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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Skin Cancer and Me

I have been dreading today since September, that's seven months... Count them September, October, November, December, January, February, and March. That is a long time to be dreading something. Today was my appointment to have my basal cell carcinoma (the most common form of skin cancer)removed from my forehead. Now that my appointment is past and I have been through the surgery and stitches, I had good cause to stress for seven months. The site was a lot bigger than they originally thought. I had to go under the knife five times! In MOHs surgery they cut some skin and analyze it on the spot, which takes about 15 minutes, and then they keep cutting until they get it all. I had to go through that five times! It was a very long nightmare.

When all the cancer was finally removed there was a large section of my right lateral forehead missing. I didn't ask how many stitches it required to sew me up but I'm guessing at least 20! That's a lot. The doctor kept giving me lectures on how I shouldn't have postponed this surgery and now I realize I shouldn't have, but I think it wasn't my seven months of postponing that helped it grow that big, I think I have probably had that skin cancer for years and just didn't know it.

I have been going to the dermatologist for Rosacea and on one of my visits that is when they took a biopsy. What I am wondering is what if I hadn't been going to the dermatologist? It never would have been found. I am not educated in the skin cancer business and so I wouldn't have known that I had a troubled area.

I'm glad it is over with and fully convinced that if this ever happens again the earliest moment I can have the cancer removed I will be there. This has been an awful experience, and it isn't over yet. I have a very swollen head and the doctor says a black eye is on the way. I have an in depth way of cleaning the wound for the next couple of weeks until it heals and then I get to look forward to stitches removal! I'm very worried about the scar that will form because of this and so in the next couple of days when I'm not so swollen or in so much pain I am going to get a haircut which will include bangs (which I have never had) and so I am very nervous for that, but I'll do whatever it takes to hide the huge scar that is sure to come.

The moral of the story is WEAR SUNSCREEN! Be aware of what is going on with your body. If you see things on your skin that you aren't sure about go get them checked out. It is better earlier than later. You don't want to have a huge chunk of your skin taken out. Be safe!

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1 Comment:

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