6.29.2018

Skin Cancer Chronicles

Yesterday I had my surgery to get my skin cancer removed.
There was more cancer than my doctor originally thought, but he got it all after a couple tries & had to go deeper than we wanted just to be sure. 

I took this photo a few hours after my surgery.
Pardon my red rimmed eyes, I had a lot of tears post surgery yesterday afternoon. 
Not from the pain but because they gave me a mirror before they bandaged me up. 
I was not emotionally prepared to see that. 
IT.WAS.AWFUL. 
Like, part of my nose is gone. 
He says it will take awhile to heal....4-6 weeks of being bandaged up & hopefully I won’t need a skin graph& plastic surgery. I really, really, really don't want that.

 I have gotten questions about how I knew it was skin cancer.
I go every year for a skin check & I am very aware of my skin.
It was small, like if someone took a marker and put a dot on my nose.
It was just a dry patch that size on my nose that wouldn’t go away.
My dermatologist froze it off last year (we thought it was pre cancerous) and it came back a few months later so I had a feeling it was a basal cell so my dr biopsied it when I had my skin check 2 weeks ago. Came back as basal cell.
The section that they had to remove was SO MUCH WIDER and DEEPER than I could have imagined based on the small spot that was on my nose.

I have had 2 basal cell skin cancers removed from my back & shoulder, but this was SO MUCH WORSE.

The method they use for skin cancer on your face is called the MOHS surgery.
You are awake & they numbed my nose.
They take off layers of your skin, where the skin cancer is, but them under the microscope to see if there is cancer, cauterized my nose to stop the bleeding (so that was fun to smell my burning flesh. BARF) You have to wait an hour each time for them to check the cells and then Repeat the process until there is no more cancer showing up. It leaves you with a wide open gaping hole on your face that takes 4-6 weeks to heal. NOT FUN.

Sorry to share all this, but if I can help someone avoid this by sharing my story, then I've done my part.
I try to keep it positive & upbeat here, but I also want to keep it real.
This is my reality right now and it is not sunshine & roses, but I want to educate others so you (or your kids) don't have to go through what I did.
My doctor also said it's not just people who are fair skinned who get skin cancer.
He has done this surgery on African Americas, Asians, Hispanics, Caucasians, Mixed Races....all ethnicities!

In case you need another reminder: GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED & WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Love,
Mel the White Nosed Reindeer

10 comments:

  1. Thinking of your and hope that everything heals well! Thanks for spreading the word about skin cancer. I had a very small melanoma spot on my leg 3 years ago that lead to a huge incision at 40 and many, many precancerous spots all over my body. Hopefully, spreading the word will help educate others, especially parents to instill good sun habits for their children. BTW Coolibar has a lot of amazing clothing/swim wear. I am now the person at the pool and when in the sun in swim pants, long sleeve swim suit, and a huge floppy hat. And of course always looking for shade.

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  2. Prayers for a complete healing without further procedures! Thank you for sharing - I will get my skin check and be way more mindful about applying sunscreen to my daughter.

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  3. Prayers for quick healing Mel. So sorry you are having to go through this.

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  4. My father had the MOHS procedure done on him a few times.
    I pray that all goes well.

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  5. Thank God they got it all and that it was detected. Sending prayers for a speedy recovery!

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  6. You have convinced me to go~
    Thank you ~ and I am praying for you.

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  7. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I had the MOhs surgery last year on my face. 16 stitches for a tiny little dry patch that I didn’t even know was there that ended up basal cell. The derm found it. Yearly skin checks for sure!!!!

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  8. First, prayers for a quick and painless recovery. You are a strong lady, you will get through this. Second, thank you so much for posting this invaluable and truthful information about your experience. Just made my appointment to get my skin checked. This is no joke. We must take it more seriously living in Cali and having fair skin puts us in the top risk tier. Thank you again.

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  9. My oldest daughter had melanoma surgery (complete anesthesia) on her leg 18 months ago. She was recovering from ACL surgery when we noticed it so in affect tearing her ACL probably saved her life!!!

    She has to see an oncologist for another year then hopefully she is in the clear!

    Hugs,
    Trisha

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