Who Loves The Sun

I’m trying not to freak out and panic after leaving the doctor’s office two days ago looking like Jake Gittes post-reservoir.

I’d used the topical chemotherapy the doctor had prescribed for small but worrying sun spots and in some cases it seemed to be working. But this one, well he had to take a biopsy. Cut a tiny piece of skin from the side of my nose to send to a lab to diagnose for skin cancer.

He kept telling me, in French, that I’m too young for this, “how old are you again?” as if no one below senior citizen age in the history of modern civilization has had to deal with damage from the too much sun many of us had when we were young. Please, somebody tell me this happens all the time, nothing unusual, easily taken care of as long as the necessary steps are followed in a timely manner. Isn’t that what you want a doctor to say?

The doctor knows I’m a performer – do you stand at the front or back of the stage? he asked, of course leaving me convinced I’ll end up so disfigured I’ll have to wear a veil for the rest of my life. Oh wait, they’ve banned the burka in France. So maybe if I have to I can learn to take it like a man, like Keith, flaunt the scars and dents.

So, if I’m a little silent, a little preoccupied, aside from a full home redecoration I’m waiting for the results of the lab test to help me figure out what I have to do next. And walking around looking vaguely dangerous.

Forget it. It’s Chinatown.

15 thoughts on “Who Loves The Sun

  1. Rob

    Fingers crossed for you it's nothing Amy, I do know a few people who've been advised that they should have moles removed but it seemed more a precautionary thing than anything else and didn't leave any noticeable scarring.It's the waiting about that's the worst bit though, hopefully there's nothing to worry about come the results. Be thinking about you.Rob

  2. the fly in the web

    No good saying 'don't worry'…impossible not to do so…but French practice is to go in for precautionary minor surgery for this…at least, from the experience of friends of all ages that's what it seems to be.Fingers crossed for you.Take it out on the redecoration. Give it hell.

  3. Ed Ward

    Yeah, skin cancer is pretty common down south here, and they're up to the minute with the treatment. Chances are excellent that the worst will be a little topical anesthetic and out the door.

  4. Neil deMause

    Argh – very sorry you're having to deal with this, Amy. Hopefully it's nothing, but even if it's not, as others have noted, skin cancers are generally really easily treatable these days. (My father-in-law was diagnosed 20 years ago, and looks nothing like Keith Richards. Well, a little bit, but that's unrelated to the cancer.)

  5. amy

    Just came back from meeting our new general medecin (the old one just retired) – he calmed me down quite a bit, saying doctors are obliged to send off to the lab for tests in these instances, even though 90% of the tests come back negative. Which the derm. could have told me but didn't bother to. So I'm dialing my anxiety back a bit, keeping fingers crossed. thank you all for the care and concern!

  6. Mark In Mayenne

    A bit late, but yes, this happens all the time and can be dealt with routinely. I had a colleague who had her nose sorted out perfectly as a result of a skin cancer being removed from it, and I had a mole removed from my back for a biopsy.Be cool, and all the best

  7. amy

    That's exactly what I needed to hear Mark, so thanks – why would a doctor say this type of thing is unusual? I guess you're a bit far away or I might be asking for doctor recommendations…Thank you Ian!

  8. Non Je Ne Regrette Rien

    wondering how to make a joke about wangling it into an opportunity for adding-on whatever cosmetic procedure you've been secretly dreaming of at our *ahem* age. but no. that would be crass. and inappropriate. so I'll just say hang in there. xx

  9. amy

    Why Kim, something like that would never occur to me (ha ha)!Thank you Rosie, yes – routine and can be dealt with whatever the outcome. And it is possible to change doctors, I'll see how he behaves this week.

  10. Norma

    This happened to me when Izzi was still in preschool. I went to the dermatologist, he saw something he didn't like, did the biopsy and slapped the bandage on. I was very popular with the 3-year-old set that afternoon. Yes, it was a basal cell carcinoma but I have a little scar and haven't had any problem since. It's an excuse to wear goofy hats in the summer and not feel too bad that I'm not at the beach! Good luck!

  11. amy

    Thanks Norma – Eric went with me last week and confirmed that the doctor had an odd manner. Now i go to see the surgeon…with a letter from the derm. telling him to take special care because I'm a "choriste" – that's right, according to this guy, I sing in a choir. I'm a woman, over 50 – in France unless I was famous there's no way I'd be getting up on a stage otherwise…

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