Thursday, August 30, 2012


Yesterday was a long and stressful day. So much to do, so little time! I still had a hard time falling asleep just before midnight, thoughts swirling around...

First thing was my rescheduled appointment with the dermatologist. To tell you the truth, I haven't paid much attention to my nose since my last appointment. I was in for a bit of a shock...

The nurse who did the initial consultation had also taken pictures. Yesterday they took new pictures. The growth was at least three times BIGGER! In just a few weeks! I wish I had taken a new picture so you could see how big it got. Real ugly looking too! But like I said, I wasn't exactly paying attention to it that much.

Then the doctor came in, took one look at my nose and told me that is one classic Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Squamous? I was sure it was a Basal Cell Carcinoma?

I immediately felt a little chill. Squamous is a lot more serious then Basal. Squamous is the second most common type of skin cancer, Basal the most common and Melanoma the third.

What scares me about Squamous over Basal is that the cancer can spread to other organs and cause metastasis. I know I am going to be fine most likely, but I still can't help getting this creeping feeling in my body. What if? I think having a mom who died from skin cancer at only 24 years of age have me more spooked, of course. But hey; it is cancer after all.

So the plan is to go ahead with surgery on September 19th. The doctor will perform a MOHS surgery. This is the best treatment available and according to the doctor's web site, this is what I can expect:

The Day of Surgery

On your surgery day, we ask that you do not make any other appointments. Due to the detailed nature of the procedure, Mohs can take up the better part of the day. On occasion, you may need to return the next day. You are to eat your normal meals and take all of your normal medications. You do not need to fast or to discontinue the use of blood thinners unless the doctor instructs otherwise.

In the office, the surgical site will be inspected once again. The skin cancer area will be re-identified, photographed, and anesthetized with local anesthetic. First, the cancer obvious to the naked eye is removed along with a thin layer of skin from around the site. The tissue specimen is then immediately processed in our on-site Mohs laboratory. Patients are bandaged and permitted to relax in our private, comfortable MOHS lounge during this process.

The doctor will microscopically examine the specimen to identify and map any persistent cancer. Patients with persistent cancer have the procedure repeated, as required, and another layer is excised until the cancer is completely removed. The area where the cancer was removed is then repaired using the doctor's unique techniques developed to give the best cosmetic and functional outcome. Every effort is made to keep our patients comfortable, so repairs will either be on the same day or early the following day. In some cases, the patient is referred to a plastic surgeon for final wound repair. In each case, the doctor will advise the patient on the best option.

Points to remember:

·       Mohs surgery is a complex procedure, and you could be in our office for several hours, or in some cases, most of the day.

·       Patients can relax in our comfortable, private MOHS lounge within our office

·       Bring a sweater, a good book or Kindle and your laptop computer as we offer Wi-Fi internet service

·       We offer magazines, the Wall Street Journal, US News, and handheld DVD players w/ headsets and interesting videos

·       At our coffee bar, enjoy a variety of coffee& teas, including Vermont Green Mountain blend, bottled water and tea beverages along with healthy snacks.

·       Please bring a light lunch in case you stay with us. We do have cold storage available.

·       Plan on 7-10 days of restricted activity

After Surgery

Keep in mind there will be restrictions on activities for 7-14 days. Once your surgery is completed, we will review the care required for your surgery site and you will be given a set of written instructions on wound care from the doctor. As a convenience to our patients, we have specially prepared wound care kits available for purchase. You can expect to return to the office within 7-14 days for a suture removal or a wound check. This appointment will be scheduled before you leave our office.

That all sounds pretty good. But I definitely am not looking forward to the doctor carving a big hole in my nose!

This is how my nose looks like now, I took some pics when changing the bandage. This is just a little tiny hole after the biopsy; I can't even imagine how big it will be. But they said the doctor will work on closing up and stitching as good as she can.


 As I have said so many times over the years, WHY? Why do I get every freaking medical thing under the sun? It has been quite enough already, thank you very much...

 PS The test they did the first visit was just to confirm cancer cells, a scraping. The nurse was sure it was just a Basal  cancer at the time. I thought it was a done deal, that that was the diagnosis. But one look from the actual doctor changed that very quickly! I guess there is a difference between a doctor and a nurse after all, even though i think nurses often knows more than doctors...


1 comment:

Mrs Clapper said...

Inte roligt! Kommer tänka på dig och det KOMMER att gå så bra så. Stor kram!