A Letter From Uncle Dave

October 18th, 2009

My brother-in-law, Dave recently underwent some surgery to remove a melanoma on his face. Here follows his hysterical recount of the events leading up to and immediately following his surgery which he sent out in a recent family e-mail. I should probably also note that he was still under the influence of both post-op anesthesia and some heavy duty narcotics while he was writing it….

Fam
Underwent a little surgery this morning to remove a pesky Melanoma that had taken up residence on my left cheek. They put me to sleep a good looking young man and I woke up with a face that only a mother can love (think Mike). The good news is that they probably got all the bad stuff out and after a little healing and makeup, I will soon be able to resume my modeling career. The part of my face that was extracted is now laying in a petri dish waiting to be examined by a nerdy lab technician. I should have the results by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and hopefully will be able to put this all behind me and resume my daily visits to Planet Tan.  In the interest of educating my closest blood relatives on the dangerous combination of Melanoma and stupidity, I will tell you how this little story started:

Chain of events-
2006ish/2007ish Red spot develops on cheek – not exactly sure when – I have gone back now and I can see it in pictures – looks like I had some kind of spot in area as far back as 10 years…

2007ish/2008ish – Notice red spot and think that I have a broken blood vessel or ingrown hair.

2008ish -Red spot grows larger – takes on pinkish color around the edges – Wife notices and does not approve – Isabel mentions that she does not like it. Because of the color I still do not suspect that I have a problem. I am thinking this is just part of the normal aging process and ignore my wife and daughter’s concerns.

2009 Summer – Notice that spot takes on a special “glow” after sun exposure and start to wonder if maybe I actually do need to get this checked out by a doctor. Wife insists that I get an appointment with dermatologist just to be safe.

Wednesday, October 7Th – Go see Dr James Bond (real name) dermatologist in Grapevine. He takes a small biopsy of spot and tells me the results will be back on Friday. At this time Bond or as he says his name “James Bond” says that he expects that he will have me back in to his office to cut or freeze of the spot (local anesthetic) if for no other reason than to make my wife happy. He says “doesn’t look like anything dangerous” – “no worries” as he finishes of another Martini.

Friday, October 10Th – Log on to Dr James Bond website to get prognosis and I see a message that I need to call their office immediately. I call and Bond is out to lunch. Later in the day as I am shopping at Walmart I get a call from Dr Bond’s office. A woman (named Domino) is on the line and she asks me if I am somewhere where I can talk. I tell Domino that I usually take my most important calls around the Walmart meat counter so she allows me time to shop my way over to that area of the store. She then proceeds to tell me that I have Melanoma cancer on my face and that I need to get this removed ASAP! Chills run down my spine and the knees start getting a little weak. I stumble over and lean on a trimmed brisket as she proceeds to ask me “do you know what Melanoma is?” I sputter —choke “Yes….I’ve heard it can be bad!” Shortness of breath now stomach churning, cold sweats.. I lay across the 80/20 ground beef and use a shoulder roast as a pillow. Domino tells me that James Bond does not remove Melanomas from the face and she gives me a long list of plastic surgeons in our area that they recommend to do the work. “You’ll need a plastic surgeon honey, cause they’re gonna have to cut you really deep” here is where I faint, only to wake up hours later with a “REDUCED FOR QUICK SALE” – “39 CENTS A POUND” sticker on my forehead.

———-
–Agonizing weekend with little to no information on my future on this earth. Volleyball team (Isabel’s) I am coaching loses all three games (now 0-6) and the parents are calling for my head. I contemplate casually dropping the “C” word to save my job, but decide to hold that card and mumble stuff about “strength of schedule” and “winning isn’t everything”. They will give me one more week to turn it around.

Wednesday October 14Th – Dr. Wright general surgeon – After calling the one thousand plastic surgeons that live in my area and finding out that they are on vacation or that they “don’t do insurance” or, even worse, “don’t do cancer”.  I make an appointment with a large burly general surgeon who I am glad to report is named Dr. Wright. I go see Dr. Wright at 3:30 expecting to have the procedure done in his office and then driving myself home…..NOT HAPPENIN’.  Dr Wright tells me I am wrong and informs me that I will need to be put under general anesthesia and have surgery at the Grapevine Surgery center. Wants to cut it out tomorrow morning….It’s on!!!!

Thursday October 15Th – Today – laying on my bed writing a long e-mail under the influence of painkiller and burning off a little of the general anesthesia. Face is sore. Head feels three feet thick (as opposed to the usual 2.5 feet). Still scared and not afraid to admit it. I did, however, enjoy writing this e-mail.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo here is what u need to do:
If you have not already, make an appointment with a dermatologist and have them check your whole body for skin cancer….might as well…10% of Melanomas occur in family clusters and our cluster is growing — Here is a scary stat that my wife threw down last night ” 4 out of the 6 men in the family have had cancer – not good odds – don’t be a fool GO GET CHECKED…

Just so you will not be so shocked when you see me next week I have attached this post-op picture of myself:


=Viewer discretion advised=

 

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Not bad eh!!!!!

