Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm not smiling

Warning:  This post contains a number of pictures of me.  I'm not in love with myself.  I am on a mission to spread the Gospel of Sunscreen.  This Truth can save you from face hell.  I am clawing my way up, but it has been no fun down here.

I'm not smiling, because I can't. Think: Mrs. Doubtfire.  She can't fully emote because her meringue (uhh, make-up) will come off. 

I wish my carac ointment tasted like pie.  I wish I could open my mouth that wide.  (TWSS)

I am in week 4 of a chemotherapy cream treatment to remove a number of AK's or precancerous cells from my face.  I have had 4 Mohs (2-forehead, 1-scalp, 1-collarbone) surgeries to remove full-on squamous cell carcinomas.  I am writing about this experience to vent a little, communicate perspective I have gained and to encourage regular use of sunscreen.

The experience.  There are many aspects to this.
  • applying a cream that can burn layers off your face onto new fresh raw skin every morning.  (Cuss, anyone?) 
  • watching as my face progress to gross
  • deal with children in public call me "Creepy"
I realize this is temporary means to a healthy end and that people have it much worse and that essentially I will have undergone a chemical peel and will look a decade younger when I am done.  (Don't be jealous.) 

Kim Cattrall, Sex in the City - did you see that episode?
But, In general I have felt like a prisoner of my face for a month.

Here's the rub, pun intended:  I was/am not a sun-worshipper.  I like a healthy, sun-kissed look and had a couple of Cancun sunburns in college.  But I never could sit still long enough to 'work on my tan'.  My tan, however did work on me. 
This morning.

I have used sunscreen everyday now for a number of years.  You can be sure, it is my mantra from now on; most especially with my children.  THE DAMAGE IS REALLY DONE WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG.

Certainly, I haven't been able to stop working, teaching Yoga or running my children (the nanny is in Aruba)  so it's been interesting to say the least.  BTW, I look good in these photos.  It was alot worse, a creepy mess. 

Before a Bikram Class, yesterday.  The lipstick makes me feel better.

And so...  I go to the doctor on Tuesday to see if any yucky spots are left that need surgery.  My skin will heal.  My children and I have forgotten what I used to look like when they let me come to the bus stop.  They like me to stay at the front door for now.  It's very, very temporary and a relatively short span of time.  Not like real burn victims who undergo months and months of painful treatment.  Every time I get called creepy and want to cuss as I apply the medicine I send healing energy to the burn unit 25 miles away where a young boy, a hero who saved his best friend in fire recovers from his burns.

I will be back at the bus stop soon.  Smiling because I can.