As expected (because my new and much improved dermatologist told me to expect it), my biopsy came back positive. It's a basal cell carcinoma. On the upside it's a superficial basal cell carcinoma. Because if you're going to have an "abnormal, uncontrolled growth or lesion," you don't want it to be a deep and introspective one. Superficial and flighty is best. Superficial BCCs can also be treated by a topical chemotherapy cream, so I get to try that first instead of going straight to radiation and/or surgery, so that's good.
On the downside I'll have 4 weeks of a cream eating my cancerous flesh and turning my chest into an "ugly open wound." High necked clothing has been recommended, which is perfect for Fort Worth in late July. And EVEN BETTER, when I googled the cream that was prescribed to me I learned that its most frequently used to treat anal and genital warts. And also sometimes superficial BCCs. So when the pharmacist asked me if I had any questions about how to use it and I said no, he didn't know which one I was using it for. I also googled the cream's side effects on my work computer, so you can totally FOIA my internet history of anal warts. Delightful.
But honestly, this is okay. If I must have cancer, BCC is the best of the cancers. It doesn't spread. We're going to get it out. It may take more than one round of flesh eating cream and I am ABSOLUTELY going to complain about this cream and my high necked clothing in 115 degree weather, but we'll get it out.
I am displeased to have a scar on such a visible part of my body, particularly since I've always been rather fond of my chest/clavicle area for reasons as superficial as my basal cell carcinoma. I have feelings about the fact I have cancer at 33. But I've channeled those feelings into shopping and now everyone in my house will have swimming burkas by the end of next week and sunlight will never touch our skin again. Yay!
I really have done a good/frightening amount of UPF shopping in the last 48 hours. We're halfway through summer, so I have sunscreen fatigue anyway, but also, we really need to think beyond just "oh we're headed to the pool/lake/water park," let's sunscreen it up. Sun protection is a daily year-round always and forever kind of thing. Coolibar is having a 25% off all sale sale with free shipping, so I have this lovely sun wrap coming my way (it's a thin, light fabric with UPF 50 woven in and I think it'll be nice to throw on anytime I'm not otherwise suited up and the sun is not conveniently on the other side of the earth),
some beach pants (similar to the sun wrap, but on my legs!),
and the girls have some long sleeve rash guards, swim shorts, and even swim tights.
Honestly Claire's items (above) are a little more involved than I would have required, but she picked them out and since she is WAY too tan for her fair skin right now, I'm all for anything she'll wear with zinc in it. And the little surfer suit is for Cora. It's going to be her new backyard swimming suit- just zip her in and send her out. With responsible adult supervision of course. And a hat. We all need hats.
Landon has a long sleeve rash guard coming his way. James already wears one and a giant hat every time he's out at his pool. And I bought this RIT Sun Guard product you can wash with your clothes to infuse them with magic and sun protection.
I found some adorable rash guards from Athleta and the Cabana Life website that are due to arrive any day and then some simple and cheap bikinis at Old Navy to wear underneath.
I'm only keeping one of those. Probably.
From what I can tell so far, having skin cancer means doing a lot of online shopping. It's because the cancer is superficial.
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