…you’d see a sizeable bandage on my right wrist, like two overlapping starfish. Looks kind of dramatic and hurts a bit—you wouldn’t want to take a ballpeen hammer and smash it down with all your force upon my wrist right now, that would really smart—but everything seems to have gone A-okay. Doctor John Adams and his trusty assistant Nils shot me up with some painkiller (they should have that stuff for life, not just surgery) and cut out my skin cancer. (I wish I could say that I miss it already, but I don’t.) Good thing it wasn’t a vine. Or, for that matter, a hideous albino monster living deep in a cave, like the one below.

If cancer were a
monster, it might
look like this.

While Doctor Adams and Nils worked, we talked about mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which apparently no one does anymore. (Nils had taken a course as an ambulance attendant, is how the subject came up.)

Did you know that there’s only a five percent survival rate for people who get mouth-to-mouth? Me neither.

Anyway, these days, people intubate the patient and then fill their lungs with a hand pump. I’m not sure if that works better, but it seems to spare everyone some awkward moments in those rare instances when people regain consciousness.

About the time that that conversation was wrapping up, Doctor Adams put a bunch of stitches in me, and then Nils showed me my lesion, which, along with a circumference of surrounding tissue (they have to make sure they got all the cancer), now resided in a clear liquid in a sample jar. It’s headed off to a lab at NYU for testing, to make sure that the surrounding tissue is cancer-free. Whoo-hoo! Got you, you little bastard.

Anyway, I can’t play piano for a couple weeks, but that’s okay, because—oh, hell, you know what I’m going to say. Sadly, I can’t play tennis for the same time, and I’m not supposed to type, which restriction I understand, because at the moment my wrist is starting to throb like you did smash that hammer down upon it….

The sacrifices one makes…to blog.

P.S. I have really come around on this doctor’s office, by the way. Before the surgery, Nils asked if I needed some water. I inquired about a cup of coffee. (It was only ten in the morning, which, to my mind, is early to be operated on.) Two minutes later, someone brought me a darn good cup of coffee, with packets of sugar and a small pitcher of milk, on a bamboo tray, like something from a boutique hotel. If I had to lose some blood, dammit, at least I was going to be well-caffeinated.