Friday, October 23, 2015

Skin Cancer

I am paying for all those years of baking in the sun as a teenager and young woman.

Here I am in 1966, baking on the beach at Ocean City New Jersey:

Fifteen years ago, I had heavy-duty surgery to remove a deep-seated basal cell carcinoma on my nose. Since then, I've had several much more superficial removals on arms and legs.

You can see the scar on my forehead and the white circle on my nose, from this photo from 2002. I'm wearing my forehead on my nose.

However, this year another basal cell turned up on my face, on my right temple:

Yesterday, I had Mohs micrographic surgery to remove that basal cell.  There was a lot more of it underneath than there was on top, as evidenced by the stitches and the swelling:

I wrote a poem about the scar from the 2000 surgery:


Although the rain ran like a canal

in the creases of the windowsill,

more of it pouring in, filling every crevice

of the screen,

dripping down the lip’s ledge to the floor,

the woman welcomed the wet of it

to her house.

She said, There’s too much danger in the sun.

It’s lied to me for years, she said,

while it crept up and turned its key in my face.


1 comment:

Marion said...

An awesome poem! I'm very sorry for your skin cancer trouble...My husband had one removed from his back...I nagged him for years to wear sunscreen (*real* men don't wear sunscreen!) but he seldom did. I hope this was your last. Get well soon. xo