Friday, January 25, 2013

Three Cheers for Basal Cell Carcinoma!

The jolliest and most friendly of the skin cancers!

Yeah, I called the dermatologist today (since they didn't call me).  It's a "superficial" basal cell (who knew cancer could be superficial?  Positively trivial, it is!).  They gave me the choice  of using Aldara (a cream that super-charges your immune system to attack the cancer, leaving your skin in the area a disaster for a couple of months, but pretty effective AND pretty expensive, even after insurance) or having it excised (a lot cheaper, even more effective, but there's the whole ouchie-cutting/scar/infection thing). I think I've decided on the Aldara (for science's sake--I've always wondered how well it works), but no way we're dropping that cash right now.  I said, "So, if this is so minor a thing, can I wait a couple of months?"  She said yes, there was no rush.

No rush, babe--it's just cancer, but it's one of those silly, superficial ones.

My fear?  That I'm doing the "skin cancer sample pack" gig.  I've already done squamous cell and basal cell. Please, I'd just as soon skip the melanoma and Merkel cell.  Thanks anyway.

Lesson here's a simple one--don't sunbathe.  Don't hang out in tanning beds.  By the time you figure out that doing those things are stupid,  it's quite likely too late. So make sure your KIDS don't do those things.  Slather them in sunscreen.  Make them wear hats.  Slather and hat yourself, too, but know that, while preventing future damage is good, you can't undo the stupid of your teenage years.  You can't undo that horrendous sunburn your mom let you get when you were seven when she left you basting in a wading pool for four hours in the middle of summer.  Can't undo the damage done when you mistook cocoa butter for sunscreen when you were ten and practically burned off your nose (the same nose gone squamous 34 years later).  But you can keep it from  happening again.  And that's something.

Here's an amazing story on Huffpo (but it's been in a lot of places) about a truck driver whose left side shows the ravages of sun exposure, while his right, which was shaded, is smooth.  It's dramatic.

Going to put my new plantar fasciitis inserts in my new shoes.  I have a pair in my old Asics Gel-Kanbarras, but don't want to be pulling them from pair to pair.  My only complaint about these insoles (they're made by Profoot) is that they very fronts get sort of weak and lose their fit/form because they're so thin up front.  Doesn't detract from the function, though--these inserts have drastically improved my plantar fasciitis.


So putting these:

Into these:

Makes this: 

Feel a whole lot better.  Did for me, anyway.  I know nothing's a cure-all, but these inserts made a difference when nothing else was.  

Well, didn't mean for this to be a health segment.  Guess that's just where I am today.  No news on Epinions and the payout.  My money (har-de-har) is on the haves getting their money back and the rest of us being relegated back to the bottom of the heap, losing the nice (though modest) increase we thought we'd earned.  One of them actually posted that he doesn't care what anyone else earns, he only cares about his own earnings.  I believe, rephrased, that would be, "I got mine, screw all y'all."  Trying not to be too disappointed.  Sure was nice, for just a minute, to feel like maybe I wasn't bottom of the pile.  


  1. I don't think I could wait for treatment. I would lie awake at night thinking about a few of those cells migrating to my lungs or brain. I had breast cancer, had it removed and have had numerous biopsys. Whats money, when your life could be at risk? Get treatment soon.

  2. I'm glad it's not a scarier cancer, and I'm happy you were able to get it checked out and will get rid of it. I have a friend that had a "weird thing" on her side that she mentioned to me one time, and then admitted, over a year later, that she still hadn't gotten it looked at. She had insurance, she'd been to the doc for other things, she was just afraid to find out that it might be cancer. (her excuse was that she didn't want to "bother" him if it was nothing serious) So I finally convinced her to just have him look at it when she went in for something else, since she would already be "bothering him", and he'd know at a glance if it needed to be biopsied. So anyway, it was cancer but it was one of the kinds that is easily dealt with. I guess my point is that even though she ignored it for a long time it was still removable and not as scary as it might have been. You are ahead of the game for getting it checked and removed quickly.
    I'm sorry I haven't been commenting much lately. I have been reading all of your posts, I'm just preoccupied and it's making me feel less talkative.

  3. Normally, I'd be right there with you. But Basal Cell, especially superficial basal, isn't invasive. It's very slow growing, and it doesn't tend to really spread much. So I have a little time. I'm still torn on whether to go with the Aldara or have it excised. Part of me says excised and get it out without much worry about it, but part is really curious to see what the Aldara is like. I don't know. Either way, I'll make that decision by middle of next month.