Earlier this year I noticed what looked like an ingrown hair on the back of my neck. When it didn’t go away after four months, I went to a doctor. She gave it a light squeeze and said it was nothing to worry about. I’d had ingrown hairs before and I know that they go away after a few weeks. Unsatisfied, I asked for a referral to a dermatologist.
The dermatologist looked at it, squeezed it and also said, it's nothing to worry about. He suggested, if I wanted, that he could take a biopsy and send it to the lab. That was what I wanted. So we did.
I got the call back that it was, in fact, squamous cell carcinoma and I needed to see another dermatologist to have it removed. She dug a giant hole in the back of my neck. In order to ensure removing the offending tissue in its entirety, they also remove a ‘margin of healthy tissue.’ In my case, she wanted to remove 4 millimeters all around.
Check out the hole in my neck, here.
I was instructed to keep Aquafor or Vaseline on the wound…
I tell people I’m a food purist. And I say I’m gastronomically conservative. Sometimes these terms are misunderstood. These terms that, as far as I know, I’ve made up; I don’t see them commonly used this way, but I could easily have picked them up subconsciously and adopted them. When something is so universally true, as I think food purism is, you often see the same or similar permutations of the concept showing up in different places. Anyway, being a food purist doesn’t mean that I only eat the foods that offer the best nutrition per calorie, or the foods with the highest antioxidant levels or the most enzymes or the least fat or the lowest glycemic index, etc. etc. That’s all popular science and I don’t get bogged down in it. All of that is changing constantly, anyway: One day eggs are good for you, the next day, you can only have whites, then they’re good for you again, then you find out they’re bad for you. Not that I’m saying anything about eggs right now, but this is just to ill…
I come from a sports background. After I got out of school, I no longer had an outlet for my athleticism so I got into dance. I felt it was a discipline that offered me a good physical challenge. I had considered going into boxing or martial arts, but I had a problem with the fighting mentality that pervaded. Being a dancer eventually led me to become an aerobics instructor, professionally.
This satisfied me for several years until I started to notice my body breaking down. I was in constant pain and it was not uncommon to see overuse and misuse injuries in my field.
So it was this that led me to Nia. I read about it as a practice that combined the best of all worlds. The martial arts barefoot practice of self discipline, the healing qualities and self awareness of Alexander and Feldenkrais, the spiritual connections of yoga and tai chi, the freedom and expression of modern and jazz dance.... it was perfect for me. It combined exercise with self improvement with healing.