Wanna Join my Leper support group?

I think all those pathetic leperous types wandering about in the Biblical deserts really just hadn’t made it to the Mohs Clinic yet. They had untreated basal cell carcinoma because Abraham couldn’t be bothered to slather sunscreen on all those children.

This is just a little complaint about having yet another chunk cut out of my body today. This one is high on my back, sort of on the shoulder blade. I would like to know how something that looks like a pin point on my skin ends up being a three inch by one inch incision that has to be pulled together with a carpet needle. I remember feeling the same about my face, when they worked on that a couple years ago. Surrounded by interns and residents, I was like what the hell? Is this Adventures in Learning Plastic Surgery 101? Today as I listened to the surgeon direct the resident, “2 more cm there, there, 1, there, 3 there, good, good” I was thinking, “That’s enough, Ommmm. That’s enough. Ommm.”

It makes me all twitchy feeling, not pain because they numb you up good and deep, but tugging, pulling, plucking. In the end, it bordered on wrestling and I said, “Hey, hey, there!” They must of thought I was being funny because they all laughed and the surgeon said that the skin right around that area is about an inch thick and then there are two layers of muscle crossing the scapula and they went into that a bit. He asked me to not be alarmed that it’s all gathered up into a big running purse stitch. He has this idea that because the shoulder is constantly pulling that it will heal out into a nice flat line scar. Hah. Better happen soon, so I can get back into my usual wardrobe of strapless gowns.

I took nothing, nada for pain or discomfort following last month’s little foray into surgery. Today, Rich just got home from a BIG presentation to the red can polar bear pop people, walked in all chipper, kissed me and said, “You know what I was thinking last night (at the Four Seasons Hotel, while dining, he didn’t say that part, but that was the situation)? I was thinking about how we should be focusing on all the happy things in our life, like when we slept in the tent on San Juan and the rain was coming down…” As I type that, I’m having deja vu to a couple winters ago when I flipped my SAAB on black ice and it was completely totaled and as I was sobbing about my car and my aching muscles, Rich was going on about how blessed we were and wasn’t this good fortune because I had been due for a new car anyway?

Anyway, today I said to him (cover your ears): “Are you f-ing nuts? Don’t speak to me! Don’t say another word! Go get this prescription filled for pain meds, NOW!” I can’t drive you see or I would be blogging to you loopy-looped already.

So, as I wait for his return, I realize that, of course, he’s right. I mean his timing always sucks, but still. This BCC stuff is just part of the forty days and forty nights of life. I mean it’s not like I’ve been smote down. And, while I can deal with a chunk here and a chunk there, I have a good friend who is watching a child, a beautiful young person not really old enough to qualify as a woman, slip away, bit by bit. It’s been going on so long now that the people who love her don’t know what to pray for anymore, in terms of a healing or a blessed ending.

Along the same lines, I went last night (mumbling and complaining because I was alone, without my spouse) to a lovely charity event held by some of Rich’s friends. The family has been plagued with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a little known disease that each year kills more than 40,000 of the 200,000 people diagnosed here in the U.S. Current research suggests that it’s a genetic mutation that is familial but the marker hasn’t been identified yet. There is no treatment, there is no cure. Seven members of this family alone have it, not because they smoke or work around pollutants or anything beyond their genetic ties. Anyway, this is the third time I’ve been to this event- last year it was black tie but this year it was sort of fancy French Bistro in the heart of Old Town. These people are amazing in their energy to fight for awareness and research programs; one of our friends is going to Washington next week to lobby on behalf of those who have IPF.

I got there and stopped complaining to myself and had a fine time. I looked pretty spiffy in some fawn silk pants and wrap around sleeveless top with short spikey silver hair. I drank cosmos and bid on silent auction stuff we couldn’t afford (so fortunately, didn’t win). I bought three raffle tickets but we didn’t win the trip for two to Paris either. This was nice: I had put together an appealing little zoo bag with a meercat and a shirt that was for a private guided tour of the zoo for eight people, along with a year’s family membership. It ended up being THE hot auction item of the evening. In a year when we can’t afford to give a big chunk of money, I was able to raise a big contribution for IPF doing something I love. I’m looking forward to it, too, because the people who were high bidders really wanted the tour.

