I’m Learning Too Late That Baby Oil Does Not Have An SPF

Dr. Drapenscrape didn’t keep me waiting long in the exam room. I was sitting on a chair and he pulled the other up next to mine and sat down, my medical file in his hand. I knew going into this appointment that the mole hadn’t been benign, but to see it on the pathology report’s Final Diagnosis…well, I don’t know how to describe what I felt.

Malignant Melanoma

Zee Mole has now got himself a fancy new name and a lot more respect.

Dr. Drapenscrape went over the findings in detail, including the following important points about Zee Mole, which will now be “MM” for brevity’s sake:

  1. It has a depth of .6mm. My doctor’s policy has been anything with a depth of .75mm or greater is a ticket for an automatic CT and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans. Mine, at .6 is right at the point Dr. Drapenscrape’s orders the scans if he’s feeling a bit of hypochondria. His words. This measurement is the Breslow Measurement.
  2. It is at Clark’s Level IV on a scale of 1 to 5. Not to be confused with the stages of cancer, this just tells how deep into the dermis the MM goes. Clark’s is not used as often as it had in the past, and according to Dr. Drapenscrape, it will become obsolete by 2012.
  3. Add in the Mitotic Index. That’s the growth of the MM cells. It also has a scale: 0 – 3. The path report indicates mine is at a 1. So there’s growth, but slow, however…there’s growth.

Take these three facts, all gray and borderline, and add them to my age (which I am considered “young” – Finally!), and we have a situation that would lead my doc to err on the side of caution. Why wait 10 years to find out that things are way more serious?

Tomorrow I meet with an oncologist in The Metro for a consult. We will then schedule a Sentinel Lymph Node biopsy that will be more definitive as far as stages, if there’s even one I’m at. He may decide that I should go ahead and have the CT and PET scans prior to the results, or we may hold off.

The words “survival rates” came up and I felt the first real moments of panic settle in my chest. Googling what I have so far has added to that fear: “most serious form of skin cancer” and “deadliest form of skin cancer”. Fuck you, Google.

It’s not just skin cancer, kids, it’s cancer. And I have it.

Zee Mole

This is Zee Mole nearly three weeks after the biopsy (today). It’s HUGE, isn’t it??

What? It’s not huge?! I think this guy begs to disagree:

See? He’s totally freaked out. It’s like a Black Hole, right in the back of my leg. His head would fit in that hole, people!

More proof:

See that? That my friends, is a giant pumpkin I picked this past weekend. It looks like one of those pathetic, undersized “pie” pumpkins, doesn’t it? But believe you, me, that’s a whopper pumpkin.

Even the screaming dude concurs. “Aaaiiiiieeee! The Black Hole! A giant pumpkin!! Girl, you need some lotion!”

Things Just Got Interesting

Last night I looked over my calendar and was happy to see that over two weeks had passed since my appointment when the doc biopsied a mole on the back of my leg. Happy because I was told that if something showed up, they would call me within two weeks. If all was clear, they would send me a letter but that probably wouldn’t get to me for almost three weeks.

In fact, I was going to post on facebook that the doc had created a divot in my leg for nothing. I should add to that by explaining that while I thought they had just scraped off a bit of the mole, I discovered after it finally started to heal up that they carved that fucker like a jack-o-latern. Yes, there is a divot in my leg. One could place a golf ball on the back of my ankle and tee off without a problem.

As you’ve probably already figured by now, the letter that should say the scribed tissue was normal will not come. Instead I got a phone call just this morning that went like this:

*annoying cell phone ring because there isn’t a normal one on my phone*

“This is Yo-yo Mama.” I answer this way in case it’s my future employer. Normally I would answer, “Whaddup, Bitch?”

“Yo-yo, this is Nurse Stoic at Dermatology’s clinic. Dr. Drapenscrape would like to see you to discuss the results of your biopsy.”

“So. I take it, it’s not good news.”

“Dr. Drapenscrape will go over the details with you. Will Thursday morning work for you?”

A decade of employment with the healthcare system combined with four years of negative beta calls from an RE clinic is enough experience to know that when a nurse calls to ask you to come in to speak to a doctor, that the news is not good. So as far as how bad things are? Well, I’ll know more Thursday.

