Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] An owie in my armpit

One of the usually minor cumulative side effects of my years of cancer treatment is my fragile skin. I cut and bruise easily, do not heal well, have a constant litany of rashes and zits and minor infections. Plus my extreme sensitivity to pretty much any form of adhesive. For instance, a Band-Aid can cause an open sore in a matter of hours. It's not very pretty, and it doesn't always feel good, but that's life in Cancerland.

Sometimes one of the zits gets out of control and turns into something bigger and nastier. A month or two ago I had very minor outpatient surgery to remove an infected lump from my thigh caused by one of these metastasized zits. (Which, incidentally, also gave me a very painful open sore from the tape used to secure the post-operative dressing.) Over the course of the past four or five days, a zit in my armpit has developed into a large red knob with a bright red inflammation extending in a circle around it, about an inch in diameter.

So I went into my treating hospital's Family Medicine clinic yesterday to see their on-call doctor. I didn't want this to develop into something bigger and nastier, especially not with the holiday weekend coming up and its far more limited access to services. They poked and prodded and took a sample for culturing (painful, that last) and prescribed me Keflex, as well as frequent applications of heat.

So, yeah. I'm not sure if I currently meet the technical definition of "medically fragile", but I'm certainly in precarious health. As I'm seeking to enter clinical trials, the last thing I need is an ongoing infection. Not to mention which the whole business is irksome as hell. But in the grand scheme of my medical afflictions, this is almost the least of woes.

Still annoying.
Tags: cancer, health, personal

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