What a week.

There was, of course, the storm.  And subsequent multi-day power outage.  Etc.

I think probably enough’s been said about that.

The Friday preceding, my favorite writer of all time, David Foster Wallace, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide.

More on that, later.

And then just this past Friday, after having a couple suspicious-looking moles biopsied, I was diagnosed with melanoma.

Don’t worry; I still look and feel improbably dashing.

Only difference is all of a sudden I’m drinking proper gin martinis, instead of vodka.  Nothing like an early-’30s skin-cancer scare to usher that phase in.

‘OK… so what does that mean?’

What it means is I’ll be meeting with a specialist later this week to determine the thickness and the depth of the melanoma, as well as to see if it’s spread beyond the skin blah blah blah.

(My apologies if you already knew this; I didn’t.)

That’s Wednesday.

Until then, there’s not much else to share.  Except All The Fascinating Stuff I’ve Learned About Melanoma Since Friday:

  1. Although it’s less common than other types of skin cancer, the rate of melanoma is steadily increasing.
  2. In the US, 1 in 65 people will be diagnosed with melanoma at some point in their life.
  3. The risk of developing melanoma increases with age, but the disease also frequently affects young, otherwise healthy people.
  4. Melanoma is the number-one cause of cancer death in women aged 25 – 30 (!).
  5. Early diagnosis is very important.
  6. The best treatment for early-stage melanomas is surgical removal (simple excision). In almost every case this eliminates the cancer.
  7. If it’s spread beyond the skin, treatment options include surgical removal, chemotherapy, radiation, and biological therapy.

And we’ll leave it at that.

Bottom line: Like other types of cancer, it’s potentially serious, yet easily treatable if caught early.  Things get a bit more complicated if the tumor’s thick and the cells have spread, etc.

I’ll post updates soon as I know more.

Until then, I’m enjoying a heretofore unfelt sense of connection with senator John McCain

(That is not an endorsement.)


10 Responses to “#$@%!*”

  1. amy Says:

    oh babe! I have had many many moles taken off and always a bit scared. I will say a prayer to the universe yr fine! Skin cancer sucks- grrrrr

  2. ryan Says:

    Look: I have moles taken off like it’s my job. I’m a veritable constellation of moles. Don’t care about that. It’s that they usually come back free and clear, is all; this one didn’t.

  3. brooke Says:

    Waiting for results sucks. We’ll be sending lots of positive energy and prayers your way.

  4. madebyamyd Says:

    well, hmm. in my mind, you don’t have cancer, save for that spot. so there it is.
    and yes, you are still dashing and somehow, not quite bald enough, you pretty boy.

  5. ryan Says:

    A couple years back, one of those helpful parking attendants in the Short North actually called me ‘fancy boy.’ Only with this guttural, booming voice: FANCY BOY. We were with a couple friends, one of whom had long hair, and he became LONG HAIR. LONG HAIR and FANCY BOY. Like two crime fighters in the night.

  6. madebyamyd Says:

    it’s that pretty face getting you into trouble! i see some great halloween costumes in there

  7. ryan Says:

    Fighting pleated trousers and two-buttoned sport-coats with the bottom button fastened. Plus other scourges of the world.

  8. C Says:

    Beefeater Martini on me next time we meet. FOR LUNCH. Take care.

  9. Allison McClymont Says:

    This morning Lauren and I were in bed talking about the pictures we wanted to draw today. I said maybe we’d paint you a get-well card and send it in the mail, that you were a little sick and would be having an operation to get better. Before I could even get to the “better” part, my little guy threw himself back on the pillow like a Victorian matron of old with the case of the “vapors” , and cried “Oh, mommy, Oh man, but he’s my UNCLE. And I Loooooooove him.” He was practically fanning himself and I had to stifle my giggles at the melodrama. I’ve never referred to you as his uncle, but in his little heart he’s got you in that box. We all Loooooooooove you, Ryan and are praying that you’ll kick cancer’s ass. And, glad to hear that last blog bit was not a McCain endorsement. xoxo

  10. ryan Says:

    Thanks for that, Ally — made my Saturday.

    And it’s probably because I’ve never thrown him in the bushes, like Shaun.

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