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Another instance when my early twenties continue to haunt me | dooce® dooce® » I'm Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website. » Another instance when my early twenties continue to haunt me
  • LaCanadiense

    Heather – I read your blog every day while covering reception at work. I love your writing. I have been known to howl like a hyenna at some of your posts. Delurking today that even though we will probably never meet, I consider you a good friend. I feel like I’ve gone with you through so much… and I’d like to tell you what I would tell my friends. My prayers are with you and yours. And if anyone can make it through and have a great blog post to show at the end, that’s you.

  • k

    Heather- This sucks. My sister just had one of those removed. Everything is fine, but it’s scary as shit. Fuck Cancer.

    Here’s my 2 cents on the insurance bit…get it. Whatever it takes. I didn’t have it for about a year (didn’t have car insurance either…never thought I’d be one of those people, but I was po’). Finally I got it…and 2 months later, no shit, 2 months, I started getting ill. A few months later I was diagnosed with MS. I was lucky as hell that by pure coincidence, I was able to get insurance when I did. If I hadn’t…well, fucked isn’t even the word for it.

    Even if you only get calamity (hit by a bus) insurance, get something. As cliche as it is, you truly never know what is going to happen. I certainly didn’t foresee MS when I was 28.

    And Leta’s accent..it’s fabulous. When she was doing her dramatic interpretation of counting? Totally inspired.

  • Star Shine

    Hi Heather,

    Being a redhead with fair skin, I have spent the better part of my life, visiting my dermatologist, at least once a year.

    You are definitely doing the right thing by having the rest of the tissue removed. May I recommend that you have it removed by a dermatologist? Since it is cancer, it might be a good idea to have a doctor remove it who is a specialist in that area. Also, a dermatologists may be more experienced in suchering the skin so that it will have minimal scarring. Just a thought.

  • Emily

    You have lots of friends out there and we are all sending good vibes your way. Cancer sucks – you don’t!!!!!

    xxooo

  • swiftarooni

    Heh. Thanks for the link complete with pictures! Now I know what to except to see in a few years, seeing as I am fair skinned, red haired, blue-eyed and raised in the desert. Greeeaaaatt! So so sorry to hear you’re afflicted with such yuckiness! Keep a seat open in the club for me.

  • OnePart

    Best of luck, Heather. I know this has to be one of the toughest things you’ve faced, but remember you have thousands of people rooting and praying to their deity and caring about you. Tell Jon instead of dish-washed clogs, you need a big smoosh-tastic hug!

  • http://web.mac.com/choice/ choice

    Oh what a challenging year this has been foryou and your family. For every fantastically wonderful thing (Leta walking, Amsterdam, starting a family business), you are greeted with something fantastically awful (sewer, Chuck’s disappearance, cancer: Aunt Lola’s and your own). But such is the yin and yang of life. Know that there are many of us out there with you who learn to bettter deal with out ups and downs as we vicariously live through yours. Keep writing. And know that for every person who comments today, there are probably 100 more who are thinking about you and wishing you well.

  • Nickie

    Think of it this way – you’re the martyr for your family. Don’t they say 1 out of 3 people develop cancer? So you’ve taken it on so Jon and Leta don’t have to.

    The things you do for your family!

    Seriously, all the best. I hope the treatment is successful and that you have no more problems.

  • becks

    Down with Ed.
    (Hey, look on the bright side, at least you didn’t just spend an hour putting your kid down for a nap, only to kick over a large bucket of mega blocks when you went in to pull up his blanket..)

  • TxSuzyQ

    My dad has had a couple spots removed that were Basal Cell Carcinoma. I remember the first time he told me about one of them and it scared me to death, but don’t panic, it’s pretty easily taken care of.

    I have to laugh at the thought of “Big Ed” keeping in a jar… or maybe we should call it “Special Ed”?!

    Hope everything goes well for you!

    Seriously.. Don’t. Panic.

