Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What is 'cancer free'?

It's been 6 years since they removed my bladder; and all the cancer it contained.  Since then there has been no sign of it returning. I am 'Cancer Free' and counting.  Right?

Over the Christmas holidays I noticed a small sore on my chest. I put some Bacitracin on it but it didn't clear up.

In January my doctor prescribed some stronger antibiotic cream. It didn't clear up after a couple weeks so she referred me to a dermatologist. It took me 3 weeks to get an appointment (they must be backed up).

The dermatologist said that it looked like a Basal Cell Carcinoma. She told me not to freak out because this is a very treatable form of cancer. She 'pealed' off the sore, along with some surrounding skin for a biopsy. She said that she'd call me in a few days with the results and sent me home.

No surprise; the biopsy came back positive and I am scheduled for outpatient surgery in mid April.

I know a ton of people who have had this, and it hasn't been a problem for them, but somewhere in the dusty matrix of my mind there is a small, shaky voice whispering a tune that I recognize (I've heard whole choruses sing it in the past.) This voice is so tiny that it is easily drown out by the rest of my life. But when it gets very dark and quiet in the middle of the night, I can sense - more than hear it - on the very edge of my consciousness saying; "You're no longer cancer free?"

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