Say Hello to My Little Friend

As many of you know, whatever social advantages my extreme honkiness may have imbued upon my life, the downside has been rather severe. Twenty-plus years of desperate SoCal sunning have finally rewarded me, not with the off-white, slightly-less-than-green tint of which I have laughingly referred to throughout my life as my "tan", but rather with a plethora of dates with a scalpel.

My skin is already riddled with about a dozen shiny white slices of varying sizes, including one 4-inch slash across my lower backbone, and a fleshy disk about the size of a fifty-cent piece carved from the base of my neck. While I prefer telling people the scars are the product of a San Francisco gunfight ("Wrong place. Wrong time. I don't like to talk about it," I usually say), the truth is My Skin + Sunshine = Cancer Garden.

LittleFriend_1I've already had Basal Cell Carcinoma (that's the neck scar) and my birthmark removed (that's the backbone scar). All the other stuff was suspicious / preventive efforts taken to appease Doc Cuisinart. 

In case you were wondering, Doc Cuisinart was my overzealous dermatologist. He was famous for his excited, fervent slice-n-dice of large chunks of my person -always with little regard for the scar - or the person beneath it. I came to this realization after he waggled a large flap of my own skin at me from the end of his tweezers, my birthmark still upon it, and said, "Bye-bye birthmark!" He seemed embarrassed for me when I mentioned I felt a little nauseated.

LittleFriend_2"Oh ho!" he said, "Next time, I give you Xanax since you the psychologically delicate type." 

Delicate. Me? Heh. He's probably the only person alive who has ever used that particular adjective to describe me. . . At least without an "in" in front of it. He's lucky I didn't fart right there and hand him a cigar.

But I digress. For the most part, I've remained fairly stoic about the clinic and the procedures I've endured. Yes, I do occasionally refer to it as The Poke-Chop Palace. And I did refer to my caregiver as Doc Cuisinart, but really, if you can't have a sense of humor about medical stuff, what's the point?

So, after a delightful two-year run of careful sunscreening, hat-wearing, cover-upping (that's my usual outdoor get-up at the top of the page) and no suspicious moles, lacy dry patches, teeny red bumps or wound dressings of any kind, tomorrow I go to find out if the latest Thing On My Face is cancer.

LittleFriendHaving become rather good at these things, I would bet my favorite monkey it is.

So, while the rest of it can go to hell, that tiny chunk of my face right there? The one right beneath my right ear, currently bedecked with an unassuming little red lesion? Shee-it, baby. Once that thing's hole-punched out of my face and the two-inch wide scab finally falls off, it's gonna be p-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n. I'll soon enjoy having skin as smooth, taut and wrinkle-free as a baby's butt, right there on that 1/20th of my face. Really, 1/20th of my face is all we could afford to do, plastic surgery-wise, anyway. So really? I'm getting a bargain.

For the moment, that's how I'll choose to think of it: I'm getting myself a mini test run for beautifying the rest of this spotty little pore farm.

Maybe someday when we hit the lottery.




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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >