|Me at Herring Cove beach, Provincetown, Mass 1988 - working on developing my future skin cancer diagnosis - fool that I was. Should've listen to all those skin cancer warnings Ron.|
Wednesday I received a call from my dermatologist's office. She was calling a out the results of the biopsy of that painful "pimple" I had taken off the top of my left ear last Friday. The fact that I was receiving a call was bad news. Yes, the biopsy indicated that I have skin cancer.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
My biopsy came back as shamus cell carcinoma.
I've been going to a dermatologist since 1988 every six months for checkups. Almost every time they find something to burn or cut off my skin. All so far have been actinic keratosis, which are precancerous skin lesions. It has been very routine to have those precancerous skin cancer lesions removed from my skin, mostly my face.
Where I am now folks is a results of my foolish hunt for that perfect tan when I was young. Oh sure, I heard all the warnings about skin cancer. I ignored them. That is until one day when I decided to go to a dermatologist because different parts of my face hurt when I shaved. My dermatologist discovered that I had numerous spots of actinic keratosis. So many the best way to remove them was a topical form of chemotherapy which was Efudex. I had that applied all over my face which burned off the top layer of my skin. Folks, that was one of the most painful episodes I've ever had in my life and warned me away from my "lying on the beach baking in the sun in search of that perfect tan" days.
It's ironic that I live near Rehoboth Beach for the last fifteen years and have never played on the sand at the beach in pursuit of that tan. Nope, I don't do that these days folks. So far I've been lucky not to have developed skin cancer but that chicken has come home to roost now.
Next Friday at 6:30 AM I have an appointment with my dermatologist to have the top part of my left ear removed. It's my cauliflower ear that my father used to mock me so much about and for which I was so ashamed when I was younger. I don't care now, just as long as I've caught the cancer in time.
|Me, third grade (1951) my cauliflower ear on the right.|