This is just a page for me to share bits and pieces of my writing. It started when I completed a Master of Arts (writing and literature) at Deakin University so up to 2010 these posts were from course work. Now it's just whatever and whenever the fancy to write something takes hold.
For my blog about education see http://shartley.edublogs.org/
If you could change one part of your body what would it
be?Whenever I read that question in a
magazine I mentally answer, “My skin”.
I’m holed up for these beautiful spring school
holidays.I have what feels like a
massive gouge on my face so I’m in hiding.It was self-inflicted.Not by my
hand but by the hand of my dermatologist.
I met this dermatologist after the birth of my second
child.During my first pregnancy I had a
small red patch on my forehead and thought it was just one of those odd pregnancy
things and figured I was proven right because it diminished once the
baby was born.The spot returned for the
second pregnancy and never went away.After
a biopsy proved my little red patch was actually a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) the
dermatologist sent me to a cosmetic surgeon.It was over a centimetre in diameter.
I arrived quite nervous for my initial consultation with the cosmetic
surgeon which wasn’t made any better by the exclamation, “What
big pores you have” upon initial inspection of my face.I’d grown up with similar remarks about my
ears so now I felt like the Big Bad Wolf.It turned out I didn’t have frown lines which one would normally consider
to be a good thing but it meant there was nowhere to hide the scar that would
result from the surgery.
A few weeks later I came out of surgery looking like a car
accident victim with a bandage wrapped several times around my head and grogged
up on Mersyndol.I think they had to dig
deeper than originally intended.
Ten years later I still have a capital T on my forehead
despite the frown lines now present.I
have had quite a few BCCs removed and several ‘sun spots’ frozen off my face by
being blasted with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy), mainly around my hairline and
on my nose. ‘What a big nose you have’ I
think every time I inspect its large pores for sun damage.I commented recently to the dermatologist
that ‘sun spots’ was a rather generic term so what did he mean?Sun spots are actinic keratoses which
commonly result in BCCs or the more dangerous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and
are characterised by a small pink and scaly mark on the skin.
In the last few years I have developed little lumps around
my right cheekbone, like warts.Apparently
it is a sign of my middle-aged status.These bumps are an enlargement of the skin’s oil glands called sebaceous
hyperplasia.They aren’t dangerous but
they’re ugly.In a weak moment my
dermatologist offered to remove my more pronounced one.I say ‘weak moment’ because he’s always been against
any action for purely cosmetic purposes. He even refuses to give advice on
beauty creams beyond sunscreen.
This was a tough decision for me.I am vehemently against face-lifts, collagen
implants and the like.I believe we
should just accept our appearances and those of others.I hope I don’t judge people on their looks,
well not too much anyway. Yet I spend a
fortune on beauty products and won’t leave the house without makeup on.By allowing my dermatologist to take a
scalpel to my face for the sake of appearance only I feel I have blurred that
line I swore I wouldn’t cross.
So here I sit, less than 48 hours later, with a bloody
blotch on my face, hoping the scar won’t be worse than the lump, remembering the
cosmetic surgeon saying big pores result in big scars. I am petrified it won’t heal, guilty that I
acted out of ego and miserable at feeling trapped in my own home.I should be out frolicking in the sun…with a
big hat and sunscreen on, of course.
[Title of this post comes from Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1]