I went to the dermatologist for the first time today, and am now one mole less…moly. A part of me that existed this morning no longer exists (or it does, but it’s in a lab somewhere, floating in water, extant), and I didn’t even have a warning (aside from, you know, hey, get that mole checked out.) I assumed I’d have time to think about it, to say my goodbyes. Maybe take a photo.
My mom has been “freaked out” about this mole for give or take two years, and dealing with this was one of my new year’s resolutions (2012: A BIG YEAR FOR ME!), so I texted her after to say, “are you happy, the mole is gone, consider it an early birthday present.” I figured it would make her feel powerful, like she could steal things from me all the way down in Florida. All she really wanted to know, though, was was she right. Literally her first reaction was, “So was I right?” I think she wants me to have skin cancer at this point, as vindication.
Anyway my arm hurts now. As in: actively. A part of me is missing! And I will also say that while you all should get a skin cancer screening at some point in your lives and I don’t want to discourage you, having a cute woman in a little red dress, a headband, and kitten heels inspect your SKIN (ie, everywhere, guys!) under the *least* flattering lights, is frankly very demoralizing. She just held up my pale, flabby arms and stared at them, quietly. I felt moved to apologize, on behalf of my complexion. She said, “And now let’s look at the chest,” and I just sort of sat there with my tits hanging out like…Hmm ok, yep, get a good look.” You know, when you go to the gyno it’s like, Okay, we will definitely be seeing your vagina. But this is some weird middle ground where it doesn’t seem like your tits are going to be out — she doesn’t have a stethoscope, there are granola bars in the waiting room (My first brush with fancy New York doctor world! So thrilling!) and ads for plastic surgery, and kitten heels, and then boom: she’s just passively scanning your tits. Not even squeezing. Just looking. Ugh. It’s sort of an insult! And then of course the best part was yet to come: “the buttocks.” God help us all. And I hesitate to bring this up, but I kept my underwear on for this (!!!). I still am wondering if that was a mistake, if I violated some skin cancer screening code (no one told me!) by keeping my underwear on. The technician guy (YES GUY UGH) handed me a robe and told me to put it on and didn’t say anything else, so I figured I wouldn’t go for the gold without some deliberate instructions. Which led me to the point where I was standing in this cold office with a cute woman in a headband saying, “And now I’m going to check the buttocks” and then, I swear to god, pulling down my fucking underwear and looking, silently, at my butt.
Far more painful than getting a mole removed, which I might add, was not fun.
Almost as painful as when the male tech said, “If you don’t mind me asking, when was your last menstrual period?”
"Um…it’s now. Ha!?"
"Okay, so, then your last one was about a month ago, right?"
Are you allowed to go to the dermatologist on your period? I still don’t know. But I did very quickly yell, “NO!” when she asked me if I had any moles in “the groin area.” I’ve never been so happy to have someone take me at my word.
I’m not saying skin cancer seems like a barrel of monkeys or anything, but i’m not not saying it, ok? Jk Jk, wear sunscreen! Slice off your moles with a box cutter! (that’s basically what happened to me today.) You’ll get out of doing the dishes!