October 9, 2009

Getting some skin cancers carved out of the body

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Today was C Day, (not D Day), the day that I went in for some outpatient surgery to remove three tiny spots of skin cancer that my dermatologist spotted 10 days ago during my annual skin checkup.

Why C day? C for carving, of course.

During that annual skin checkup, Dr. Silva and I chatted (as always) about what the Admiral and I are doing with our properties in Mexico, how much fun we have there and ultimately how much sun we are exposed to for about 8 months out of the year.

"Couldn't you have picked a place like, um, Finland to retire to," she asked, blasting me with beyond-ice-cold liquid nitrogen to burn off some pre-cancers.

That stuff hurts, by the way, and leaves blisters wherever it is applied.

Dr. Susan Silva
Dr. Susan Silva

The Finland joke didn't seem so funny a few days later when the results of three biopsies came back showing that I did have one semi-serious type of cancer on my chest and two other spots on my back that needed more than just a little touch of super cold nitrogen.

On my chest was a tiny spot of what the laboratory said was some squamous skin cancer that needed to be carved out, because it was likely moving it's way down through the various layers of the epidermis and spreading, not just hanging out on top.

Just the name squamous sounded kind of ominous to me.

  • What the Mayo Clinic says about squamous cells

  • Carved, of course, is a gross exaggeration. Dr. Silva used a scalpel to skillfully cut out a small chunk of skin, though it took about 20 minutes, including the stitching me up. (Small stitches, please.) And the spots on my backed were scrapped off using a curette.

    Thank God for Lidocaine, several shots of which were injected in my chest and on my back and I quite literally didn't feel a thing.

    Going in for surgery
    Heading in for the surgery

    With C Day behind me, the Admiral and I are starting to focus on our mid-December escape from Sacramento to return to Arroyo Seco and La Manzanilla.

    I already have my order figured out for the first night we head to Palapa Joes in La Manzanilla.

    And yes, it includes a Cuba Libre.

    Maybe several to toast the death of the squamous cells.

    Dr. Silva and company
    The doctors at the Laser Skin Center in Sacramento

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