The mole itself appears to be out, but has very small margins. Commonly, more cutting will be necessary. I might even get myself some KY jelly that’s been nuked by Chernobyl to smear on my divot. Maybe I can act really pathetic and get a script for medicinal merijewanna?

I’m sure that everything will be fine. No one ever dies of skin cancer, right?*

*The first person who tells me otherwise will be haunted by my divoted leg that is also spouting some very unsexy stubble as it’s pretty difficult to shave one side of a leg divot’s scab without running the razor into the other side.

I’d Give You The Shirt Off My Back

I have a dresser drawer that I keep “everyday” t-shirts and my pjs in. It was overflowing so I decided to go through it and throw out or give away any items that would fit the appropriate categories.

As I was sorting the shirts, I found five that were from the hospital. Employee appreciation and recognition items.

I never wanted to put them on again, even if it was to do gardening or painting or relaxing about the house. I am still so angry about how stupid I was, especially upon the heels of this last rejection letter, that I decided that the only thing they were good for were rags.

I snipped and tore them up until I was left with a pile of rags good for washing the car, wiping the windows or spot cleaning the carpet. I thought I would feel better, but really I don’t.

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PostScript: Don’t feel sorry for me and my inability to land a job. I did it to myself, but sometimes I just need to wallow a bit. Just make fun of me. It’ll make me feel better.

Fuck you, Mr. Murphy, and your stupid laws.

Got to have lunch with my husband today for the first time in a week!

Sparring Partner gave me the okeydokey to head home and just chill since it’d been a long week!

Driving home and suddenly had the need to poop…as I hit every yellow-to-red light in town AND got behind every two-day-early Sunday driver!

And then noticed that the gas gauge was on EMPTY!

Made it home safely with no accidents. Of any kind. And no gas, of the petrol kind!

Was even able to get the mail!

Which included yet another rejection letter!

I think I’m going to just resign myself to become a SAHM. The job offers will surely just start pouring in then!

20 months and counting as ungainfully employed!

FML!

Snapshot

My current temp job literally gives me snapshots of school aged kids in every stage of their academic careers. In the two minutes I spend with a kid, on an average, I constantly compare them to my son and even sometimes to my daughter. Mostly though, it’s to Doodicus since he’s already a veteran when it comes to schooling.

I didn’t get to take his school picture. I told my boss I would prefer not to. Either I would be a distraction to him or I would be too critical of how he looked or acted. But now I wonder what he’s like when he sits down at a camera station. Does he require several verbal cues and tons of encouragement to get those two poses or is he a natural, easily reflecting the verbal cues of the person behind the camera and sitting tall, shoulders relaxed and smiling naturally?

Today was the first time I had been on my own shooting every age group between headstart and seniors. In the past, while I’ve been solo before, it’s always been *just* elementary, or *just* middle school, or *just* high school. Today? Was a bitch.

I took pictures of identical triplets, all dressed the same, in their gingham dresses with ladybug pockets, red mary jane shoes and hair in ponytails. They were only two years old (almost three! the teacher happily informed me). They each wore a necklace personalized with their names. Adorable and petite things with arms like a bird’s wing, thin and delicate. I knelt in front of each one as I put them into seating position and cupped their tiny heads in my hand as I adjusted their faces. As I peered into their dark eyes and asked them to smile for me, they each responded with a shy smile. Each with baby teeth ravaged by caries. I wondered how their futures would look when they were eight years old.

I easily bantered with hormonal 17 year old boys who through sheer will power, tempered with peer pressure, were able to switch off their disarming and dimpled grins to remain stoic as the shutter clicked and the lights popped. It doesn’t bother me to take a picture of a young man trying to look tough as long as I can see a spark, unknowingly channeling Tyra Banks and smiling with their eyes.

Most children are innately happy. They don’t – and shouldn’t – know anything else. But doing what I do, I see too many children who don’t know how to smile. I can take a dozen pictures and joke and make faces and tease and the teacher can do the same, but some remain somber. Detached. Usually the session comes to an end when I discreetly ask the para or teacher if the child is normally so serious. Yes, they always answer, and I know there’s nothing more I can do but give the school the picture they need for an identification badge and the parents get photographic proof of their child’s loss of naiveté and joy for reasons only they know.

This year both of my son’s pictures were very good. He looked relaxed and happy. He knows how to smile and in a small yet inexplicable way, it gives me peace of mind.