This morning a dermatologist lopped off a tiny little piece of my face. She assured me she’s 99.95% certain it’s a basal cell carcinoma as 1) she sees them all the time 2) it’s a textbook case 3) she had one herself in the very same spot on her face and 4) I saw her for it when it first showed up a few years ago and she said she wished she’d taken it off then. . . me too.
She even showed me her scar which actually looks better than my itsy-bitsy tumor, so after the surgery (seriously she gave me a pamphlet that says “you have skin cancer, now what?” for the surgery) it will look better than it did before she cut into it. I have to wait for the lab results next week, then I will schedule a tiny little day surgery for my tiny little cancer. This tumor is under my nose but above my lip, and probably not benign, but let’s all hold out for the .05% chance it could be benign until told otherwise. Now I have a bloody little Band-aid above my lip covering my remaining bloody little (most likely) cancer cells. It’s all alright because it’s been caught, it’s treatable, basal carcinomas almost never spread, and it’s just an itsy-bitsy cancer.
I mean, really, if you have to have a type of cancer, you can’t do better than a little basal cell carcinoma. ‘Twould be nice if it wasn’t on my face, but why quibble? Better a small malignant tumor on your face than a massive or even small malignant tumor on your internal organs. I’ve had bigger and more painful tumors before, but they were always benign and beneath my skin (finger & chin). So, at least I know what to expect in the range of pain – not as bad as a second degree burn, gallbladder failure or an emergency c-section, more like having your toenail removed and slightly worse than sinus surgery (that was far easier than expected). Yeah, I’ve had an interesting medical history. It hurts right now, but she just took one layer, they can take up to ten layers of skin before you get a skin graft (I’ve been reading up today).
Hmmm . . . cancer. . . weird. I suppose I’m very happy that there are little cancers in a world full of far nastier things. Still, I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to be thinking/feeling. I think it’s ok that I’m not relieved, I will reserve relief for being sent home without an open cut and a Band-aid. Since that didn’t happen, I’ll allow myself to be relieved when I’ve had my surgery. Until then, feeling a little strange and ambivalent seems about right. I think it’s just because of the word, “cancer.” Maybe I should just call it my “carci,” make it a cute little cancer and stop using the scarier word.
Anyway, good on me for making an appointment when the spot started behaving badly and bleeding for no reason. At least it has a reason to bleed today. Hooray for itsy-bitsy cancers? Let’s go carci? This may not be my best week.