  • http://www.lifeandtimesofchantel.com Chantel

    I’m sure its a shock and I’m so sorry. I hope all goes well.
    Most of my upper torso is covered in freckles from a lot of hot Tennessee summers and no sunscreen. I think I’m going in to get them checked out.
    The only reason I’ve used sunscreen as an adult is to prevent wrinkles and I guess that reason is better than no sunscreen at all.

    Good Luck!

  • Woodpile

    Check out Laughter Yoga. Very cool, with lots of health benifits, including cancer fighting. I love your attitude about this, keep it positive!

  • http://quirkyfeminist.blogspot.com kate gee

    You handled this whole thing way better than I would have, I’m so glad that the biopsy turned out well (comparatively.)

    My little sister came up with the craziest accent as well. Our whole family is from the midwest, yet she would say “cah” instead of car and something like “stap” instead of stop. My mom would have her practice “don’t park the car in the yard” (“don’t pahk the cah in tha yahd”) until she sortof grew out of it :P

  • daveyr

    eeek! Big suckage :(
    Time to play & really listen to the Baz Luhrmann track Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen). Or get a ladder and fix that O-zone hole.
    Seriously though, good luck with it. I can’t see cancer – of any kind – not sucumming to the Dooce effect. Now, if you’d have been wearing clogs when you were younger in the sun . . .

  • http://www.jenjennyjennifer.typepad.com Jennifer Johnston

    This is when you should totally use your mormon connection in Utah,,, do you know how many yummy casseroles you could get out of the deal?

    My thoughts are with you and I’m happy you got it checked out and treated, unlike me who would follow the theory of “ignorance is bliss.” Take good care of yourself!

  • http://Seacreature15.blogspot.com Seacreature

    At least it’s the common kind and not too terribly serious. You’ve been through so much, this is just another blip on the screen ‘o life.

    Hope you are able to just get the surgery and move on without any further complications. I also hope it doesn’t cost you the rest of your arm and both your legs. I know, medical costs are insane…I had no insurance for eight years and FINALLY bought my own plan last year.

    Anyway, good luck to you!

  • kristen

    Heather, so sorry to hear about Ed. I did the same thing…I knew my mole was not right, but I procrastinated. But thanks for inspiring me to name my newly discovered melanoma. His name is Adolf, because he is evil and may have invaded my lymph nodes. As Joanne said, skin cancer in young people is going up, so lucky us (I’m 20). Here’s hoping Adolf and Ed will at least inspire people to wear some sunscreen, and good luck.

  • jenlovely

    sorry about the cancer, but it could be worse.

    you could have found out that you were pregnant with sextuplets.

    take that in for a moment… six kids in you, six kids come out, hospital expenses out the wa-hooo, six screaming babies, six mouths to feed, six diapers to change! and only the two arms god gave you..

    makes cancer seem like a day trip to the spa eh?

  • http://roomconqueso.blogspot.com/ Girl con queso

    And by yoy, I mean you.

  • Jessica

    I’m officially delurking to offer you my sympathies. You always have such a great attitude and I’m sure this will be something that will only serve to bring you guys even closer.

    Sorry I’m not funny. :)

    With love from Austin,
    Jessica

  • http://texas2tennessee.blogspot.com wannabemae

    Brace up sister…Ed is not welcome here and he knows his days are numbered. As a fair-skinned Southern woman, I highly recommend baby sun block, if for no other reason than the tube is pink, quite fetching indeed.

  • Nickie

    Think of it this way – you’re the martyr for your family. Don’t they say 1 out of 3 people develop cancer? So you’ve taken it on so Jon and Leta don’t have to.

    The things you do for your family!

    Seriously, all the best. I hope the treatment is successful and that you have no more problems.

  • http://www.pumpkinjuice.com Jen Mahler

    My thoughts of good-health energy are with you!! I, like you, never use sunscreen. Consider the wake-up call made!

