Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This Person is a Live One!

I think I've had a rite of passage. I just had the first removal of suspicious skin spots that could be cancerous. The curse of the light-skinned Caucasian living in Arizona. I say it was my first removal because it is unlikely to be my last. These things often take 25 years to develop and even though I am careful of sunburn today, I wasn't so careful many years ago. It reminds me of one of my father's favorite sayings: If I knew I was going to live this long, I would've taken better care of myself.

I am not frightened to learn the biopsy result. 85% of skin cancers are not serious. Besides, everyone has to die of something.

I spoke some uncomfortable words to my good doctor. I overheard his nurse refer to me in the hallway as "the lesion". Yes, I had a lesion. But I am a person with a lesion, or a patient with a lesion. Due to confidentiality laws she could not say my name aloud but that doesn't excuse her disrespect of me as a human being. My doctor had no defense. He would speak to her. He admitted that sometimes people become their diseases and it wasn't good medicine. Under his breath he was probably saying: son of a gun this lesion is a live one!

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