Thursday, January 31, 2013

Welcome to my nightmare... (song title, not bad news)

Folks, it's been a little while since this blog has been amusing, so I thought I would post a minimal update here just because it struck me as funny.

In a post-Revlimid world, I have to be cautious about secondary malignancies.  Regular readers will recall I had to have my index finger carved up to remove a squamous carcinoma (skin tissue cancer).  Plus I had that nasty viral issue that manifested as hand / foot / mouth disease (not to be confused with hoof and mouth disease, which I might get one of these days).

The upshot is, I am pretty watchful as to my skin these days.

My wife noticed a freckle that seemed to be changing pigment, so I was finally, after some difficulty, able to get a dermatologist on my insurance plan who was recommended by my primary care physician.  I went to see her.  I won't even use initials here because what I'm going to say isn't the nicest thing in the world and I'm sure she's a very good doctor.

For starters, she was a dead ringer for Alice Cooper.

I mean this is almost an exact copy of her except Alice's eye makeup is a little less extreme than hers, and her hair was much more...uhh...vertical than this and quite a bit messier.

Now, I'm no prize myself most days so far be it from me to pick on somebody for their appearance, particularly when they're involved in my care.  But it was an amusing comparison.  I mean I feel like I'm looking at a picture from her medical school yearbook when I look at this photo here.

After giving her my illustrious medical history, including the skin cancer and the weird hand / foot / mouth thing, we went into an exam room.  The exam room smelled like...

Well, let's put it this way.  Ever know an extremely socially awkward, nerdy guy who was very booksmart in high school but whose parents never informed him about body odor?  When I was in business school in Boston, I took one class at MIT.  Every student there is, by some measure, a genius. But many, seemingly, fall into this category of brilliant kids unaware of basic anatomy when it comes to sweat glands and armpits.  I remember walking into a stairwell with about 100 of these kids and the concentrated BO was almost enough to make me black out.

The exam room smelled just like that.


I almost said something because I didn't want Dr. Cooper to think it was *me*, after all.  Then I though "my God, what if it's HER and I say something?"  So I kept my mouth shut.  She couldn't *possibly* think it was me, I thought to myself.  It smelled like an elephant had died in the place, had decomposed, and had only recently been removed.

I withstood a couple of biopsies of tissue on my back and will get the results in a week, after which I shall dutifully report them, dear reader.

The other thing I had Alice look at was my fingernails.  After falling out from the H / F / M virus, they have regrown fully (except for the mangled forefinger where only some of the nailbed is capable of growing tissue -- I'm growing that out as best I can so I have something there, but it ain't pretty).  There are some strange anomalies like a non-rounded nail on my left thumb (instead of just being one smooth arc from left to right across the face of the nail, it's ridged somewhat).  Dr. Cooper said this was nothing to worry about and was likely the result of the virus, which should resolve over time (months).

There you have it folks.  Next time you hear "Schools Out for Summer" or "No More Mr. Nice Guy," remind yourself to make an appointment with a dermatologist for a checkup.