Monday, October 8, 2012

Add Me To The List

We all know someone who has had cancer of some sort. In fact, I believe is it safe for me to write we all know someone who has died from this insidious disease in one form or another. We also know survivors, some even two or more time survivors of cancer.

I am now a member of that second group. As cancers go, I had the kind to get, the easily curable kind. About a month ago, I had a skin cancer tumor removed from my abdomen. It was not very big, but it had been there for years and only in the last few months had it started to grow. My dermatologist, Dr. O.J. Rustad, removed it right in his office while I simply tipped back in my chair. It took about ten minutes.

They tested the tumor and found a basil cell carcinoma. That needed to be removed, so I went back in and he scraped away all of the cancerous cells. His office called a few days later and told me I was cancer-free! It all sounds kind of silly now as I write this because of the ease of which this last health issue has come and gone.

But, I cannot do that. As I say in every speech I give, The problem is not the issue, the issue is how you deal with the problem. It came abundantly clear to me when the visiting nurse took this picture of my cancer site this morning:

Click on the image to enlarge it. I will warn you, it is not pretty:

My nurse said it looks great! I have another word for it.

Supposedly, skin cancer is primarily caused by exposure to the sun. According to the site, skin cancer can be caused by excessive exposure to radiation. With the hundreds of X-rays I have had on my abdomen over the last forty-one plus years, that may very well be where mine came from.

I will never know and it really does not matter. I am just glad this episode is over and I am free of any cancer cells. I have been telling people for many years, I have stopped thinking about the future issues, because I know they will keep coming. I just wonder what the next one will be?

As always, I look forward to your comments.




Donna said...


Thank you for sharing. I am happy you are cancer free!


Jane said...

Hi Mike,

What a relief that you got a break! I love your encouraging messages. I’ve had a couple of cancer scares myself and have sure lost a number of significant people in my life because of this lousy disease — and all were young. Next month I’m going to visit my baby brother in North Carolina for Thanksgiving — he’s been battling the “Big C” for a couple of years, and I’m going to give him your book to help bolster him up. Knowing that others have beaten unbelievable odds, especially in the health area, really helps a person take courage. You’ve got courage enough to share with the world! So glad you’re a part of my life!

Sending you hugs,


Earl Hipp said...

Wow... that photo looks like a crater on Mars. Weird and ugly like the invasion it is.

The gift as you say, "The problem is not the issue," but what we learn about living from dealing with "the problem." I for one will, again today, be grateful for the gifts of life I've been given. Including your friendship and inspiration.

Glad you're out of danger.

Anonymous said...

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