Elli, lately

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Instead of composing an entry, I’ll just post the latest e-mail to Elsa because that usually says it all. I’m writing about my latest experience with skin cancer, the third one, that showed up on my forehead and was removed last week:

It’s good to be silly right now–it helps more than anything. I don’t look at myself too long in the mirror except to have a good giggle. The bandages are still on and the stitches come out tomorrow, which feels way too early. The wound is still fresh and painful, but the doctor said the sooner the better in terms of scarring. I trust him even though I’m pretty sure I’ll want to throw up during the stitch removal. I think I’ll take some xanax before my appointment–I got a prescription a few months ago before my parathyroid surgery in case the panic attacks came back and I really could have used them last week. The nurse reasoned that my twitchy, tear-filled reaction was due to all the adrenaline they used on the area in order to reduce the blood flow (in addition to numbing.) During the procedure, the doctor and nurse both kept urging me to talk about our upcoming trip as JM held my hand, but that didn’t work and the nurse and JM tag-teamed me with cold, wet cloths in order to keep the clammy, flop-sweat at bay. It wasn’t pretty and I apologized profusely thereafter even though my doctor insisted I did quite well. JM said the doc worked incredibly fast, but I suppose anyone would under threat of projectile vomit.

So here we are. Tomorrow I’ll see my new face without all the bandages. In just a tiny way I’m sad. I got used to the old one and even admired her awkward beauty from time to time. I think I might like this new one even better though. It reminds me of the time when I dyed my hair bright blue way back in ’88. Whenever someone looked at me, she or he would immediately look away in any other direction, la la la, acting oblivious which made me laugh. I think that experience can help me now. My face isn’t that different–the change is subtle. I still wouldn’t get cast as that odd extra in a Woody Allen film, but I’m exactly who I want to be inside and out. Life has been good to me…

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