  • http://www.jrschutzy.typepad.com Jennifer Schutz

    Cancer sucks. If anyone can beat it, it’s you. My mother had the same type of cancer a few years ago, had it cut out, and hasn’t had a problem since. I hope things go just as well for you.

    Now on to more important topics — what IS IT with people and needing to point out zits? My boyfriend does it every SINGLE time I get one. I am very self-conscious about my problems with adult acne, I see a dermatologist, I use three different prescriptions, and he knows all of this. But still, he feels the need to tell me “You’ve got a zit on your cheek”, like I’m going to say “Oh! Thank you so much for telling me! I hadn’t noticed, and I was hoping that would appear soon. Hooray!”.

    However, I’ll go the whole afternoon with a hunk of food stuck in my teeth and he won’t alert me.

  • http://www.thejulietfiles.com Julie

    Heather, you will get through this one too… just like everything else. :-)

  • http://www.iprettymuchhateeverything.com Torrie

    I cannot tell you how glad I am that it’s not melanoma.

  • http://roomconqueso.blogspot.com/ Girl con queso

    I’m sorry. I hate that for yoy, and that completely sucks. But Ed is a lovely name.

  • Pascha

    I hope everything goes well for you. Cancer is scary…I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when I was 24. My doctor kept telling me, “It’s the best type of cancer you can get. It’s the easiest to cure.” I believed in him, and sure enough, I no longer have it.

    Fast forward two years, to when my husband and I got married. (This was just a little over a year ago.) Two weeks before out wedding, I noticed a large mass on his neck, and I immediately freaked the fuck out, convinced he had thryoid cancer. Two weeks after we married, it was confirmed that he also had thyroid cancer.

    Unlike dealing with my own, I was unable to keep humor as a savior this time, but luckily he was. He calmed me down, reminded me everyday that everything turned out fine with me. I was infinitely more scared for him than I was for myself, especially since my mil’s neighbor (the neighbor was a 31 year old man, my husband was 30) had just died from the same type of thyroid cancer.

    Point of my story: Please don’t lose sight of the fact that you will be ok.

  • http://akphotographer.blogspot.com/ A Knupfer

    wow… what a hard post to read! I am so happy you got to the doctor…

    On a lighter note – I named mine BOB!

  • Laura

    I hear you on the crappy self-paid insurance thing. Check and see if you are eligible for a Health Savings Account. That’s how we’re funding my (suprise!!) pregnancy and my husband’s first dental exam in like, oooooh…ten years.

    Good luck to you and Ed.

  • http://ugotsoul.diaryland ugotsoul

    You’re in my thoughts… here’s to a speedy recovery!

  • http://justlinda.net JustLinda

    Oh, stuff like that is scary, huh? Best to avoid doctors altogether I think. No? Not a good approach? It’s also my car-maintenance approach and it seems to work OK there. Except, of course, when it doesn’t.

    Like Roseanne Rosannadanna said, it’s always something.

    I hope the scar removal goes well and Ed blossoms on your windowsill for years to come.

  • http://www.mymixedcompany.com Lynnlaw

    I had several terrible sunburns when I was younger and am now constantly worried about moles and “scars”. I have been through what you are going through and so has my Mother. I am glad you are optimistic and being your humorous self about it, you have no reason not to be. This will be a breeze for you and only serves as a warning to be more aware and slather on that SPF. Good luck to you.

  • http://www.hollyrhea.com HollyRhea.com

    Just cut your arm off. Then you can be on this website, too: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

  • Imanitsud

    The same day I read your original hinted post about “arm cancer” my husband was diagnosed also with basal cell carcinoma. Small world. Use your influence to get political about health care! Or not. Just hang tough.

  • rebecca

    OMG. Dearest Heather, I wish you a speedy and total recovery. And renew my frequently half-hearted attention to sunscreen. I am sending warm and positive thoughts your way.

