Friday, April 1, 2011

Had my quarterly check for skin cancers

Yesterday, I had my quarterly check for skin cancers. Both of my parents had skin cancers. My dad was of the older generation who always wore a hat everywhere he went. Even with the shading from his hat, he still had skin cancers on his head. I was of the new generation who took pride that we didn't wear hats at all. So, for 41 years, I baked my head in bright Utah and Arizona sunshine, happy to be a member of the "liberated" generation. But, eventually, mother nature caught up with me.

I had my first skin cancer removed in 1976, a few months after I moved from Arizona to Massachusetts. Each year I got a few more skin cancers. Not only was mother nature catching up with me, she was getting her revenge on me.

For the past several years, I've had quarterly checks for skin cancers. I usually have a few pre-cancers that are frozen by liquid nitrogen, and I sometimes have a skin cancer or two removed by surgery and the resulting skin grafts. A few years ago, I had a skin cancer removed that was bigger in diameter than a golf ball and 1/4 inch deep. The skin graft, using skin from my shoulder didn't work, and the doctor used pig-skin for another graft, and that one did work. I think that may be the reason why I have warm, fuzzy feelings whenever I walk near pigs.

Anyway, back to my checkup yesterday. The doctor did find one skin cancer, a Basal Cell that was so big the doctor wasn't sure he could safely remove it and have a skin-graft cover the hole. In fact, he decided the only way to remove it would be to cut off my head and sew on a pigs head. I agreed to it, and I'm scheduled for surgery next week. I'll be the worlds first running chimera. Maybe they will create a new category for me, the Chimera Category. I'm hoping I get big skin cancers on my legs so I can get a set of race-horse legs....