March 1, 2021

Personal update & a word I never wanted to hear

So much of my thinking occurs while talking and typing.

I'm actually handwriting this. Some moments warrant the most careful attentiveness.

This last year has had many vulnerabilities for us all. My biggest one happened a couple weeks ago.

About five or six years ago, a little spot appeared on my face. It grew some and I assumed it was psoriasis. My dad has psoriasis. It looked like psoriasis. So I accepted that it was psoriasis.

It would get better in the summer. I would try endless creams. Then this summer, it nearly went away only to come back this winter and get larger. It also stayed open like a wound that wouldn't close. I feel a little nauseous even seeing these words.

I set up a dermatology appointment. And when he saw the spot, he immediately said, “that's not psoriasis. It's cancer.” Two weeks later, I was in surgery where they removed a quarter size hole from my cheek. The good news was that it was basal cell and not melanoma. Thankfully this kind of surgery allowed microscopic evaluation while you are numbed up. They didn't get it all the first time because they take as little of your face as they have to.

So they had to cut again. Yes, my face was numb but I could hear every sound as it was by my ear. They removed a nine centimeter oval from my left cheek.

I have stitches from my ear, which the surgeon said that I was fortunate to keep, down my cheek at a length longer than my index finger.

For me, the issue isn't cosmetic. I know I'm beautiful. I gotta laugh somewhere in this.

The issue is the betrayal of my body that I seek to cake take care of. The issue is the vulnerability of the future that I dream so vividly about. Do I feel hopeless? No. I'm excited about the future. Excited about my work capacity. Excited about the vision and what we're doing with SightShift. Excited for the milestones of my children and the dreams I have with my wife. (I did cry at my 2nd daughter getting her license this last week but it was good tears.) I'm excited also because it was basal cell carcinoma and not the other kinds. Now there's an indention on my cheek, but at the same time, I know I'm fortunate. I just still feel shock more than anything when I look in the mirror.

I did have another biopsy done a piece of skin from my chest that I still don't know about. And that's how this is gonna be. 

A lot to learn. Some uncertainty. And more passion than ever. 

There were already big changes that we were about to go public with regarding SightShift. My personal news hasn't slowed that down or changed it. Wildly it's just made me more excited. 

Thanks for listening.