Friday, January 18, 2013

Basal, Squamous, Actinic Keratosis, or What?

Okay, so I have a spot on my right arm.  On the other side from the weird, fleshy dent.  I don't really know how long it's been there--seems to me, it started as a small ingrown hair or something that I picked at.  It healed, but the redness never went away.  Then, a few months ago, it started flaking.  Not oozing or healing then reforming, but flaking.  Sometimes redder, sometimes paler, but always a little bit of flaky skin.

Understand, I am a mound of flaky skin--I have some freaky psoriasis-type thing on my scalp during the cold months, I have some red, angry, crusty stuff that forms around my nose in the winter (responds to Metrogel, so I'm going to assume it's rosacea).  But I've also had a squamous cell carcinoma on my face (right side of my nose, up near the eye).  So, after obsessing and gnashing my teeth for a few months, I bit the bullet and went to the dermatologist.

Not the same dermatologist as last time.  That woman came across as nothing more than a day spa diva who does a little half-assed dermatology on the side.  She just came across as . . . incompetent?  Inattentive?  Her whole office was full of nothing but adverts and displays for wrinkle creams, fat creams, massages, and mud baths.  Made me sad, because she was heavy, and very accepting of my weight--I felt comfortable allowing a full body check.  But she and her office staff . . . well, let's just say that, if I found out she'd been faking the medical degree, I wouldn't be surprised.  To be absolutely frank, she didn't come across as particularly well-educated.

So, they did a biopsy today.  The new, fascinatingly Ashkenazi-Armenian, dramatically more competent, intelligent, and "doctorly" seeming physician (yes, a physician, not a PAC like back in Utah) examined me, said she thought it was a basal, but couldn't be sure, so she was going to biopsy it and I'd have an answer in five days.  If it's basal or actinic keratosis, that's good.  We like that.  If it's squamous, we don't like that, but it's very small (somewhere between an eighth and a quarter of an inch across) and likely easily handled.  It doesn't look like anything Merkel or melanoma-ish.  Makes me sad, though--I'm tired of this, and I get the feeling I'm going to be paying for childhood sun exposure for the rest of my life.  Parents?

Put sunscreen on your kids.

On the bright side, they did manage to fit me in the day after I called.  That's super-helpful.  Cuts down on the paranoid waiting time.

I just squashed a "mosquito hawk" (you may know it as a Crane Fly)  Bugger's been in the house for weeks now.  Seriously, I didn't think they lived this long, but it's been around since before Christmas.  Hung out in the kitchen, up near the ceiling, so we left it alone.  But tonight it burst up from under/behind my monitor and right into my face.

Bye-bye, mosquito hawk.

Still sick.  Things are loosening up a bit, but that's not really such a good thing--that just gives me the hideous post-nasal drip throat itch that leaves me hacking.  Hate that.

Got Charlie some Dentastix "fresh" this time--he still loves them, but I don't notice any difference in his breath.  Speaking of Charlie, I think we have finally found a food mixture that he really, really likes--a mix of Castor and Pollux grain-free and Kirkland grain-free.  He doesn't just eat it because it's what there is, he seems to truly relish it.

I'm back on the Builder Bars.  Trying to get myself back into that groove.  The mint ones, of course--they satisfy the choco-candy bar craving.  If you haven't tried Builder Bars, you should--they taste a whole lot better than most of the energy/protein-type bars, and they're low glycemic, which means they don't spike my blood sugar.

I've come to like my new, big bottle of Boucheron eau de toilette.  See, I've been nursing along a very small bottle of the eau de parfum, and absolutely adored it.  Ordered the eau de toilette for Christmas and found the scent markedly different.  A high, soapy smell that really interfered with those opening notes.  Not sure what's happened, but either I've become accustomed to it or it's stopped doing that, because now I smell those opening notes.  And I'm in love again!

And that's it for now--off to Costco for stewed tomatoes, frozen strawberries, and other assorted sundries!  If the dog ever stops ringing the bell to go outside, that is.  

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