Alternate post title: I Mock Because I Love

Alternate, truthful, post title: I Mock Because I Haven't Developed Healthy Coping Skills

On Monday, we headed off bright and early to have The KingofHearts' skin cancer removed. They have this cool procedure now where you don't even need to go to a hospital. They see you as an outpatient at a specialized center and cut off the cancer with a knife in an exam room. (I made that sound like they used a butter knife, which is an infinitely better visual, but in actuality, it was a standard scalpel.) Then they leave you sitting there in a barber chair with an open wound while they take the skin sample to the lab in the back and check the margins microscopically to make sure they removed all the cancerous cells. If not, they come back, cut a bit more off, a snip snip here, a snip snip there and a couple of tra la las, and check it again. Sounds a bit ruthless, but it's worth it to know right then and there that they either got it all or have to cut more out rather than go back a month later and do it all over again -- especially if the repair of the wound requires a plastic surgeon whose work will be obliterated by future surgeries to remove "just one more little piece."

Because we weren't sure how okay he'd be to drive home, I went with him. I also provided the music therapy in the way of shoving my iPod at him and telling him to choose something from my library of over ten-thousand songs. No pressure, dude. His choice: the Sweeney Todd Soundtrack, which I believe is both lovely and poetic. There are reasons we've stayed married for over thirteen years and this is one of them.

The doctor removed a half-dollar sized piece of skin, then came back and cut a bit wider and a bit deeper. The thing, apparently, had grown "roots" (lending credence to my theory that getting this removed as soon as possible was of the utmost importance). I was allowed to stay in the room while they cut and watch as we all discussed things like traffic, how hard it is to get into various colleges in the area and how doctors before the 1840s really must have had to be sadists in order to do stuff like this to their patients without anesthesia. (The doctor, who was the one in the room most uncomfortable with this particular topic of conversation, just kept assuring us, "oh they just wouldn't have operated on something like this." Perhaps, Doc, but they did do things like, oh, REMOVING LIMBS WITH A WOODSAW. Methinks the man doth protest too much.) I took pictures of the open wound on my camera phone and sent them to people whom, I'm sure, didn't eat dinner that evening but I did resist posting them on Facebook and Twitter. YOU'RE WELCOME INTERNETS. (Actually, I was trying to figure out how to include them here using this trick but I can't seem to make it work on a Blogger site, so thank the Good Folks at Google, not me.) After that, they covered the open wound with some gauze and we headed over to the plastic surgeon for a consult and planning session for the following day's repair.

I sat in on the plastic surgeon's consult too and had a few suggestions for things she could do with the scar on his forehead:
  1. Embroider my initials into the wound (please, pretty please? She later told me that she couldn't work MY initials in, so she did her own.)
  2. Creative scarring spells out "If found return to..." with nothing after that
  3. Embed borg-like apparatus. Call him "Loquacious of Borg" from now on
  4. Add Harry Potter scar; then knit him yellow and burgundy scarf for Christmas
  5. Install Jackalope horns; make a fortune from novelty postcard industry
  6. Leave open and oozing for awesome Halloween costume next year
  7. Embed shiny gold and diamond insert rimmed with platinum frame. Start new "forehead grillz" trend among rappers.
  8. Implant tiny speaker, when people talking to him start to get boring, he may use a button in pocket to emit a loud "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" sound
  9. 666
  10. Insert half-dollar so he'll always have cash
  11. Cover it with a birthmark; claim he's the long-lost son of Mikhail Gorbachev
  12. Graft in skin from his gluteus to cover the hole. Then we can call him butthead without argument. (Bonus if she can add in a tiny little plumber's crack.)
  13. Prosthetic forehead (because everybody wants prosthetic foreheads on their real heads.)

Weirdly, when we went back the next day for the actual cosmetic surgery, they made me wait in the waiting room.

When he did come out, he was walking like Frankenstein with his arms extended in front of him. It was pretty a propos actually, because I was surprised by how draconian the stitches looked... like one of those stick-on makeup pieces you buy in the drug store at Halloween. This is a top plastic surgeon in the area who has photos of herself with celebrities hanging all over the exam room walls, so for some reason I expected scores of tiny, beautiful stitches that resembled a work of art more than a B-movie SFx job. I guess when there's not that much skin to work with, you gotta make do.

The great thing about getting to call him "Frankenstein" for the next few weeks is that I will get to be known as "The Bride of Frankenstein." And yes, that makes me happier than I can even tell you.