At first I thought it was some sort of unfortunately placed pimple that sat on the very top of my nose, but when the ugly red blotch was still there 3 weeks later I began to realize that it was probably something more sinister.  I confirmed my suspicions with a dermatologist who said it was a harmless pre-cancer that if left alone would eventually grow and turn into full blown cancer, but it would not spread and probably would not eat my nose off my face.  She promptly dowsed the beast in liquid nitrogen, which burned and made my eyes water.  She told me in a few days the area would look red and angry but would be cancer-free.  The angriness of the red spot peaked just as I was meeting my friend Becky from Twitter for the first time (more on this in a later post).

With my fair hair and melanin-devoid skin, some sort of epidural cancer was bound to occur and the first place I would expect would be my nose.

Like everyone born pre-UV awareness, I spent a lot of time in the sun as a kid.  I would get slathered with sunscreen on rare occasions when it was planned for, but mostly I would just run around all day long with my skin unprotected.  There were a few summers of trying desperately to tan, but only managing to get so many freckles that they connected in a way that made me just dark enough.  As an indoctrination of the beginning of each summer, I would get at least one helacious sunburn; the kind that took a full 24 hours to calm down enough to be able to lie down without screeching and would eventually result in a storm of peeling reptile skin.   My nose, which sits front as center, bore the brunt of these perpetual summer burns and was constantly in a state of peel.

One of those summer days I was playing at a friend’s house when his dad ran in the house to tell us there was a big bull frog in the yard.  My friend ran out through the screen door and I quickly followed, unaware that he had actually shut the screen door behind him.  I ran into the screen full tilt, nose first, and pulverized the fuck out of my poor little beak.  For what seemed like months afterwards, the top of my nose was covered in a green pus-filled scab.

These days I stay out of the sun as much as possible and try to keep properly covered in sun screen, hats and full body wraps, but the damage of my youth has been done and I am sure more liquid nitrogen is in my future.


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6 Comments on “THE NOSE ON YOUR FACE”

  1. For-Tart Says:

    Welcome to the club. I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my face in 1995. No recurrance since, just a nice little scar from the procedure.

  2. Cat Says:

    Ugh! I had 3 spots removed from my back, all requiring stitches. I was afraid to go in about my face, I thought they’d cut that too lol
    Hope you heal quickly!

  3. Kim Says:

    Oh no! I have the same type of skin, always having to use the top sunblock all the time… Hope you heal quickly!!

  4. Eleanor Says:

    God we were stupid when we were young.

  5. Sharnee Says:

    Awww, sorry to hear this but well done on getting it looked at! I often worry about this kind of thing too. There’s a skin cancer commercial here that shows the Dr taking some skin from someones buttocks and sewing it on their face.. then says something like “unless you want to wear your bum on your face…. wear sunscreen this summer”. Classy.

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