Just Call Me the Band-Aid Queen

If you are on Facebook, you know that they send flashbacks with a message like this: “Ronni, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you'd like to look back on this post from 6 years ago.” Of course, yours doesn’t say 'Ronni', but you get the idea. And of course “they” don’t really care about you; they just want the activity, but I can get sucked in as easily as the next person.

First I wonder, to share or not share. Does anybody really care? I shared one from today because I thought the cousin in the photo, and the other cousins and extended family, would care. It was of my cousin and me having a drink in a rooftop restaurant in New York before a Sara Bareilles concert at Madison Square Garden. My cousin is a good friend of the singer, and my cousin’s daughter, Chaska Potter, is Sara’s best friend. Chaska is a musician in her own right, with her group, Raining Jane.

Looking back at memories, including skin cancer

I am writing this four months into the pandemic and wondering when I will ever get back to my hometown, New York. (I live in Massachusetts). The picture makes me nostalgic for getting out and about. First, I noticed the pretty blue watch that I’m wearing. I don’t have it anymore. A friend made it out of glazed tiles, and after repeated wear, it fell apart. I still have a purple one of hers, though.

After I waxed nostalgia about the setting and the watch, I noticed that I had a band-aid on my left arm. It was either due to a biopsy or a Mohs surgery, I don’t remember which. I have lost count of how many Mohs I have had. One was for a basal cell and all the others were for removal of squamous cell carcinomas, of which I have had a lot.

Band-aids for squamous cell recurrences

I thought about how you will often see me with a band-aid on. Band-aids here, band-aids there, band-aids everywhere…except for when I had a biopsy on the top of my head, followed by Mohs surgery. Sometimes they are in such annoying places – such as the top of my lip - that they are hard to forget about. But other times I forget that they are even there.

Waiting for biopsy results

Last week I got two biopsies, hence, two band-aids, one on my cheek and one on my chest. Yesterday when I talked to one of my sons over FaceTime, he seemed concerned about the one on my face. He asked if the biopsy had taken care of it, which was the case with my last squamous cell, and I said I didn’t know. He asked when I would know, and I said the usual seven days or so.

I’m so used to them that I’m not nervous while I’m waiting, although when I told my son after the last biopsy that I wasn’t worried, I added, “Maybe I should be.” When you think this through, it of course makes no rational sense. But I’m superstitious, and part of me thought the universe might catch wind of my hubris in not worrying and send me something really bad on my skin.

We, of the Jewish faith, have a word that we say in instances like this: keinehora. It’s the Jewish equivalent of knocking on wood. I don’t think I said it, but I thought it.

Covering the squamous cell evidence

This morning I took a selfie after I went running. It was to show my other son that I was wearing a hat that he got me, made specifically for running. After I looked at the photo, I saw that the band-aid on my chest was displayed prominently. I pulled my tank top up to cover the band-aid and took another photo. Vanity…

It was too hot to go running, in the high 80s, but I hadn’t gotten up early enough to go when it was cooler. I needed that run, so I went ahead and did it. I also thought I probably shouldn’t be wearing a tank top. I have plenty of sun protection shirts that would have covered my neck and my arms. But it was just too darn hot, so I put on sunscreen and ran in the shade as much as possible.

I hope it doesn’t earn me another band-aid.

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