This morning my doctor forcibly evicted a basal cell carcinoma from my arm. In the past week he had become an unruly tenant, had been drunkenly yelling at his cat in the middle of the night. His new home is a small, plastic container that is right now being delivered to a dark laboratory. There he will spend the rest of his short life being examined, researched, and playing shuffle board with all the other excised cancers whose owners say they’re going to call but never do.
This morning I had Jon take a picture of what I now refer to as “Eddie” before we sent him to die alone in a pool of his own urine. He was a handsome fellow:
Those stitches are what my doctor had to use to close up the chunk she took out for the initial biopsy. When I came home that afternoon, Leta noticed the prickly ends of the stitches and then contorted her face into a shape that made me think she had just witnessed a man contorting his body in order to smell his own feet.
The excision was mostly painless, except for the initial needle prick when she numbed the area. When she said that she was going to have to send him off for another biopsy, I asked if afterward the lab could package him up and send him back to me. Maybe via UPS. For my skin cancer collection.
She said probably not, and also? That she probably wouldn’t want to get to know me in real life.
The bad news is that today she found two other places on my body that she wants to have removed, a mole on my stomach and one on my back. These spots actually look far worse than the one on my arm, but I haven’t ever noticed them because they are in places usually covered entirely by clothing. So it’s not over yet.
I know it won’t ever really be over, so much damage has been done already that I’m going to spend the rest of my life as a slave to sunscreen and the operating table at my doctor’s office. Please look at that horrible spot and cover yourself up. Put sunscreen on yourself and especially on your kids. Every day. Every single day.