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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Skin Cancer, Heart Attacks and The Big Payday

You may read "The Big Payday" and think about it as a clever euphamism for death, or going to live with Jesus, or whatever. However, in this instance, I mean the term literally. I have this insurance plan, you see, that is called "Critical Illness Insurance". To the best of my understanding, if I were to somehow acquire a "critical illness", such as cancer, or heart attack or stroke, I would get a check for $50,000.00. It's like a little mini-lottery for the ill.

I know it all sounds dour and gloomy, but here are my thoughts. If I were to have just a little heart attack - you know, enough to get me out of a couple weeks of work, get me serious about a diet/exercise regime and put a healthy injection into my bank account, that would be perfect. Heck, my mom had 6 or 7 of them and spent years being lackadaisical about it before they finally finished her off - I'm much more diligent and should be good for a single little one. I could just take some amphetamines or something and go jogging up the side of a mountain. That would probably be sufficient for a popped gasket. The problem with the heart-attack scenario is that there is no control valve. I could just as likely drop dead, which would kind of defeat the purpose of  The Big Payday. My kids would spend all the cash in a month and I'd still be deceased.

Strokes do not interest me - not only do you have zero control over severity, you also have no idea how your body will react. It could just droop one eye a little bit and make me smile like Elvis - which would be totally acceptable. On the other hand, I might lose movement in the entire right side of my body, walk like Igor and have to learn to masturbate with my left hand or foot. I pass.

This leaves my ace-in-the-hole. I have a tendancy to grow basal cell carcinoma on my skin. It's not a talent that will get me on television or anything, in fact most times it is taken care of, if caught early enough by putting a flourouracil cream on suspect areas. This cream is kind of a magic, cancer-eater and it devours the bad cells that are trying to take over your flesh. At first, the cream makes the affected areas appear as if they are sunburned, then it gets worse and you look as if you've been dragged on asphalt. Then you apply a magic healing cream and it all goes away and your skin is good as new.

I had to do this on my entire forehead, which is considerable - some might say awe-inspiring. The doctor treating me said "Your head is damaged way beyond its years..." I replied, "You should see it from the inside." I have also had this pre-cancer removed by freezing it off and cutting it out. There was a section the size of a fifty-cent piece removed from my left cheek which left my ability to grow symmetrical sideburns seriously derailed. Far more painful was when, during the treatment of my forehead with the cream, I rubbed the area in the night, then tucked my hands between my thighs as I slept. The next day, my testicles were on fire. It was as if I had been a victim of the old "Ben Gay in the jockstrap" prank. I went to the doctor and he told me that I should not touch my testicles after handling the cream. This would have been good knowledge to have beforehand and I wrote a letter to the medical center's board of directors suggesting so. I have since used "you should not touch my testicles after handling the cream" in several delicate peccadillos to varying reactions.

Mike Lyon asked me today what the name of the magic cream was - our conversation went thusly:

Lyon [10:06 AM]: what is your basil cell cream called?

Ford, Jerald [10:10 AM]: flouracile, I believe... not sure about the spelling

Lyon [10:11 AM]: is it black?

Ford, Jerald [10:12 AM]: nope, white as Tim Kempton.

Lyon [10:12 AM]: LOL

Ford, Jerald [10:17 AM]: Fluorouracil interferes with the growth of skin cells. Fluorouracil works by causing the death of cells which are growing fastest, such as abnormal skin cells.
Fluorouracil topical is used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses). Fluorouracil topical may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma.
Fluorouracil topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Ford, Jerald [10:19 AM]: "Wash your hands before and immediately after applying this medication, unless it is being used to treat a hand condition." - this should be followed by "AND DON'T PLAY WITH YOUR BALLS AFTER APPLYING CREAM."

Lyon [10:19 AM]: good to know

Ford, Jerald [10:20 AM]: yes, helpful. My balls would have been grateful. That, in turn, would have made me grateful.

Lyon [10:20 AM]: just told Jen

Ford, Jerald [10:21 AM]: good man. tell her about my balls? ...BTW... do you ever have a problem finding the exact spot to scratch when your balls itch? I do.  Must have something to do with the sheer acreage.

Lyon [10:22 AM]: I told her

Ford, Jerald [10:22 AM]: about the acreage of my nuts? It's actually quite something to behold.

Lyon [10:22 AM]: let's drop the subject now

Ford, Jerald [10:22 AM]: Majestic, even.

Lyon [10:22 AM]: getting uncomfortable

Lyon [10:22 AM]lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalal

But I digress.

I wanted this to be an educational post - and I hope no one who has lost a loved one to any of these diseases are offended. This is my way of dealing with potential trouble. That said, I really do encourage everyone to have their skin checked for abnormalities that could become troublesome. If you notice flaky areas, or little spots that don't seem to go away, just have them checked. It will most likely be nothing. If it does turn out to be something, you can usually have it taken care of easily if it isn't left to its own devises. In fact, I am having my ear worked on under the knife tomorrow and I have a hunch it's going to hurt like a bastard. But it could be a lot worse - it could be metastasized and I could a check for $50,000.00. Not really worth it.

And take your heart seriously - if my mother had done so, she might still be around and she was a delight.

I could certainly use fifty grand, but I don't think I need it that badly. And my nuts are majestic.

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