October 27th, 2003

Wedding day

A small load off my mind.

Well, they got the results back on my tissue sample, and I don't have skin cancer. No surprise, but it's one less thing I don't have to worry about. Perhaps I should back up a bit.

All my life I've had a rather large mole on my back. For years I've figured I ought to get it removed, but I never really worried about it until a couple of Thursdays ago, when it started itching. After work, I took a look at it, and saw that it was suddenly much bigger, and its color had changed from a very dark brown to an unsettling pink. I wasn't too worried. I put a Band-Aid over it to reduce friction and made an appointment for the following Wednesday to have it removed.

On Monday, I got up from my desk to drop off some paperwork, and one of my coworkers noted that my back was bleeding profusely. Profusion in this case probably wasn't very much -- I'd guess a teaspoon, probably less. Anybody who's ever worked around blood knows that it's never as bad as it looks. Still, it ruined a nice paisley shirt (yes, there is such a thing as nice paisley), freaked everybody out, and sent me home while they called someone to disinfect my chair (which is what happens when you bleed all over absorbent company property). I called my doctor and the receptionist bumped my appointment up to that afternoon.

The skin around my shoulders has a lot of sun damage because I burn really quickly and really badly. To give you an idea of what this means, back when I was working at the hospital, I baffled the doctors by receiving a sunburn through SPF 45 sunblock, khakis and a dark blue t-shirt. My skin is probably in better shape than that of somebody who tans frequently, but it wouldn't take much to make it a lot worse, so I'm at a much higher-than-usual risk for skin cancer. Based on this, they decided that it would be a good idea to take what would normally be excessive preventative measures.

Mole removal is not a difficult or painful process, but it requires anesthetic, and I hate the sensation of not being able to feel my own body (which is not to say that I'd do it without drugs). They make you lie down, numb you, slice the thing off and cauterize the wound. It takes most people longer to fill out the check for their copay. For me though, it took a little longer than usual, because it takes forever for my blood to clot. When I cut myself shaving at 7:15, the blood flows without restraint until well after 11:00. This is just a genetic trait from my mom's side of the family. They all have it, but for some reason every time a doctor notices they just have to run tests which never turn anything up. My mom went through it, as did her siblings and my sister. Now it's my turn to wait for the call saying that nothing's (physcially) wrong with me. No big deal.
  • Current Music
    Meat Puppets -- Whirlpool