Needless to say I’m a little sensitive about the 2 large, prominent scars on my face and neck from my skin cancer surgery on January 19th. Fortunately the pain is about 97% gone. My chin itself is still really numb though. I can’t feel anything from my bottom lip to the bottom of my chin. Its weird. I feel like I’m wrapped in duct tape and Andy Roddick could probably hit tennis balls off my chin and I wouldn’t even feel them.
I did get my stitches out early last week. Under all the bandages, I was like totally convinced Dr. Mohammed would probably be snipping stitches for like 10 to 15 minutes, you know since I could barely open my mouth and have now lost 10 pounds (yay!). But all he did was go “snip…snip…snip“. DONE. Three fucking stitches. I was astounded because I still couldn’t open my mouth and I still felt like a rhinoceros was sitting on my face…but not in a fun way. Yes, I realize there must be those kind of stitches that dissolve on their own, but still, I had been looking forward to some kind of instant physical relief.
The doctor then handed me a mirror. I really wasn’t sure what to expect…A huge horror movie gash down my chin and a Zodiac Killer slash across my neck? Yeah, that was about right. Plus there was also this really odd little pea sized bump just under my chin. So I innocently asked and it really was a legitimate question: “Will this little bump ever go away?”
His reply? Well, I should probably go back and re-introduce the guy. I have never mentioned our conversation right before my surgery. Oh, it was a knee-slapper. He had come into my little cubical with his clipboard, all official and stuff. You, of course, always want the doctor to be on your side, especially if they’re about to 1) take cancer out of your body and 2) be cutting your moneymaker stunningly adorable 50 year old face. So I rather charmingly recounted a conversation I had had with a woman who had gone to him for some plastic surgery and had been very happy with his work. Without looking up, he said, “I pay people to say things like that” and then went back to writing.
WTF? Now I realize you’re reading someone’s blog who’s like the biggest smart ass in the universe. But for some reason, whether it was the IV feeding me hyper sensitive feelings glucose or what, but at that particular moment, I felt very…distressed by his tart remark.
God damnit! I KNOW I’M SARCASTIC EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE….but you don’t say that to a patient who’s scared out of their gourd and doesn’t have anyone there to hold their hand.
So anyways, as I was looking at my “Friday the 13th- the Aftermath” face in the hand mirror, I simply asked him if he thought the little lump under my chin would go down in time….a legitimate question if you ask me. I wasn’t being critical. It wasn’t like I started screaming and running around smashing bottles of Botox in his office or anything. So he slowly turns to me and says, “People pay me to have chins like that.”
Anyways, after my appointment, my friend “J” took me out for lunch at a local foo-foo yuppie pastry shop. I was fairly successful at slurping some French Onion soup sideways off a small spoon. But then I started noticing was how everyone (a.k.a. “The Beautiful People” as my brother used to call the people who frequented this place) were all suddenly staring at me. I’m sure there was a lot of “Who is that hideously scarred girl slurping her soup sideways and why is she making us look at her whilst we’re typing on our cute little pink iMacs and drink lattes”. Although I’m fairly certain that maybe a few of the older women were probably going, “Gee, I haven’t been to Dr. Mohammed for a while. Maybe I better call his secretary for an appointment”.
Nevertheless, I felt very conspicuous, especially when I was not even aware that droplets of soup were streaming down my numbed chin in rivulets and I looked like Patty Duke in “The Miracle Worker. I later went with “J” over to Target and while he shopped for clothes, I inexplicably tried on teenaged boy fedoras. “J” said I looked like a Black Irish Gangsta. For some reason that made me feel a little better about my scars. Or at least menacing enough to make a yuppie drop their iPhone and have it smash into a million pieces in the home furnishing department.
Since then, I’ve had two people ask me if I slipped and fell on the ice. And I’ve had three people look at me rather sorrowfully and ask, “Will you be able to get plastic surgery to (cringe) fix that?”
Of course after a two week hiatus from my art class, I was finally able to return to my class this week and I have no idea what Charlemagne announced to the class. Not that I wanted anything announced, but evidently something was said since some people I know looked at me like I had a terminal disease or something . Oy!
It was just good to have some social contact. I’ve been really isolated during this whole thing and isolation=depression for me. And also thinking I look hideous=depression too. So I’ve been struggling mightily.
And did I mention I met a guy on sMatch.com? Why not add stress to your life when you’re healing from cancer. I didn’t mean for that to come out that way. This last month really proved that I could really use a person in my life. My own person, I mean. Sure I managed to convince three friends to help get me to appointments and surgeries up at the hospital, but the real proof of how alone I felt became quite apparent as I was lying in the O.R. cubical just before the surgery. I looked around at the other three people in the quad waiting for surgery and they all had people with them. Me? I was just lying there alone with no one. It was really then that it hit home.
So we’ve been writing since right after the surgery. He knows about the surgery and the scars and says he’s willing to wait. He seems very bright and thoughtful. He does have a sense of humor (essential) and he’s Jewish, which is not essential, but I do like Jewish men. I did think a good first date would have been to go see that new movie “He’s Just Not That into You” this weekend. HA! Oh, witty, you’re such a kidder!! But we haven’t quite got things together to go out yet. So we’ll see. There’s always this coming Thursday when I hit my 51st birthday and then I’ll be even older and MORE scary looking. Woo hoo!
Thanks again to Stepfie for caring about my love life. And also thanks to Xat for the lovely hand-knitted hat she sent over the weekend. I lost my beloved beret about 3 weeks again and have had a cold head ever since.