(Where the heck is he with my dope?) So, for now, thanks to this minor set back that I have no business whining about, I’m off the ATP U.S. Tour. Good thing tennis season is over. Sadly, I’m also off lawn bowling, curling, lacrosse and rats! Adho Mukha Vrksasana! Six weeks! I wasn’t off sex romance that long after my last trip to NorthWestern Medical Center. He sounded serious when he said, “You do not want to hear the sound that will accompany this incision pulling apart if you’re not careful.” Sounds right. The way it feels at the moment, I should also be off blogging and online poker, at least for the rest of the day or until I can get some DOPE, dammit. It’s been six hours since the local wore off and it’s wearing a little thin. I’m coming around to see you, take my mind of this.

Update: Don’t worry. Be happy.

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17 responses to “Wanna Join my Leper support group?

  1. Better living through chemicals, baby! I hope you are feeling MUCH Better now!

  2. i belong to that group. Right now, i’m applying that cream twice a day that brings all the potential basal cells to the surface. Monday I go see a fancy doctor to do a light therapy on my face. When I come back in November, it’s two squamous cells to be taken off my arm. So there.

    My heart breaks for Louise and all those around her.

    My son scolded me a bit for writing about Ella’s bacteria. They tell me that 80% of cfers get it and usually by the time they’re a year old. So why couldn’t she be in the 20% who don’t get it?

  3. Good Lord, woman. I do hope you get your drugs soon. I laughed as you described your orders to Rich – sounded just like me! Enough of the happy, grateful talk, go get me the drugs!

    I love the confirmation that the best , very best of gifts isn’t about the amount of money spent. It really is all about the thought and energy behind them. Perfect.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you will find the patience to heal properly and not pull any of the embroidery out of your back.

  4. I’m a firm believer in top-shelf pharma. Which is why, everyt ime I have a dental emergency (which is often!) I stash the left-overs. Because you never know, do you? 😀

    Hope you feel better soon. I’m so surprised you’ve not come around to play my little guessing game… perhaps the drugs finally made it home. Hope so.

  5. My dad has that skin cancer stuff too; it can be awful. He’s paying for his years of being a forest ranger in the Cascade Mountains,and his pale skin. It sounds like you did get your drugs in the end. Happy day!! (I stash left over meds too–thank goodness for teenagers and their wisdom teeth extractions) Hope you’re better soon.

  6. It sounds hideous. And yes, yes, it could be much worse, you are good not to complain, and I admire your perspective, etc. BUT. It still sounds painful and hideous. And the restrictions on exercise and movement are really a bother, aren’t they?

    kiss hug kiss.

  7. Have a good weekend, or as good as possible under the circumstances.

  8. We make mountains out of mole hills, except where blessings are concerned, n’est-ce pas?

    Inhale fresh oxygen and energy; exhale toxins and stress. Deep pranayama is the best medicine. The breath things in life are free.

    Be nice to Rich!!

  9. My BCC shoulder scar is a whopper and it too, was just a small thing.
    I hope you feel better soon … sans meds.

  10. That goes right along with my old saying: Keep smiling! (I know it’s hard to do through the pain, but that’s what the dope is for.) Good luck, Mrs Miniver.

  11. You gotta love Rich. He sees the positive side of situations AND provides you with drugs.

  12. OMG. I wish I were there, to help you and buy food for you. Cold food. That doesn’t need to be heated in the microwave. Also, to buy you books. And bring you leaves and stuff to identify. Maybe rescue a big lizard lost in the park and bring it home to you. Then, after the screaming stops, maybe bring you some more pain medicine.

    Just be glad to be here.

  13. What do you mean support group? I am a fellow leper. I have a skin cancer removal scar on my shoulder, too and it hurt a lot worse than the two C-sections which I endured. But, the scar on my shoulder is a lot prettier than the one on my abdomen. I am using that fancy EXPENSIVE skin cancer removal cream as well and go back in two months to have it cut off my face if the cream doesn’t work. Paying for all the years growing up in Florida and thinking a tan was beautiful.

  14. Hope you got your fix and are feeling fine now, Vicki.

  15. Vicki, I surely hope you are medicated and have soothed your savage breast (or beast) by now. Mr. kenju had a basal cell Ca removed from his leg several years ago. I know it hurts, but be glad it wasn’t melanoma, and use sun screen from now on!!

  16. I’ve been whittled on all over the place, so I know how you feel. Scars add character, you know.

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