns out mine is near where my hairline USED to be and therefore is only cosmetic and not functional as I no longer have a functioning hairline. Genitals and eyelids sound a bit scary or at least more concerning.

This is about the only part of White Privilege that is not a plus. We are what we are by accident of birth and I have followed in my father's footsteps pretty faithfully. At least in terms of health all the crappy stuff has now happened and I should have fairly smooth sailing from here on out as long as the repairs hold up. I don't have a written warranty on any of this stuff, but I should at least recognize if anything starts to fail.

Being a man and one with a certain amount of Scandinavian heritage I would normally be expected to ignore symptoms, aches, pains, lesions, etc., and just tough it out. It used to be easy when I was immortal (that is really close to immoral), but now that I realize that I CAN actually be killed quite easily I have begun to take a different approach. While life isn't always the proverbial bowl of cherries, it is, so far, better than the alternative. I'll let you know if that changes.

26 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

good luck with the surgery; glad you caught it early.

Jennifer said...

I will echo what Anne Marie said, good luck and glad you caught it early!

Pixel Peeper said...

Good luck and speedy healing! Glad you noticed it and taking care of it. Thank goodness for modern medicine. No thanks to the shrinking ozone layer, I guess.

Donna Banta said...

Sorry you have to do this! Good luck and get well soon.

The Blog Fodder said...

Good luck with the surgery. I am trying to picture you with a hole in the middle of your forehead. Maybe they can use Crack Spackle? https://youtu.be/qwCPhHezc-o

chlost said...

Yes, take care, and best wishes for a speedy, scar-free recovery. A circle in the middle of your forehead might have a negative connotation in some far-flung areas of the northern wilds.
My husband used to have a hairline, as well, and has been warned by the doctor (as he was removing the "pre-cancerous lesions) to wear a cap or other covering whenever he is in the sun. He is now taking the warning seriously.
So should you, my Nordic friend.

Elephant's Child said...

My partner, and his father, have paid for the higher education of entire families, after having basal cell carcinomas removed. Money well spent. A hat would be cheaper, but they disdain that approach.
I hope your healing is complete and quick.

Sioux said...

After the surgery, wear a hat. Wear sunscreen. Try to stay out of the sun during the peak hours (10-2?).

The sun is not something to mess with.

JACKIESUE said...

skin cancer runs rampant in my family..one of the woes of living in Texas I'm afraid.
will give the Goddess something shiny for you.

Jono said...

Thanks for all the good wishes everyone. I usually do wear a hat, but ran around with as little clothing as possible for the first 15 or 20 years. I remember getting burnt to a crisp a few times, but mostly tanning to a nice golden brown. I was 27 the first time I got sunburned on my scalp. I hadn't been that aware of my hair loss until that fateful day. I have kept my face covered with fur since 1980 and am now afraid to shave not knowing what I'll find under there.

Tom Sightings said...

Be glad it's not melanoma, and "enjoy" the surgery. I've always said, one of the benefits of feminism for men is that we are no longer expected to "tough it out." Now we can do the smart thing and go to the doctor. We can ask directions, too!

Diane Henders said...

I'm glad it's not the truly nasty version - the one you've got is bad enough. I hope the surgery goes well - sending good thoughts to you and your forehead!

Al Penwasser said...

That whole mortality thing...
A woman I went to high school with just had a heart attack.
Oh, good frikkin' grief.

Jono said...

Tom, Being a macho tough guy really gets silly after a while. I still grit my teeth when asking directions, though.

Diane, Thanks! The forehead is mostly used to reflect light when I walk into a room.

Al, I'm not sure I am old yet, but I am sure I am not dead. Life throws those little hints at me regularly.

jenny_o said...

All the best with the surgery this week, Jono. And make sure that surgeon doesn't get too carried away and remove the brains along with the evil spirits. Where would we be without your wisecracks?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery! Will there be much of a scar? You can tell people you got it in a knife fight in . . . well, maybe not Duluth, but a rougher place. Is there a rough place in Minnesota?

John Gray said...

I have your " invincible " attitude to heath which is also being evaporated the older i get........all very sobering

Professor Batty said...

I'll ignore aches and pains but I draw the line at lesions.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Geeze, Jono, I had no idea you were dealing with this. I'm really sorry and concerned. You WILL be fine. I've heard of Mohs because other blogger friends have been through it, and they're doing fine. You shall too.
My love and good thoughts.

Bill the Butcher said...

Sorry I haven't been reading what you've been posting. I was busy with what I said on my blog. Basal cell carcinomas are about the best kind of cancer to get if you're going to get any at all, since they're noninvasive and easily curable. I suggest you invest in a sunblock, stat.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Take care. will be thinking good thoughts for you.
the Ol'Buzzard

rjjs8878 said...

I had Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my nose. It was done by a dermatologist/plastic surgeon. The scar is barely visible. The incision was “squared off” to reduce scaring. Good luck.

Jono said...

jenny_o, Thanks! I'm sure he would be hard pressed to find the active brain cell in all that empty space.

Debra, Thanks! Won't know about a scar for some time, but there is grafting available. There are a few neighborhoods in Minnesoata that are a bit unsavory, but nothing like where I grew up. Near Philadelphia and Baltimore. Those can be damned dangerous.

John Gray, They (you know THEM, of course) say old age ain't for sissies. Mortality can be a bit sobering in a hurry.

Professor, Ya gotta draw the line somewhere.

Robyn, I already beat prostate cancer and this is just his little brother. I can kick his ass, too.

Bill, Hopefully this won't be much more than an annoyance. Maybe I'll start wearing a do-rag like my hero Hulk Hogan (wrassler and home movie porn star).

Ol'Buzzard, Thanks! Shit sure seems to happen regularly after a certain age.

Jono said...

rjjs8878, Thanks and thanks for stopping by. Looks like you have been through some crap yourself. I'll be stopping by soon.

vanilla said...

I had Moh's removal of a squamous cell carcinoma on the right cheek many years ago. Left me with a nice "Ahem, ya-a-s, I got that in duel back in, ah, um..."
I have moved on to other stuff but you didn't ask for an organ recital.

Best to you during the maintenance of the body and spirit as they age. They will require maintenance, you know.

Jono said...

vanilla, I am needing regular oil changes and replacement parts.