Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Damn Spot

I didn't like the looks of a spot on my forearm, so I photographed it and sent it to my dermatologist. He indeed said he would like to take a look at that, and I should get an appointment. I did. A month and a half out. Well, I'm used to that with Kaiser. I like them a lot but if you want to see a dermatologist or a gynecologist you might be waiting a while. You might have to wait if--as my friend Noah put it--you have a vagina, or skin.

I have both. Neither is in original condition.

I'm assuming my spot is not all that dire or they would have found a way to slide me in earlier. And I'm not particularly worried about it. It's suspicious, but I have this idea, true or no, that no one dies of forearm cancer. Dying of forearm cancer would be weird. Not as weird as that sports photographer who wanted to get the cool inside shot at the dog track and got his head lopped off by the mechanical bunny--that was really weird. Or the fellow buried alive after standing on a stepladder to administer an abruptly effective enema to an elephant. Also weird.

But as long as I have an appointment anyway, I'm going to give him a tour of the neighborhood. He's never been enthusiastic. Maybe he feels short of time. He never wants to see anything but the dot I came in with, and that just bugs me. There's at least half of me I can't even see. I'm only in there every couple years. Why can't he get a bright light and have a look around? It couldn't take that long. I'm only 5'3". I don't care if he has to hold a dainty hankie to his nose, as long as he does it.

Even if I could see it all, I wouldn't necessarily know what I'm looking at. When I met Dave, I discovered he had a set of the most baroque and alarming moles on his back, any one of which looked poised to take him down, but he never did anything about them, and they're still there, only forty years older. What do I know?

I also plan to point out my tick bite. You know, the tick bite I got in March. Still there. That sucker has stamina. I suspect maybe the little bastard left some spare mouth parts in there, and I hope-to-shout he never gets his mouth properly assembled again. Or perhaps the lump is some kind of egg sac, and one night when I least expect it, it's going to rupture and aliens are going to pour out of it like Huns over the steppes of Asia. It does have a sinister Vesuvius look about it. I had a nurse friend look at it, and she wasn't impressed. Well, she's a midwife, actually, but that's the same thing, and she's had to wrap her head around, and in some cases jam her arm all the way up, way worse things than this.

I guess if the good dermatologist is that pressed for time, I can get Dave to flip me over and circle anything suspicious with a Sharpie before I go in. But I don't want to. Three minutes in, he won't be able to stop himself from connecting the dots. This I know.

38 comments:

  1. Murr, Sweetie... even though doctors are busy people, they seem to forget that we are paying them... which essentially makes us their employer. If you want your entire body checked out (something that they always tell you to do, but I never do either), tell him to do it. They only act like gods because people treat them like delicate geniuses. And while you're at it, call him by his first name. Hell, if you're in a state of undress in front of a man, you should be calling him by his given name... or even a pet name like SweetCheeks.

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    1. I have now been to the doctor, and he actually volunteered to look at the entire package. Maybe he's developing a thing for older women.

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    2. I gots no other roles to play at this point.

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    3. Not sure if the "r" was supposed to be an "m" in that sentence...

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  2. I've been having thoughts about getting a mole check. Apparently Australia is the "skin cancer capital" of the world and I have several moles although none of them look suspicious to me, nor have any of them changed size, shape or colour, which is what we're told to watch out for.
    I hope your spot is just a spot and nothing to worry about. The tick bite is another matter. Get that properly checked out.

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    1. When I think of Australia, it's shining all the time. Shining hard. I suspect you get the occasional cloud but I never visualize it.

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  3. Oh, shoot, you have reminded me I should see a dermatologist. I have sking tags, moles and liver spots to die for. You should go here and you can have a ball... http://www.medicinenet.com/skin_problems_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

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    1. Ewww. I only have one or two of those. If I had moles like the ones in those pictures, I'd have named them all by now, maybe given them little hats.

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    2. Bad link, can't get there from here. :-(

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  4. As the veteran of many skin cancer freezes and surgeries, make him LOOK at anything you are worried about. However, what you have looks to me (not a doctor) like something he will just freeze off. Ouch!

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    1. Nope. Drumroll please...after appearing unchanged for well over two months, my spot disappeared the week before my appointment. He surmises it is one of those age spots that got inflamed. In further news, he also is not worried about my tick bite.

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    2. aaannnnd, this is why Iamnotadoctor!

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  5. FANTASTIC Murr! I love your writing!

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    1. Oh hey! You're my new favorite person!

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  6. Just had a basal cell carcinoma carved off of my forehead (of which there is a lot more than there used to be) yesterday. AT least having the diagnosis of skin cancer got me into the dermatologist a lot quicker. Normally, it is about a 6 month wait. I'll be pretty again in a few months.

