A lot has happened at this point. I hate to keep bringing it up forcing you wish me good wishes, which is really nice, of course, but I do still need to talk about it, because its all causing this volcanic anger which I am spewing at innocent bystanders like receptionists and internet technicians and cashiers and innocent bystanders and even shrinks, right “A”?
When we last met, I had just gotten the very basic results of my biopsy. Yeah, ya got skin cancer. Get Ye, to a specialist. So I went to a plastic surgeon. He’s an Indian (think “Slumdog Millionaire”, without the Slumdog part). He has brilliant blue eyes and a very soft voice. We sat down. He looked through a 3-4 page report and then I got some rather stunning news. It was more than just a little boo-boo on my chin. It was a mid-stage melanoma.
He looked at me with those piercing blue eyes and asked why I waited so long to get it looked at. I could have raged for hours on that one, but I certainly didn’t want to scare him with away with one of my “The government is run by a bunch of dickheads.” thingies. I mean I really need this guy on my side and not have him think I’m a whack-a-doo.
As he continued to talk, he kept layering things on. Like its possible that the cancer has spread to the lymph glands in my neck. And I might need to see an oncologist. And there might be a need for some chemo. And as he was talking, in his soft, measured tones, I suddenly felt like Leo and Kate on the Titanic, watching that huge wave approaching the cruiseliner in horror. That’s how unexpected and frightening it all was.
And for anyone who might have something like this….
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER….
Holy shit. I’ve been Googling every single word I’ve been hearing and it’s been causing me to have the first real panic attacks I’ve had in about 5 years. And yet I keep going back for more. Not sure why. I guess because I look back at photos of my “little friend” from the last 4 years and I had no idea it was little more than a blemish. I can remember some woman at an art show trying to wipe it off thinking it was stray hummus 2 years ago, for god sakes. Thats how innocuous it was.
I went for the P.E.T. scan last week. Oy! What an ordeal. Naturally we were having one of our snow storms of the century. They have been relentless this winter. We’ve had almost 100″ of snow already. I tried calling “J” for a ride, but he never called back until today. I didn’t really want to have my mom drive almost 20 miles over and 20 miles back to where the place was and then 20 miles back to where I live and then 20 miles back to her house. She’s not doing that well mentally or physically these days. Plus we had a major wig-out the night before, because I was worried about getting there on-time (if you’re even 2 minutes late, you lose the appointment) and she was freaking out about what door to walk in. The front or back. I mean she just went on and on about that for about 20 minutes. I finally lost it and said the “F” word. Who the hell cares what door you walk in. The office is on the 2nd floor. Big fucking deal.
Waiting for the results for the PET scans was even more difficult. If you don’t know what a PET scan is (I GOOGLED that of course!!), it is when they shoot you with radioactive fluids and then you sit quietly for about 40 minutes, and wait for the stuff to leach through your veins. And then you climb in a “2001 Space Odyssey” tube and it takes 3D photos of your entire body.
Hey! Kinda like School Photos for 50 year olds!!
I almost fell asleep several times because someone had called me that morning at 7:30 and I was really exhausted. So there I was, in a half sleep mode, having weird short dreams….sort of like radioactive YouTube videos, a’la Amy Winehouse.
And of course, being a Grade-A hypochondriac the wait for results were endless. I was sure every body part had something cancerous in it. I did have a few surprises, like cancer in the bottom of my mouth? Huh? The doctor did say it might be part of my endless sinusitis infection. Tuesday when I went in, he once again stuck his gloved hand into my mouth and felt around under my tongue. To say I’m freaked out about that, is an understatement.
Life after next Monday will be pretty different for a while. My chin will have a huge scar. I won’t be able to eat any solid food for about 4 days. My neck might possibly have a scar depending if the lymph glands show anything. It’ll probably take 2-3 weeks before I’m really healthy enough to do anything real energetic like eat solid food or go to my beloved art class. Or go back to school. That’s off.
All I have to say is why the face? Huh? Fuck! I thought chin hairs were bad enough. Now they’ll be casting Mickey Roarke to play me, since…
i’ll probably never look like this again.
P.S. Incidentally, a writing gig for the local newspaper that I applied for a month and a half ago just called and said I’ve been “hired” to write television reviews for their newspaper. There’s no pay naturally, unless you call free promotional DVDs and tee-shirts from some dumb reality television show..pay. Anyways, they wanted me to come in NEXT week to be photographed for my ‘column”, you know, after my face has been ravaged by scalpals, but I told them about my operation on Monday, so they have kindly arranged for me to get photographed by their photographer this weekend.
Oh, and the young girl on the phone cheerfully told me my other “pay” would actually be “getting published” and “having everyone see my photo and writing in the newspaper”.
Squeeeeeee!!!!!!!! I bet I’ll get laid too!!!
She’s young though. She doesn’t know that I was an actual card carrying member of the press in California 30 years ago and used to actually get paid…eeee!!!!….in actual cash….rather than in fame….when I had my own newspaper column at age 18. But I didn’t say anything. I’m trying to regain some good karma for all the anger and destruction I’ve been spreading on innocent bystanders the last week or two.