Thursday, Apr. 28, 2005
Dear Diary:

Well, it turned out to be nothing.

The tiny drop of blood came courtesy of a tiny vein very close to the surface of my skin that burst with the effort of running. The dermatologist cauterized it with a small electric tool, and did two other spots on my cheek that I hadn't even noticed.

There is nothing quite like the smell of your own electrocuted flesh in the morning.

I felt like a stupid drama queen but he told me I'd done the right thing. I have to visit the dermatologist every six months for the next five years for a thorough check-up and any time I see anything out of the ordinary I'm to make an appointment.

I won't be considered a cancer survivor until I clear that five year anniversary skin cancer free. It's unsettling, this feeling that I cannot take something as basic as the health of my skin for granted.

As he touched my face to position the cauterizing tool the dermatologist shot me a look, the sort of look that says, "Are all your mother's children this stupid, or am I dealing with the family idiot?"

"You're not wearing any sunscreen," he said.

I protested that it was pouring rain outside.

He rolled his eyes and in the tone of voice usually used to explain things to very young children or mentally challenged adults he told me that clouds and rain do not stop the ultraviolet radiation that cause skin cancer.

Uh oh.

Somehow I had it in my head that I only had to worry about sunlight. He told me it is insanely stupid to go outside in daylight no matter what the weather without a hat or sunscreen. I noticed that he had the sort of pallor normally associated with vampires. I also noticed that even though we are about the same age, while I have deep crow's feet etched at the corners of my eyes and my forehead looks as if it's been ploughed with furrows for planting, my dermatologist had remarkably wrinkle free skin.

But then, that's one thing I've noticed since I've entered the wonderful world of skin cancer. Anyone who works in dermatology makes Casper the Friendly Ghost look like he's tanning for the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. And because these people protect their skin from UV radiation, they don't get the wrinkles the rest of us do.

Either that, or they're all vampires.

Come to think of it, I've never seen any of them outside in daylight, nor have I seen them cast shadows.


This seems to be our week for medical visits at MarnCo, the ruthless multinational behind The Big Adventure. Our czar of Homeland Security, Zubby, has tangled with insurgent elements trying to destabilize the situation here. When we got home from the dermatologists he proudly reported that the borders held, but it came at a price—he has a pretty good swipe over his right eye.

I suspect a black and white tom cat who has moved in down the road, a surly beast who insists on sauntering through the woods to our yard and taunting Zub with yowls that I suspect involve Yo Mama jokes.

Tomorrow afternoon we're off to the vet's and I can pretty much guarantee that antibiotics are in our future. Yep, I get to wrassle pills down the throat of yet another cat.

Oh bliss, oh thrills, and a couple of raptures.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 524.24 miles. 10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck Quadruple Duckage. You rack up the miles when ya train for a 10K.

Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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