Our local television market has this really ghoulish television commercial, which has a series of quick cuts of a doctor repeatedly coming through a door saying, “You have lung cancer”, “You have brain cancer”, “You have pancreatic cancer”, “You have… “ to some poor pale mortified guy sitting on an examining table.
I hate this commercial. I always turn off the sound because I hate hearing the word cancer. And yes, I get the point. Stop smoking. I just don’t happen to smoke and never have, but to hear the word cancer, itself, over and over again is just too chilling. My grandmother died of breast cancer in her early 40’s. My mother had a rather substantial cancer operation this summer of course. And I have been waiting to hear about my skin cancer biopsy for almost 3 weeks now. Its been hard waiting.
We had yet another rather substantial snow storm today. We’ve had almost 60” of snow in the last month. We’re definitely beating you Artgnome. Not that I want to. So I went over to the library across the street this morning. I don’t much like being stuck in my apartment and besides the internet connection and computers are far superior to mine at home. I was feeling pretty decent. I had gotten a phone call from the yuppie grocery store and evidently won a bag of natural skin care beauty products from a contest over the weekend. Woot! But the weather was so treacherous, I wasn’t about to drive down there.
So I hung out at the library for a couple of hours. Writing. Playing on the computers. Reading Vanity Fair and Art Week.
When I got home I had several messages on my answering machine. A hang-up. The one from the yuppie store. The usual lengthy one from my mom: “I walked here. I did this. The cat meowed. It was snowing out. Gay Elvis sang the theme from “Star Trek”. ” I have repeatedly told her not to leave her 20 minute long messages because I have a very minimal answering machine, but she just doesn’t get it. And it was because of her proclivity to talk about nothing, that the next message from my doctor’s office was cut off.
So I called my doctor’s office immediately. Rather strangely my doctor has another patient with my name, so our files are continually mixed up. But once I gave my birthdate the receptionist said I’d have to wait to talk to this certain person and she was in seeing a patient. This basically isn’t true. Katie only works in the office. So this made me nervous as I laid on my couch in my darkened living room for the next 25 minutes thinking about all the absolute worst case scenarios, since that’s what I do. Of course besides the skin cancer biopsy, I had also gone in for a CT scan last Friday because basically I’ve had a two month long headache.
And people wonder why I’m so damn grumpy.
I’ve even been through two runs of antibiotics with minimal results. And for a while, since my right eye was hurting so much, I actually thought it was my new glasses.
Anyways, the phone finally rang and Katie gave me the news, BANG BANG BANG. Well, my blood test for school is still out, but basically I have a chronic severe sinus infection and….yes, I have skin cancer.
And she really scared the hell out of me. She said she had their insurance specialists calling around to see which local plastic surgeons would take my insurance (uh oh, that could be absolutely nobody), because my doctor said they had to get the cancer out “as soon as possible”and it would probably be in the next week or so. Gulp!
I was standing in my kitchen taking this all in, but not really in an kind of concisive way since when she asked me if I had any questions, I did, but my brain just couldn’t form them cohesively.
After I hung up I started to cry. You really don’t hear SKIN cancer. You just hear cancer. I guess its because I haven’t been feeling that good physically for the last two months with this damn sinusitis, so I wasn’t really thinking of cancer…just blanking it out really.
So I called my mom right afterwards and hoped she wouldn’t interrupt me to talk about the kitty or something. She also has this thing where she doesn’t believe my doctor is a real doctor for some reason. When I was going in for the initial biopsy, she was all…are you sure she can do things like this? This has been going on for a long time. This “Is she a REAL doctor or a pretend doctor” thing. She’s done that with “A” too. She thinks he’s just some random guy sitting in a room scamming money off people. Not someone who went to school to be a therapist. I get really annoyed with it. So I guess all the pap smears I’ve done with my medical doctor over the last 12 years have really been dates then?
So today when Katie said they were going to contact a local plastic surgeon to get the rest of the cancer out of my chin, my mom absolutely flipped out. She thinks plastic surgeons only do boob jobs. I did Google it tonight and sure enough, plastic surgeons can and do operate on skin cancer. Imagine that! My doctor was right!
So I have no idea what to expect in the next week or so. Since I’ll be seeing my largely fanatically Born Again Christian family for Christmas on Thursday, I’m sure they’ll be happy to say some prayers for me. I probably don’t deserve them since I make fun of Christians. Of course, I make fun of just about everyone. Its called insecurity, man. I wonder if I could find a plastic surgeon to remove that too?