Monday, March 11, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

I look in the mirror and I see an old man's face staring at me. I wonder if he is as upset as I am about these things a doctor had to cut out of my chin. Those little stinkers weren't there last time I saw the dermatologist, just six short months ago. Or, at least they weren't visible then. They were masked by my beard, right at the chin line. The gray and dark intermixed beard colors masked a blemish that belied the unwanted presence of cancer cells. Once found, they had to to be evicted as soon as possible, sent immediately on their way to a lab for analysis. I don't want those microscopic aliens chewing on me any longer than possible. Thirty damn stitches across my side of my face. I look like I fought with Zorro and lost.

Ironically, I posted a quote by Alice Walker, 1997 Humanist of the Year, just before I had to have the surgery. She wrote, “What the mind doesn't understand, it will worship or fear.” Here's this microscopic creature that eats me alive from the inside out when its good and ready, and I can't do a thing about it. Apparently, we carry them around, incubating these adaptive little one-cell eating creatures until they have our body-map figured out, then they pop up and multiply rapidly in one of several different variations. But I'm fortunate, the ones that decided to pop up under my skin aren't the terrors they used to be. Not at least if I take them out now. Their nastier pack-brothers are still out there roaming around though, as are so many, many more of their unsavory relatives.

I don't understand them, and I don't worship them. I don't fear them, either. I don't like them, and if I knew how to stop them, I would. Wide brimmed hats are now the order of the day. I know I have to keep my head and especially my ears covered when I go out to play, along with a liberal application of chemical sun-screen. Why ask for trouble?

Anybody who still smokes is an idiot. Sucking those flesh-eaters through your lungs every chance you get might invite a few of them to pick a soft crevasse of your lungs and incubate for a few years. Try and get them out! Freedom? Freedom has nothing to do with it. Smokers are victims of good ol' American advertising. If you think cigarettes are expensive, wait until you get hit with your first prescription for chemo. You ain't seen nothin' yet!

Say, maybe we're going about this the wrong way! We should hire the advertising agencies to lure cancer cells out in the open. Given the right incentive, Madison Avenue would develop a marketing program to lure the little stinkers out into broad daylight! We might not be able to afford the advertising charges up front, but I bet given enough time, the marketing industry would figure out a way fake those nasty little guys right out of everybody's body. The cancer cells would march right out in the open to die and be happy about it. They'd think it was their right to do so. 

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