Blog

BCC Removal

I no longer have cancer. It sounds ridiculous to say such a thing. But a chunk of skin containing a basal cell carcinoma was removed from my neck today that was the diameter of a quarter and a depth of three or four stacked quarters. Such a funny gray area, basal cell carcinoma. It's both no big deal and yet, also, cancer. It is the most common cancer, a skin cancer; millions have it every year. It won't spread to other organs and is therefore not (usually?) lethal. It is slow-growing and removed swiftly so as not to be removed later when it's larger or deeper at the cost of disfigurement. While all that should presumably be taken seriously, people say things like, "Oh, it's just a basal cell." "Yeah, I had a few of those removed." Like it's no big deal. Yet you're also told it's cancer, and the doctors and literature talk about it in grave tones like they do other cancer. So I find it to be an odd gray area between a big deal and no big deal. That's the best I can muster right now, feeling pretty worn out and numb. That it's interesting to think about how to think about it.

I sat waiting for 30 minutes past my scheduled procedure time in a big atrium with other people waiting, thinking, why is this taking so long? I'm on time. To calm myself down I downloaded the Brushes "Redux" app and made a drawing of the corporate office park landscaping, visible through a tinted floor-to-ceiling window. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Then I heard my name over the intercom and realized I was waiting on the wrong floor.