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    1. Oh dear--you have, at one and the same time, more forehead and less forehead. Yeah, I'm on the sunscreen bandwagon now. Mostly. There are a lot of us on that bandwagon, but we all fit because we're slick.

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  7. I see my dermatologist every 3-4 months for a partial face-ectomy!!

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  8. What is it with dermatologists and the looooong wait to see them. Himself is overdue. There is yet another spot on his forehead which I strongly suspect will have to be burned away...
    What happened with yours?

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    1. Of course it disappeared the week I went in. After having been unchanged for two months. All is well.

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  9. Irish of skin, (I'm practically transparent) lots of experience here with basal cell, AKs, Mohs, blah, blah, blah. Used to be an alarmist and let them cut off whatever, which they really really like to do (There's big money in Mohs). I got cranky with that stuff , thoroughly acquainted myself with the looks of melanoma just in case and I now pretty much avoid the dermatologist. I know that's not PC but what do you know? All my spots just go away. Or stay the same. At this point I figure I'll out live them. I also use very very good sunscreen.

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    1. Really? I know you've been through the wringer. I am much heartened to hear this!

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  10. p.s There are now a couple brands of powder sunscreen- no color, can't see it, lasts longer on your skin and is more effective than creams, no greasy nonsense AND the best part is, it doesn't smear into your eyes and sting. A little expensive but a pleasure to use- Bare Minerals, Clarins, Colorscience and John Roth all make good ones in the 30-50 range. I use Colorscience.

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  11. I'm glad your spot disappeared, even if it was aggravating that it waited so long to do so! I have "beautiful skin" (quote from the dermatologist when I went in about a mole-like thing that turned out to be okay). Mind you, he wasn't talking about my looks, just the state of my skin. All my refusing to go outside except after dark is really paying off! Almost just kidding. I can't stand the heat so I do outside work and summer walks in the cooler hours after supper. I used to walk after dark too, right up until a coyote was spotted a few streets over.

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    1. I also avoid the sun. It's overrated. Come November we'll get overcast and be really happy until next June or so. Or so it used to be. Nothing is normal now. We also have coyotes within blocks but it never occurred to me to be personally afraid of them. Neighborhood outdoor cat owners should be afraid...of them and me.

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  12. But the sun is a major source of Vitamin D, necessary for the strength of your bones. A few minutes a day is all it takes, then you can go back inside.

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    1. Oh I get more than a few minutes a day. And I don't slather when it's overcast even though I know that doesn't matter. And I've fallen down enough times to be really confident about my bones, if not my balance!

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  13. I let a spot on my nose go for a while - wish I hadn't. Now have stitches from the top side down and across the tip. The doc said it's basal cell carcinoma which turned out to be "larger and deeper" than he had first thought. He also said, during "closure", that he was putting on his Plastic Surgeon Hat (which I couldn't see since my face was draped with a blue hankie). I'm hoping for the best. I asked him NOT to give me the Michael Jackson nose. Verdict is out. Good luck with your spot!

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    1. Oh my goodness! This just happened? Holy moly. As it were. I'm hoping for the best for you too. If it were up to me I'd ask for Adrian Brody's nose. Only in my size. Plastic surgeons hardly ever deal in nose augmentation...

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    2. Thanks! Will post my "new nose" on my blog whenever it seems appropriate - hopefully I'll still look like "me"! (but I'm hoping for Raquel Welch to appear in my mirror . . .)

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  14. Ok, I'm sitting up straight and coming out of retirement for 3 minutes, even though this was not my specialty or one that I had any real experiences with. Here you go:
    Don't worry about it.
    Pro bono, maybe. Need to look at the boat to see if it needs work
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  15. Score so far: Basal cell carcinoma on my forehead resulting in one 2 inch long facelift. (Doesn't carcinoma sound like something a hillbilly would name their eighth daughter?) Sarcoma over my collarbone resulting in deeper than expected surgery which struck a "bleeder" resulting in lots more gauze and and poking, resulting in an infection which was treated with BIG antibiotics that were so strong I thought my digestive system had just up an died on me. Now I have a gnarly scar,and an itchy patch on my back that I don't like the looks of.

    On a trip to Hawaii, we saw a lady on the beach, in her bikini, and her skin was - well, you know how there's a ghastly accident that just horrifies you but you can't look away? She was like that. Scars and growths and hideous dents and discolorations all over! Her arms, her legs, her torso, her face and neck all with these inches-long white puckered scars and pink weals. I guess some people can actually be addicted to suntans. She certainly served as an object lesson.

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  16. Oh, geez. I'm thrilled to read your outcome, and somewhat terrified by some of the comments. I have put off seeing my dermatologist far too long. Monday. I'll call Monday.

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