I was standing in front of the mirror the other day putting on a favorite blouse, so I could decide whether anyone would notice the grease spots down the front. As I was putting on one of the sleeves, I noticed a thumb-sized growth on my torso when I raised my arm. Hey, that wasn't there the last time I looked in the mirror. After sixty some years one becomes very familiar with the landmarks that define one's geography. I was looking at the body equivalent of a UFO.
The first thing I did was try to wipe the thing, the spot, off, like it was a bit of dirt. But it wasn't going anywhere. Then I tried to get a better look at it, but I couldn't twist myself around far enough to see it well at all. The spot is in a weird place by the lower edge of my ribs on the right side. I had to contort myself to see it. So I decided it would be easier if I just went back to the mirror to get an up close and personal gander. The kind where you get so close to the mirror you leave breath stains. Like the times I go prospecting in and around my chin for recalcitrant hairs.
There it was, evil, dark and round, with irregular edges. Oh, great, skin cancer. I'm dead. They'll have to operate. I'll need a new robe. At least the cancer is not in a place where the scar will show. But I'll have to have chemo and radiation. Scarves? Or a wig? Should I have my farewell party catered or make it pot luck?
Before sending out the invitations to my death, I made a courtesy appointment with the dermatologist. Might as well let him have first crack. Funny how quickly you can get in to see the doc when you invoke the magic word: melanoma. I only had to wait a week. That's like two seconds in real life.
The first three or four days after the discovery, I checked the spot a lot to see if it was growing. There's a sense of being invaded by an alien when you find something like that.
Since it showed up so quickly I figured it would grow to the size of a quarter by the time I saw the doc. But it was staying pretty much the same. Somehow that made me feel better and I stopped being so vigilant.
I got busy with work and didn't look at the invader for the last three days. It's not like the thing was located anywhere in plain sight constantly reminding me of my impending death.
After brushing my teeth last night I was looking in the mirror sharpening my left incisor, when I remembered that I hadn't checked out the doomsday spot in a few days. And I couldn't find it. Oh, wait -- there it is, or, well, kind of is. It seems to be fading away. Like a bruise. It was a bruise.
But I'll got to the derm anyway. Don't they do botox too?