My World

No pictures. Just sentences.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A story of skin cancer and drama

I'm not sure why most everything in my life has to have a big, complicated story attached to it. After all, I don't crave drama, but like a cat attaching itself to the one cat hater in the room, drama always seems to find me.

When I was young, I'd get odd spots on my skin. The doctors always would look at them, say they didn't know why I got them, but they were harmless. Sometimes they even went away as mysteriously as they came. I also grew up in a time before sunblock. If you were out in the sun, you'd burn. Growing up in Southern California, the beach was part of a lot of activity. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, I would come home with some pretty bad burns (have you noticed I'm fair skinned?)

A few years ago, I noticed an odd spot on my chest. It would crack and bleed, but otherwise acted like a rash. I have to put medicated cream on my hands to keep the skin peeling under control, so I started putting it on the spot, and it kept the spot from being uncomfortable. Earlier this year at my doctor's office, I was talking to him about a less expensive alternative to the cream that I used on my hands. He asked me how I used it, and I told him I'd put it on my hands, and use any leftover on the spot on my chest. He stopped me and looked at my chest and asked me a series of questions, "how long have you had this, has it been biopsied, etc." I don't know, a few years, and no it hasn't.

He told me he really felt it should be and I needed to come back to take care of it. I still thought, oh no big deal, it will be just like every other odd spot on my skin, but decided to play along.

Of course, the biopsy spot couldn't heal normally, and got infected, so then I had to take care of that. Other than that, I wasn't alarmed or concerned, but I thought it odd that everybody else was.

About a week or so after the biopsy, I got a phone call from the doctor's office with the results. She said it was skin cancer, couldn't go into details, but I'd be back in a few days and due to a scheduling error, I got to talk to the doctor about everything. Ok, so I didn't know my own body as well as I'd thought. How could I be so wrong? What else was I wrong about? What type of skin cancer was it? Oh no, what if?!? Referral received in the mail, doctor visited, questions answered, also during this time I got a Priesthood Blessing, which really calmed me down.

When I got the referral, it said basal cell carcinoma, and I got the pathology report when I visited with the doctor. I told him that I'd been trying to reach the dermatologist they referred me to, but was being sent to voicemail and nobody returned my calls. He offered his staff to help me and a week or so later, I got a call from them, telling me to see whoever I could find. That office blew off the doctor as well.

I found another dermatologist and started over. The first call, I was sent to surgery's voicemail. No call back after a couple days, so I called again, explained my situation and that it had already been biopsied. She told me to have my doctor send a copy of the path report. I was assured it would be done. Last Friday, I called again and asked if they got the report yet. I was told no. I was inspired to ask them if they'd accept my copy if I brought it to them. She said they would, so I drove it down there and was told I'd get a phone call within 3 work days.

Monday afternoon I got my call and was scheduled. I don't understand why there had to be so much drama, but there was. I needed this done before the year's end, because my high deductible would reset on January 1. I'm grateful, and I hope that the procedure goes without incident.


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