Now with more imiquimod

It’s so great to be alive! Long may it last.

I returned triumphant from the medicine man, who gave me an expensive and painful home treatment aginst the deathmark of the daystar, to stop it before the mark can develop into the consuming death curse.

Or in other words, the doctor confirmed that I had solar keratosis, skin damage caused by being out in the sunlight at various points in my past without sunscreen. (Probably some time ago, since I have avoided sunshine when possible lately to avoid migraines.) This keratosis can worsen over time and turn malignant, that is to say cancerous. Based on the size and appearance he was confident that we caught it in time, despite the appearance of a new blood vessel connecting to it. (Angiogenesis, the creation of new blood vessels, is one of several steps necessary for tumor-forming cancers. I remembered that from back when SuperWoman studied medicine in Germany. Well, also my tendency to remember weird stuff, as you may have noticed.)

The expensive and potentially somewhat painful remedy is imiquimod, which has nothing to do with iniquity (as far as I know) but was a treatment for genital and anal warts (why are these even in the same sentence everywhere) and then was discovered to also kill off skin cancers and pre-cancerous skin changes. It works by riling up the immune system locally, so killer cells attack any cells that look a bit weird. I hate it when people do that, but I guess for cells it is OK, as long as it stays local. When the immune system starts doing this all over the body, you get auto-immune diseases like lupus, which can be painful and even deadly. So this stuff is not something you wash down, it is something you put on your skin in the evening and wash off in the morning. It may still turn the spot red and tender or possibly even painful, but as they used to say in Eastern Europe: “Better red than dead.”

The doctor told me repeatedly that it was expensive, but it turned out to cost barely two full-price expansion packs for Sims 4. (OK, those are hilariously overpriced, but then they don’t treat or prevent cancer.) Medication and medical treatments are heavily subsidized in Norway, but they are not entirely free as some American socialists believe. There is a small copay so people don’t bother doctors and pharmacists on a lark. But there is a pretty low ceiling (approximately 6 expansion packs) on how much you can pay before you get an exemption card for the rest of the calendar year. I’ve had that a couple of times, but most years I don’t even have that much expenses. (I also don’t buy 6 expansion packs for EA games, but I totally would if they cured cancer.)

My next doctor appointment is in November, at which point we are supposed to see if the “sunspot” is gone. Look forward to it? (And possibly to a review of Sims 4 Cottage Living.)

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