Doesn’t the mere word, CANCER, cause you general anxiety, fear, and panic?  Doesn’t it make time stand still, the bottom drops out of your stomach, and you feel faint?

No matter what kind, how easy it is to cure, and how minimal the treatment(s) might be, it is still CANCER.  Somehow, cells somewhere in your body didn’t get the memo telling them to continue as planned.  Those cells, those unrepentant naughty cells, decided to add some excitement to the everyday.

I’m not sure, but perhaps part of the drama was caused by the fact that today is Christmas Eve.  Add to that the fact that this is the FIRST Christmas I’ve not been with my family.  (Add to that the tension caused by the Great Apple, intimating that Glenn could just pop over to China any time now, and solve the problems du jour.)

Even though I knew I might not leave this doctor’s office relaxed and relieved, I was quite taken aback by the immediacy that the biopsy and surgery were arranged.  December 31st, 8am, and don’t be late this time!  Yeah, sorry, I know we were a wee but late for this appointment, but ….  we were busy  scooping wet leaves out of the eavestroughs.   It had to be done!

My apologies;  am being overly dramatic?   It really is no big deal, apparently.  Skin cancer,  squamous cell carcinoma, on my forehead, above my left eye.  Good thing I have bangs.  They will numb me up, and remove the visible lesion, as well as what they hope is a ‘margin of safety’.  If there is any cancer in that margin, they will come back and take more.  Luckily the lab is on site!

It isn’t unusual for this back and forth to take several hours, so I’m supposed to bring a lunch, lots to read, plus a friend or family member for support, if I’d like.  This is the same surgicenter that Glenn had his colonoscopy at.  It is owned by the same group that our GP’s belong to.  It is called the Palo Alto Group, and they own tons of stuff in the healthcare field here.

Although I am NOT vain, and rarely even bother with makeup, I AM a bit concerned about the potential size of this ‘scar’.  Perhaps I can think of it the same way that many women think of their wrinkles!  Did I ‘earn’ it, somehow?  Personally, I think that if there is any blame to assign, it goes squarely on the shoulders of Dr Kopstein, the dermatologist of my teen years.  Got acne?  Here, lay still, while we give you an ultraviolet treatment!  For five years, this was a montIhly happening, as it was for many other teens, Glenn included!  Of course, modern science has figured out that UV is the spectrum of sunlight that do lethal damage to unprotected skin.  Hmmm…seems to be akin to blood-letting.

This entire chapter MIGHT be all about nothing whatsoever.  I won’t know the results of the biopsy until the sugery is complete.  This doctor is that sure that this is malignant.  But he could still be wrong, right?  Or is he right….  Time will tell.  One week.  Just one week.


3 thoughts on “CANCER?

  1. Yes, I agree that the word cancer strikes fear in your inner being. Every family has been affected by this dread disease. There certainly is some solace in the fact that some cancers have better outcomes than others. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Leann!


  2. I am thinking of you!!! I went through the same stress while awaiting my breast biopsy and then the lumpectomy. VERY had to think of anything else! You must try to relax and practice some deep breathing…
    On another note…didn’t I read that Gilenya can cause skin cancer???


  3. Yeah, Gilenya has that little negative, which explains why I had to visit a dermatologist every 3 months during the trial! Once I get a definite answer on this, I’ll apprise my neuro here, and potentially the one in London, and Christie.
    The dermatologist here took one look at it, felt it, then said “Yup, think we should get rid of that sooner than later.” He went on to explain that this type of skin cancer isn’t deadly like malignant melanoma is, but it can still cause trouble if leave it. He called his assistant in, and said to book me for next week. Guess my New Year’s Eve plans are made!
    On a brighter note, we had an awesome time at the beach today! We went over to Santa Cruz, which is on Monterey Bay on the ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous there, almost hot with the blazing sun on the pale beige sand. By the time we left, at 3pm, there were all sorts of kids romping in the surf! On Christmas Day! It was actually quite busy there, probably about a hundred merry folks.


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