Light Notes

Cancer surgery has me looking like Rudolph

'Tis the season for a wish list and at the top of mine is a face-to-face talk with Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

We have plenty to chat about.

I have a red nose. A very shiny red nose. And although no one has laughed or called me names, I’ve had plenty of stares.

To put it mildly, I’ve felt Rudolph’s pain.

The first time was immediately after my Mohs surgery while I waited in the car at my grandson’s elementary school. Suddenly, I felt a presence glued to the van’s passenger window. Turning to look, I saw two big eyes and a nose pressed against the glass.

“What happened to your nose?” the little boy asked curiously as I rolled down the window.

Evidently it had been “show and tell” that morning and I’d been the “tell” part. Now, he was there for the show.

I began to engage him with the details of the skin-cancer operation, how they’d cut skin from the back of my ear and then sewn the graft onto my nose. The 6-year old blanched and then slowly moon-walked — sort of a Michael Jackson impersonation — to his mom’s waiting car.

Obviously, just like Rudolph’s plight, this kid wasn’t going to ask me to join in any games.

Since that reaction, I’ve been hoping to stay out of the public eye — avoid the nosy stares and not upset anyone’s appetite. Even so, I’ve scurried around town during off-hours trying to get my Christmas shopping done, only to find that friends I haven’t seen in 20 years are following me.

Everyone I talk to assures me that my nose will be “good as new” which sounds a lot like an item you want to drop off at Goodwill. It’s something no one wants to keep — even if it does glow.

Still, I can’t get my luminescent nose out of joint about this situation. On the positive side, come October I can always rent myself out as Halloween porch décor, if the healing doesn’t go well.

But this is December and I’m sporting a very shiny red nose for the holidays. I should just face up to it and put in an appearance at the mall, even pay a visit to Santa.

Maybe, like Rudolph, I’ll have a chance to go down in history, too.