Now, I am a person that goes to the dermatologist every year. For years, my doctor has recommended a preventative, deep-facial peel for the sun damage done to my fair skin during my youth. The only problem I have with this suggestion is the recovery time. For a week after this procedure, you look like a reptile during molting season. So, I put it off until last November when, once again, the doctor reminded me of the peel and went on to say that it was also good for getting rid of fine lines (he should have mentioned that earlier).
After following the good doctor’s orders, you can imagine my surprise when, less than a year later, a scaly, dry spot kept occurring on the end of my nose. I called his office for a checkup.
So Much for Early Detection
It took one month to get in for an office visit. At the appointment, he and I talked about the Hog’s promising football season while he dug a chunk of flesh from the end of my nose and said, “Yep looks like skin cancer to me.”
It took another week for the biopsy results and confirmation of his suspicion. At this point, I am in full blown panic mode. Don’t google nose cancer pictures on the internet, ever!
My dermatologist’s nurse refers me to a specialist. After a week of both she and I calling and leaving phone messages and getting no return phone call, I drive over to the specialist’s office and knock on their locked door. Eventually, someone comes out to the parking lot. I am ushered in and finally given a surgery date for 2 ½ weeks away. My nose cancer has now been growing for 2 months.
Still No Favors
While having the receptionist and office manager’s captive attention, I beg for information about my cancer. What is it called? Squamous Skin Cancer. How fast is it growing? They don’t know. What happens if it gets really big? I lower my mask, smile, and gesture with a big circular motion around my face and say, “This is the face of Flag and Banner.” Gratifyingly, because of all the money I spend on advertising, they say, “Oh yeah, it is. How’s the flag business?”
I tell them I feel like I am in the second trimester of growing my cancer-baby. I tell them the longer I wait the more I worry about a deep scar. I ask, “What if it’s deep?” They say, “Don’t worry, if it is deep the doctor will do a skin graft.” (As if that makes me feel better) Then I excitedly ask, “Off my ass?! Am I going to have my ass on my face?” And they laugh.
“No,” they say, “He will get if from behind the ear.”
I can’t help myself, I make jokes when I am nervous. I say, “Oh so then my nose can hear.”