Posts Tagged ‘basal cell’

Skin Cancer Queen

Sunday, March 31st, 2013


I didn’t elect myself to be the poster person for skin cancer but that is who I am.  It’s not a title I’m proud of, though I do share that challenged DNA with my brother.  It’s our fate.   Let me warn you ahead of time that I might get way too graphic here, so stop reading if you can’t stomach it.

At just 29 years old, living in New York, I felt a zit on the back of my neck.  When it didn’t seem to go away for months and months, I went to a family friend and doctor in Beverly Hills, a plastic surgeon I had once worked for and asked him to shoot it up with whatever it is that makes pimples disappear.  He took one look at the back of my neck and said skin cancer.  I emphatically told him it couldn’t be, that it definitely wasn’t and that he should get that needle out and just make it go away.  Reluctantly, he did but not without a lecture on my family history.  Being a family friend for years, he had removed many skin cancers from both of my afflicted, white, sensitive-skinned parents.  And now, my brother was starting to deal with basal cell skin cancer.  “Not me!!!  Just shoot that mother-fucker of a zit up and I’ll be fine.”  And yes, those were my exact words.

Some months passed and now it looked really freaky, though I couldn’t see the back of my neck, I could tell by feeling that it wasn’t right.  My fault for not listening.  I went back to the doctor, Kurt Wagner, and he did a biopsy.  After he called me with the report, I went in for my first of many years of surgeries to remove a lifetime of sun damage. (more…)