  • http://wouldbewritersguild.com TiffyWiffyPooPooWanna

    Thanks for making me laugh, even in the midst of personal angst. I’m so sorry for your bad news and wish you all the best for a speedy recovery and harmless future! I have a strange spot on my back that I am not going to ignore any longer, thanks to you. I don’t expect that to make you feel any better, but I want you to know that your willingness to be open about your life (since the very beginning) has been personally inspiring. Very best wishes and all my good thoughts and prayers!

  • elsa marie

    I want to crack a joke but I’m genuinely concerned for you. Still, I’m glad you could crack several jokes. Thanks for breaking it to us gently.

  • http://www.adventurejournalist.com/notebook tonya | adventure journalist

    Hang in there. But whatever you do, don’t search for it in Google Images.

  • KellyB

    Yeah, you should be smacked around a little for that post yesterday. Not cute, missy.

    But in light of the big c-word, I’ll forgive you. Good luck and here’s to a speedy recovery!

  • http://kassig.squarespace.com/ Kassi Gilbert

    As if everything else weren’t enough. My prayers are with you that the procedure goes well.

  • http://unfinishedobject.blogspot.com Jenn

    I’m glad that you had it looked at, that is some scary shit. My dad has a nasty thing on his arm that I’m pretty sure is skin cancer, prompting me to pester him about it every time I see him. He’s had cancerous nasties removed before and my mom has practically had to hog-tie him and drag him to the doctor’s office every time.

  • http://www.puppytoes.net Joanne

    I’ve been a long time reader, but this is my first comment – having gone through a BCC removal last year, this post really hit home!

    I, too, am paying for my lack of sun protection in my teens and twenties. I’m 33 now, and I had a small non-pimple lump on the side of my nose last year. The first thing the dermatologist said to me was, “you’re too young for me to be seeing you for this.” I had to bite my tongue from saying, “Yea, thanks buddy, tell me something I don’t know!” But apparently skin cancer in people under 50 is really on the rise.

    Lucky for us, huh?

    I can also sympathize with your “irrational” fear of the sun. Frankly, I don’t think it’s irrational in any way (well, maybe the thought of the sun like a death-ray is a little bit), but after going through it, there’s no way I’d step in the sun without my sunscreen. Shoot, if someone would give me an asbestos suit, I’d be tempted to wear it!

    I hope for all the best with extracting Ed from your arm – you’ll definitely be in my thoughts!

  • http://ccrafton.blogspot.com Candice

    Eeek. Cancer is scary. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jon, Leta, and Chuck.

  • http://divinediva07@hotmail.com DivineDiva

    I send my love, prayers for you and your family!

  • http://spantalones.com Sarah

    Both my grandmothers have had skin cancer. My mom has had a few spots checked out, but nothing so far. And I’ve had sun poisoning, quite a few bad sunburns, and my skin is a shade best described as translucent. I fear what you are facing.

    That said, skin cancer is highly treatable if caught and compared to other cancers, this is the one to get.

  • babbling

    your doctor is soooooooooooo gonna google your name and find this site!!!!! I predict the lasting effects of this will NOT be that you are sick, because you’re going to be FINE,(power of positive thinking)but will be that your doctor reads your entire blog. Can you be dooced from a Dr.’s office? he he he. Better say nice things about her always!

  • Anu

    Heather, I wish you all the best with your treatment and recovery. It’s amazing that you can be so positive and upbeat about all this. Take care.

  • Sam-I-am

    I’m sending you my love because I don’t do prayers anymore and I’m not yet signed up for paypal. I’m devoting my time to getting people elected who are going to do something about reforming the health care market.

    And thank you for making me laugh.

  • mallie

    Ugh. I’m so sorry this has happened to you.

    The link to the cancer site was useful. Blonde hair? Check. Green eyes? Check. Tendency to burst into flames after 2 minutes in the sun? Check. I’m stripping down and checking things out really closely when I get home.

    PS: Are you going to have a paypal button or anything? Or should we just be extra clicky on the links?