Thursday, May 12, 2011

The best way to blow $246

Two months ago, I went into the dermatologist's office for my routine Rosacea checkup & prescription refill.  While there, as always, I made her look at my "cancer spot" that she insists is an age spot.  We've been round and round about it for a a couple of years now.  I'm convinced it's cancer.  For one thing, I'm way too young for age spots.  Besides, I think I'd flat out rather have cancer than age spots.  But every single time, she insists, kindly of course, that it's not cancer, it's just an age spot.  But two months ago, I also casually mentioned that what had been a white scar on my shoulder from a previous mole removal had suddenly turned brown.  At first, I thought I'd gone over board with the self tanner, but it's been a few months since I've used any and the spot is still brown.   She attacked.  Whipped out her trusty magnifying glass and scowled.   Then the questions started flying.  How long ago was it when the mole was removed?  Was a biopsy done?  What were the biopsy results?  Who was the doctor that had removed it?  She was shouting out questions so fast I was struggling to keep up.  And basically, I couldn't remember much.  I remembered that Zack was an infant, or maybe it was Sarah that was an infant at the time.  Somebody was an infant.  And I thought I remembered going back to have stitches removed, but maybe not.  I really wasn't sure if the mole had been cut out or shaved off.  I also didn't remember exactly what the doctor had told me about the biopsy other than it was pre-cancerous and he didn't seem to be the least bit worried about.  I do remember a friend, you know, one of those wonderful friends who tells you all the bad, horrible things that could possibly happen to you, going on and on about how lucky I was to be alive after having a pre-cancerous mole removed.  But for the life of me, I couldn't remember what type of cancer it had been.

Needless to say, the fact that my pre-cancerous mole had returned after 15+ years concerned the doctor.  In her words, re-removing it wasn't "an emergency, but I should NOT wait 60 days."   And the fear set in.  Oh!  Em!  Gee!  My doctor is concerned!  The doctor who has begun to actively laugh at me and my "cancerous" age spots is concerned.  Crud!

I went out to the reception desk to make an appointment to have the mole re-removed and of course, it was over 30 days before I could get an appointment.  Needless to say, I spent those 30+ days totally convinced I was dying of cancer.  I could literally feel the cancer cells swimming around in me.  I started thinking about how I was going to sneak back out of the house all the yarn that I've spent so much time & energy  sneaking into the house over the years.  Mike would kill me if he ever realized the extent of my yarn stash.  I was NOT dying and leaving the evidence for him to discover.  He'd dig my cold, dead body up and re-kill me!  That was NOT going to happen.  The yarn has got to go before I die.

After a week or two of these horrible, morbid thoughts and trying to figure out how to sneak the yarn out and who to give it to, the doctor's other words finally sank in.  After she told me not to wait 60 days, she told me I wouldn't be able to run for two weeks, until the stitches came out.

What?  No running??  For two whole weeks?  Double crud!

As luck would have it, I fell down and hurt myself the week before the mole surgery was scheduled.  My knees were so banged up and swollen I couldn't run that whole week prior to the surgery.  In fact, I showed up for the surgery with both knees and my left elbow still horribly scabby & swollen.  I joked that the doctor was going to turn me into a paraplegic because the surgery was taking place on my right shoulder.    And I sort of was.  I still couldn't bend my right knee or straighten my left elbow and for several days after the surgery, I couldn't lift my right arm out forwards.  Nor could I reach across my body with it.  In fact, there were a few days where I couldn't even pick up my coffee cup in my right hand.  I was a mess!   Basically, I spent the week after falling down and the two weeks after the surgery sitting on the couch throwing myself a pity party.  I couldn't run and I was dying of cancer.  Triple crud.

But the surgery itself had gone well and the incision healed quickly and cleanly.  Today was stitch removal & biopsy results day.  Yesterday, I was slightly nervous about the biopsy results but mostly just excited to be able to run again.  Even if I was dying of cancer, I should at least be able to get one or two runs in before the chemo starts.  And as long as I can run, life is good.  But this morning, good Lord!  I was a wreck.

I got to the doctor's office and they called me back into the examining room.  The nurse walked in reading my chart and said, "Has anyone called you to discuss your biopsy results?"  And I started to panic.  Panic even more, that is.  But, it turns out, I'm fine and will live to tell another tale.  There is no cancer.  Turns out, it was a freckle on top of scar tissue.  Great!  I  have a visible non cancerous age spot from Hell and yet I just paid $246 to have a freckle removed.  But I actually mean that Great!  It is great!  It's fantastic!  I'm not dying!   I don't have to worry about trying to run while taking chemo!  I do NOT have cancer and I am NOT dying!  Super!  Fantastic!  Woo-hoo!


  1. I think it was a GREAT way to spend $246! I think next time I'm at the Dr. I'll be asking about having all my moles checked out.

  2. Marie~ Can you send me your e-mail address. Want to check in on you and give you an update.