Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Scalpel

Apparently, I love hospitals. I can't seem to stay away.
The mole showed up about a month ago and it itched. Not a good sign. If you have to be diagnosed with cancer, basal cell carcinoma is the least dangerous strain. I used to joke that when I caught it, I'd just metastasize into a complete cancer and live forever. Funny how cancer jokes no longer seem humorous when I'm losing sleep night after night fixating on that word; "metastasize". I do have to admit that for awhile, in the midst of my gloom, sunsets did seem more beautiful and the meals tasted better. Then I realized I was going to live and everything went back to normal.
Dr. Nandan was the 1st doctor and he just said, "Cancer. Get it to the lab to see what kind." "Gee thanks doc. I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight." A couple days later I was down in Suva getting a second opinion from the dermatologist, a Dr. Meciusela Tuicakau. He was 6' 4" without the afro, and had sausage fingers. He said it was basal cell carcinoma. My dad died of cancer, but before he did, he said small hands were a quality you want in a doctor. At the hospital I picked Dr. Yi Pan as the surgeon. He was 5'4" with tiny lady hands. The only words I could understand him say were "basal cell carcinoma", but I liked those dainty digits. The whole drama turned out to be "sanga na langa", that's Fijian for "no problem". Dr. Pan cut it out and sent it to the lab. Then the wait began. The pictures will be on line soon for you sickos.
Now get this - after all that hand wringing, it turns out it was just a benign skin legion. Nothing scary at all. Cancer Free! They'll be no 10 k named after me. This is the one dispatch that I'm pleased to write up with an anticlimactic ending.

So now it's back to work as usual.

Capt Bob - working on my tan - Friedman

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