Friday, June 7, 2013


I went to the dermatologist last week to get some questions answered about my chronic seborrhea on my face. It's fine for a while, then gets red and irritated again.

While I was there, I asked about a little plaque on my face, and also this slightly itchy grey ?pimple on my nose that I've had for a couple of months now.

He scraped off the plaque and aspirated the contents of my ?pimple and said it was texture. I didn't think much of it. He sent both to the lab for analysis.

He called last night to tell me that the plaque was fine but the ?pimple was actually... basal cell carcinoma.

Skin cancer.

He hastened to add that it's a very localized form of cancer, and not life threatening.

But it still rattled me to hear it.

I have to go have outpatient surgery next week, called Mohs surgery, where they take a bit of skin at a time and examine it under the microscope to make sure they got it all, then taking more skin as necessary. They said to allow 4-6 hours for the procedure.

The scar from where the ?pimple was is tiny, so I figured the scar wouldn't be a big deal, but my friend Jenn said she had something similar (on her abdomen) and ended up with nine stitches! So now I'm worried about that, and wondering if a plastic surgeon should be involved. I've left messages for both my dermatologist and the Mohs surgeon to ask about this.

Then, of course, my mother has her big surgery next Monday. I've mostly refused to think about it. She's having her bladder taken out as well as a total hysterectomy. I can't really deal, so I'm not.

And then this guy, the one that I mentioned, asked if he could call me on Wednesday. I said I had plans, but he could call me on Thursday at 8 pm.

And didn't call.

He texted me today -- late morning -- apologizing and saying he was driving in the rain and conditions were bad and he needed to concentrate. And also, that he thought I would call him. And finally, that tomorrow is his birthday.

That irritated me no end.

I haven't asked him for anything. Didn't initiate contact. Didn't ask to be in touch. But if you make a phone date with me, keep it. Or take the time to call or text and say, "sorry, change of plans."

This seems disrespectful.

My guy friend said, "Don't text. Wait until he calls -- he will -- then tell him that you treat a friend with respect. And he did not."

My female friend liked my initial idea of just being passive aggressive and saying, "No worries. Enjoy your birthday with your daughter."

I decided to go with her vote because I don't really feel like expending any more energy on this.

I'm not sure if it was a good focus for my nervous energy or just made me a whole lot more agitated.


  1. Bleah! That's a lot to handle in one day! I had basal cell skin cancer on my neck in my 20s and now have a two inch scar (in my former religion I refused to believe anything was wrong with me so let it grow for years until a friend urged me to see a doctor). It wasn't a big deal but yes, hearing the word "cancer" applied to you is never pleasant, no matter how non-life threatening.

    As for the guy all I can say is ugh! Typical. I vote passive-aggressive response. :)

  2. My dad had this same surgery a little over a year ago. His also started as what he thought was a pimple! It was on this cheek, under his eye, and he had to have several stitches, too. The skin looked tender and new for a while afterwards, but I can't see it anymore! (Well, I'm sure it's visible to some extent, but it's definitely not noticeable.) It's important that they get all the bad cells from the area, but with any luck your team will also do the best possible job, cosmetically-speaking.

  3. That is a lot! I worry about the skin cancer thing as a former Florida girl who grew up slathered in baby oil frying my skin. My mom had the procedure you are having on her nose earlier this year and it was done by a plastic surgeon. It wasn't the greatest thing to deal with the healing, but now I don't see it at all. Thinking of you!

  4. Oh Abby! Yuck. I'm so sorry for all the crap you're dealing with at the moment. Hang in there. And yeah... typical guy. Passive aggressive (or just totally ignoring him) should work, I think, but really, WTF do I know?!? :)

    Hang in there.

  5. Sounds like you are going through a rough time, with a lot on your plate. I hope you and your mom both have a speedy recovery.

  6. I'm against passive aggressive.. who gets what they want by not asking for it? You have plenty on your plate, and passive aggressive creates grey area-waiting to see their reply & if they get it etc. I think this could add another worry.. maybe distraction.. but probably a worry..

    Good luck with your moms surgery.. and with yours <3

  7. Sounds like a tough week Abby! Hope your mom's surgery goes well and that you have a very gifted surgeon working on yours!!

  8. Oh man, this all sucks. Sorry you have to deal with the skin cancer - that is a lot of stress, not to mention your mom. I know you like this guy but I'd definitely do what you are doing - put your energies to yourself and your family. I'm just super unimpressed with guys flaking out (and I wouldn't even call that reply "passive aggressive"- I would call it choosing to direct your energies to more important things, and a great way to respond!) Hang in there, I hope both your and your mom's surgeries go very well. Hugs.

  9. Man Abby. You're having a really crappy week. I'm so very sorry. I'll have both you and your mom in my prayers. My next door neighbor has had the Moh's procedure twice if not three times in the past 24 months. I don't think she ever had to have stitches, but had some scarring (seeing plastics soon).

    As far as the guy...ugh. I'd let him seek you out. Put your time, energy and effort towards things you can control :)


  10. So much in so little time! No wonder you're rattled!

    I agree with it straight with the guy

  11. Hugs. Sending healing energy to you and your mom.