Monday, July 9, 2012


I had my first, and hopefully last, cancer surgery today.  It was a squamos cell carcinoma about the size of a quarter on my upper right arm.  I have no idea what caused it except that I was always a fair-haired, fair-skinned boy who took no heed of the dangers from the sun's rays.  I burned my skin to a crisp more than once.  And perhaps this is how I paid for it.  I think this will be the only picture from this adventure.

It's not much.  Just my arm heavily bandaged and wrapped with an elastic bandage.  SWMBO tells me I will have a scar to brag about once it's healed . . probably about 5 inches long.  But I don't think I'll show that to you.  I'm not LBJ, after all.

The medical assistant shot me full of numbing stuff, about 6 hypos full, until my arm just felt like a piece of dead wood.  They had me lie on my left side, covered me with all kinds of paper stuff and the doctor began slicing.  At least I guess he did.  I felt nothing until late in the game when he hit an area that hadn't been numbed.  I said, loudly, "Ouch!  I felt that!"  He apologized and called a second assistant who emptied yet another hypo into me.  No more pain. 

I carried on a jocular (as only I can) conversation with the doctor throughout the surgery and told him how good my arm felt when he began doing the subcutaneous stitching.  It felt like it was becoming taut and muscular again.  Well, actually that "again" may be an overstatement since I've been a rather flabby guy for decades.

SWMBO . . . okay, my wife Judy . . . stayed in the room the entire time and said the doctor did some fine chain stitches.  At one point she asked him if he'd ever tried crocheting.  He said he didn't think he had the patience for that.  I then accused him of making a pun: patience - patients, get it?

Finally it was over and contrary to the doctor's warnings, I have had no pain or discomfort whatsoever.  This is about 6 hours after the surgery.  I'm happy and as the saying goes "cancer free."

Let's hear it for modern medicine.