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Well, it’s official and it is one of the best pieces of bad news that I’ve ever received: the type of cancer I have is the easiest to cure, doesn’t spread and has a 99.??% survival rate. In fact, it’s only downside seems to be that I will have to endure the cookie-cutter treatments, deal with the psychological ramifications and live with the scars that they produce. In fact, if I luck out and don’t develop any more basil cell carcinomas (BCC) on the more fragile parts (face, scalp, ears, nose, et cetera) then it isn’t even debilitating.

So, if you had fun as a kid and played in the sun — and got sunburned — then you should Google BCC Skin Cancer and follow the guidelines that you’ll find.

As a kid I remember getting skin-peeling sunburns every summer. It was so common that I considered it my base tan! Now, 40+ years later, I am where I am. For me, it started as a simple red mark on my back like an ingrown hair that got infected. It would bleed from time to time when I dried my back after a shower, and I tried to put antibiotic ointment on it and covered it with bandaids for a while, but it never seemed to heal. It didn’t hurt, and because I started being careful while drying off, I basically forgot about and neglected it for a year or two or four…until I noticed that it was not only still there, it was growing. That was back in 2013 when I was once again between temporary (AKA, no benefits) projects and once again unemployed with no health insurance. So, I worried and quietly thought those dark thoughts about the Big C…

IMG_0829December 2012

Jump to 2015 and I finally have health coverage via Obamacare; and yesterday morning I had surgery to remove the skin cancer. It took five years of worrying, ten minutes with three doctors and ten minutes of out-patient surgery to have it removed. I’ll know in six months if it was successful or not, but, as I’ve lived in Vegas, I so like the odds.

My advice to those who live and bask in the sun sailing, snorkeling and fishing like I have all my life, if you see something that makes you go, huh?, then get it checked out. ASAP is better than an Oh-Shit!

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