I love you all,
Uncle Dave

Comments

  • I was wondering where you were, I missed you, Rechelle!

    Your bro-in-law is quite the cut-up, eh? Thank goodness he got that taken care of,and Lord have mercy, he sure looks good now!! hahahaha

  • Hilarious but with a really really important message. I lost my own uncle to melanoma that developed out of a forehead scar at 54. My mom is religious about getting checked and at 26 I’m ashamed to say I’m just making my first appointment.

  • Stephanie-Oh:

    Rechelle
    So glad Uncle Dave has kept his humor intact. Must have been a scary experience. Best wishes to him. Your family must have the corner on humor! I truly enjoy your blog. You keep me on my toes!!

  • jean:

    It is very scary and like most people I waited to get my odd patches checked out. The good news is that only one patch was cancer and they removed it. I’m glad to see that Uncle Dave still has his sense of humor and is looking good!

  • A great posting. Entertaining, educational, and cautionary all at the same time.

  • Bridget:

    Your family has the best sense of humor. And really that is the most important aspect in healing. I hope that everything works are for the best for Uncle Dave and that your family takes heed of his warning and gets checked. We just learned about melanoma in my Anatomy & Physiology class and it is serious business. So if there is a chance of having skin cancer this a time when being hyper vigilant is better than trying for the stoic route.

  • Well at least funny runs in the family too. I’m glad he finally got it taken care of.

    I have to take my mom to KC to have a basal cell carcinoma removed on Wednesday. Her regular dermatologist removed a silver dollar size chunk from that spot before and is sending her to a specialist this time around to be sure all those pesky edges get snipped.

    And now I’m googling skin cancer photos just to reassure myself that the hickey looking spot I’ve had for the past six years is nothing. I had it checked by a doctor at a skin cancer screening clinic but all this talk makes me suddenly nervous.

  • Stephanie:

    What an amazing family you have…an oracle and a supermodel(????) in the family…..truly funny story with a serious message….

  • MNStacey:

    I wish I could have his hilarious humor. I hope everything turns out well for him.

  • Southern Gal:

    Your brother-in-law is a hoot! The picture got me.

  • I did an entry linking to this.

  • Jennifer:

    I hope he heals well, and carries on cancer-free. I feel really lucky that my company sponsers head-to-toe skin cancer checks. They really are life savers! Thanks for posting this.

  • p:

    His positive attitude will carry him a long way in his healing. Not to mention his wicked sense of humor.

  • Love that humor!!!

    My sister had some melanomas removed from her face … and now her daughter is having one removed from her face.

    Since I am a male and born naturally ugly … I cover it all up with facial hair. Who knows what’s under there. It’s the moles, which my wife sees on my body, that worry her. I don’t have the genetic fur coat that some guys are born with to stay warm in winter (the kind where they trim the fur off at their shirt collar), so she is able to check my sides and back … besides, what I do have is turning light gray — making it easier to see through.

    I’ll consider having a chat with my Doc … even though he will chide me about my weight. *sigh* — gotta get more exercise and less food … :-p

  • Uncle Dave needs to get together with Trooper Bob who has to this date had 4 million six hundred fifty-seven thousand one hundred and ten melanoma surgeries. Nothing says Stacy Keach like having 1/2 your lip removed.

  • becky up the hill:

    Oh Dave..the part at the meat market made me lol..and the not finding a dr. who actually does dr. stuff..bless your heart and hope to hear good news later this week, tell that girl we need an update.

  • So glad they caught it, and more importantly thank goodness he has a light heart and a joke or two.

    That letter is tooo funny!

    I would love to see what his Christmas letter is like

  • So glad that your brother-in-law got checked and now will be able to heal. I’ve never seen him before but by the looks of his photo he’s well on his way to recovery! ;)

    He definitely has the right attitude! And you can tell he cares for his family. Sounds like a great guy, best wishes to him and your family!!

  • siltedrepose:

    I’d say your writing skills run in the family. That’s hilarious! Did you get his permission before posting?

  • Sherrill:

    Am currently watching my Dad go through skin cancer treatments – albeit not melanoma – he has squamous cell skin cancer… and has had 2 surgeries on his face and now has been fitted with his radiation mask… to undergo 6-8 wks of radiation. This is nothing to be casual about…

    Best of luck to Uncle Dave…

  • jancd:

    What a hilarious way to share such a serious event. I hope he continues to do well. My husband is continually having stuff burned and cut off his face, arms and hands and thankfully, so far, everything is managable. He goes every 6 months to be checked. He’s an old coach who has spent many hours outside and now at 65 is paying for it.

  • I wish Uncle Dave all the best for a speedy recovery! He’s got quite a wit and I’ve heard laughter is the best medicine. :)