I had the cancer cut out of my upper lip yesterday. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Although, when they were finished I looked like this:
Usually I look like this.
(I’m the guy on the right.)
I arrived at 9:45 AM. They took me in at 10:00 AM and told me about the procedure. They injected my upper lip with lidocaine. A LOT of lidocaine. I learned yesterday that redheads don’t numb as easily as others. My doctor told me it takes double the dose of lidocaine to fully numb a redhead. She said that after years of having redheads complain that they could still feel the pain after a normal dose, anesthesiologists conducted a study and found that redheads do indeed need more local anesthesia. (This explains why I felt the sutures at George Washington Hospital when I cut myself with an exacto blade. The doctors didn’t believe me but I insisted and they finally gave me more.) Apparently doctors have no idea why this is. But I know why. It’s because redheads are bad ass motherf*ckers.
So I got double the dose, even though my hair is currently dyed brownish. I guess you can’t hide being even slightly redheaded. The dose she gave me made my lip swell up so much I could see it popping out from below my nose. She left me alone to let the injection do its thing. It numbed my lip as well as my teeth, my right nostril and my cheek.
The doctor came back into the room and carved a hole about the size of a large pea around the tumor. It’s kind of like what you do to a pumpkin’s head before gutting it. She removed the piece of skin and then cauterized the wound, which smelled like burning hair and (for a split second) beef. They bandaged me up and I was told to sit in the waiting room where others sat waiting as well.
One older woman had her entire chin covered up, blood oozed from below the bandage. Another guy had the right side of his head bandaged. And yet another man had his ear covered with gauze. We were all victims of sun damage. And I was by far the youngest there.
We waited. After about an hour, the nurse came in to let everyone know if they were “clear” or not. If you’re clear, you’re stitched up and sent away. If you’re not clear, you have to go back in and they carve out another piece/layer of skin. Somehow, I was clear on the first try, something that rarely happens. (I caught it early. That’s the only reason. It can spread quickly and it can dig roots. There is no way of knowing how much they’ll have to carve out and in what shape.)
I scheduled another appointment to discuss a skin cream treatment called Aldara, which apparently enhances one’s immune system so it can fight certain skin problems/diseases including basal cell carcinoma. The side effects can be a little scary but I’m going to meet with my doctor to discuss the options. Either way, I can’t do anything about it until I’m done supplying breast milk for my little dude (who will wear sunscreen or he will not get the college fund we set up for him this week).
People, wear sunscreen. If you don’t wear sunscreen you’re a moron. And I lump you in with all the idiots who refuse to wear helmets. I was a moron. If you don’t apply sunscreen while in the sun, you are a moron. It’s that simple. And besides, do you really want to look like this?
Wear sunscreen, you moron.
Part of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), where one writes every day for the month of November, which is easier said than done.