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A dueling scar in the sun.
Jim Broede
Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014 11:09 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I’ve been expecting. A little bit of skin cancer. Sooner or later. For my youthful indiscretions. Sitting in the sunny bleachers. At Wrigley Field. In Chicago. Watching the Cubs play baseball, or an imitation thereof. Then there were three years of blistering sunburns. While living in sunny Vero Beach. On the Atlantic coast of Florida. Strolling the beach. Almost daily.
 
So, no surprise. This past week, I was introduced to Dr. Whitney D. Tope. At the Academic Dermatology Center. He excises skin cancers. In expert fashion. He’s done tens of thousands of procedures. Called Mohs micrographic surgery.  The name comes from ‘micro,’ for the use of a microscope to examine tissue. And ‘graphic,’ for the detailed map of the tumor.  The map is examined microscopically on the same day of the surgery. Leaving very little room for error. Enough for the technical stuff.
 
I’ll have a facial scar. Around my left temple. That’s all right. Even a plus. Because I’ve concocted a story. About a duel. With sabers.  Precipitated by a guy who dared besmirch the good name of my Italian true love. The scar. A price worth paying. For avenging the slur. Anyway, I got the best of it. The guy’s funeral was last Sunday.  Believe it or not.

 Meanwhile, I’m counting the stitches. Seventeen, in all. To close the surgical incision – err, I mean saber wound.
 
I’m reminiscing. About the experience. In Dr. Tope’s clinic. Having met nurses and doctor’s assistants. Megan, Chris, Mary, Sam (for Samantha, I presume).  All nice and congenial people. Implored to verify the ‘truth’ of my alleged dueling escapade.
 
Megan. The nurse that checked me in. Gathered my personal data. Gave her my truthful history. Including how I met my Italian true love. And how we cultivated our loving relationship. Flitting back and forth. Between Sardinia and Minnesota. For seven years now.
 
Lo and behold, the recently married Megan is leaving soon.  On her honeymoon. In, of all places, Italy. Flying to Venice. I waste no time. Clueing Megan in. On the wonders of Italia. Go. Go. Go, I tell her. Off the beaten track. To quaint little villages in the Italian Alps. Sutrio. Marlengo.  And not least, to Sardinia. The Mediterranean island paradise. With 1,200 miles of coastline.
 
But be careful, I caution. Not too much sun. And use a good high-numbered sun block. –Jim