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Notably Quoted

It’s good for an artist to try things. It’s good for an artist to be ridiculous.
Sheila Heti in How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life (p. 18)

« Shards of Glass | Main | Our Mission »

The LN2 Fix

After that recent appointment with the dermatologist – yes, the one where those two growths were removed for biopsy – my life immediately changed. To wit: I went to Target and purchased some heavy-duty sunscreen (SPF 50), and also dropped by REI to buy a sun hat (again, SPF 50). I started using both immediately.

Honestly, looking back on things now, my behavior during all those late-afternoon walks and runs over the last 35 years is sort of like having engaged in unprotected stranger sex during the 1980s. Risky. During this time, if I used sunscreen at all, I would put a modest amount of a Coppertone SPF 30 liquid on the back of my neck, as well as some on my nose. Which is sort of like sometimes using a condom and believing that is being a responsible, healthy person.

Anyway, I guess the whole sun-exposure thing has been a huge blind spot for me: acting as if I were 18 years old and would live forever. You know: invincible.

When I started using this new, heavy, sunscreen cream, I immediately noticed that it was thick enough to fill up the crater that had been created in my nose by the biopsy (which was healing nicely, actually). But I ALSO noticed that there was another spot on my nose where the cream was collecting and creating a white spot. What the heck is this about? (I asked myself.)

So, when I finally got the call with the pathology report, I mentioned that there was this additional place on my nose that I had a question about … even though I had just had a full-body exam. And I made yet another appointment.

I waited six more days to get in, feeling sillier and sillier during the interim, thinking that my anxiety was just leading me to a place where I would end up feeling quite embarrassed for wasting everyone’s time.

So. That appointment happened yesterday. I did feel silly for having shown up … right up to the point where she agreed that there was something there. It was “pre-cancerous” (actinic keratosis) she said, and should be removed. Right then and there we LN2’d it (froze it with liquid nitrogen), and I walked away wondering how this had been missed during the earlier appointment and just how regular my visits to this office would now be.

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