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Not to worry

Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff  April 1, 2009 02:13 PM

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They told me this was a blog topic, but I didn't believe it. Now that I know it's true, I guess it's time to set the record straight.

I appeared on ESPN's "The Sports Reporters" on Sunday, March 8, as well as on "Around The Horn" on Monday, March 9, and in each case I looked like hell.

My face was red and cracked and,just plain yucky. I have been made aware that theories to account for this ranged from plastic surgery to an auto accident. Relax. It was nothing quite that drastic.

In the summer of 2007 I decided to have a dermatologist take a look at a couple of . . . let's call them "things" on my face and forehead. I mean, who wants skin cancer? The doctor was able to eliminate these particular "things" easily by zapping me with that freeze stuff, but she did say that, while those "things" were not cancerous, I was a candidate for skin cancer if I didn't remain careful.

She strongly recommended a procedure called "ALA," a laser deal. This is a preventive strike against skin cancer.

I had it, and you never knew it. The procedure took place on a Tuesday. It left my face red and sore and within a few days it began to peel. The peeling process was completed by Saturday night and I did a "Sports Reporters" five days after the procedure. No one said a word about my face.

On Tuesday, March 3, I had another one, a second preemptive strike. This time it also included spending five minutes in a thing called the "Blue Light," which was very unpleasant.

The doctor thought I might need a week to recover, but I figured, "Hey, it only took four days last time," and so I decided to keep my commitments to do "Sports Reporters" on Sunday and "Around The Horn" on Monday. As a bonus, I decided to keep a long-term commitment to moderate a panel at a Sports Symposium at MIT on Saturday.

Big mistake.

The doctor knew best. I should have listened to her. I wasn't much better by Saturday. The first person I ran into on my way into the building where the event was held was Mark Cuban. I'm surprised he didn't jump into a cab and head back to Dalllas on the spot.

So I did the panel and I did "Sports Reporters" and I did "Around The Horn," in part because I love doing the shows, in part to keep a commitment, and in part due to greed (got to be honest about that).

If I had to do it all over again, I never would have done those shows. It was unfair to the producers in question, as well as to the audience.

Now I must report to you that the procedure was a big success. My face is in better shape than it's been in years. And I would like to urge all you people out there who may have spent more time in the sun over the years than you realize to go get checked out. You, too, might benefit from an ALA. It's well worth a few days of moderate discomfort, during which, I can attest, you may look as if you've either had plastic surgery or been in an automobile accident.

But I promise you -- it beats the alternative.

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About bob ryan's blog Opinions, observations and anecdotes from Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.
Bob is an award-winning columnist for the Globe and the host of "Globe 10.0" on Boston.com.

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