Went to the dermatologist June 27 for a first-time...
Went to the dermatologist June 27 for a first-time evaluation. I realized that being a mom and getting older required me to take time out for my own well being and health. In my younger years, I admit that I used the tanning beds and laid out every summer to achieve that golden tan. Always burned the first few times with my freckled, light skin complexion and blue eyes.
About a year ago I noticed a "bump" like a clear cyst or whitehead pop up on the left side of my nose between the bridge of my nose and the corner of my eye. Managed to pop it, then it scabbed up and left a slightly raised circle with an indented center. I really thought nothing of it. Along with the sun spot damage on my chest I then mentioned the spot in question to the dermatologist because it really annoyed me when applying makeup, like I had to patch it. Thought that when I popped it, it just left a scar due to the thin tissue area. Needless to say I was in shock when she said she was doing a biopsy right then and there. Hearing the words "basal" and "2mm" quickly drew my attention. Going to college for nursing and have already taken medical terminology and A&P I and II, I knew what she was referring to. After she was done she handed me a pamphlet on Basal Cell Carcinoma and that it would be a week before I would hear back on the results. Sure enough it came back BCC and told me that they were referring me to Tyler, TX to have the MOHs micrographic surgery done. No other options were suggested due to the location of the BCC. The healing of the biopsy was amazing, looked like there was never anything there, but after a few weeks a brownish undertone color started to appear in the same spot. I then requested a copy of the lab report which stated it was both nodular and micronodular (showed specks of roots) and began my online research.
So in 2 days I'll be heading to Tyler and my nerves are beginning to kick in. I even thought of the possibly of postponing till Dec, but I'm sticking to the 31st. I'm not scared about having the procedure done or even the fact of it being cancer (which I am so thankful to God that it's not melanoma); my fear is about the amount of stitches that will be needed and worrying about whether a graft will be needed or not. So much uncertainty, going in not knowing the facts until after the fact. ????
I have 3 weeks before starting fall semester of college and I am so glad I found this site. To hear and see the photos of others that have had the same procedure has calmed some worrying. After looking at the before and after pictures on the internet...that really freaked me out! The area after removal look so deep and then going from a small spot to a huge (to me) line of stitches. I'm not one to be vain about my looks, had it been anywhere else on my body besides my face, I would not worry at all. After almost 18 years of marriage, I do try to hold on to my youth as long as possible!
Thank you all for sharing your experience and pictures. I will update often during this journey of the known and unknown.
Thought I'd post a pre-op photo.
Surgery over and Cancer Free!!!
31 Jul 2014
Day of treatment
Relieved that it is over! So thankful that it was only stage 1 and less stitches than I imagined. Dr. Meads and her assistant Alysia were amazing, I couldn't have received or asked for any better care. They were very attentive to my concerns and took time to answer every question I had.
The numbing part of course is the only painful part of the whole procedure. That's where the most of swelling came from. Only took her about 5 minutes to circle the darkened area of BCC and to cut it out. More longer lasting numbing injections were given (didn't feel those) and waited about 40 minutes for the tissue to be examined, which came back that all of the BCC was removed :)
Now for the reconstruction...she had me smile, crinkle my nose, and open my eyes wide to see how the skin moved to cut small dog ear cut on each side of the circle. Said that it followed my "bunny" line, which was complete opposite of the way I thought it would be. Dissolvable stitches were used inside and regular stitches on outer surface, which will be removed in one week (Aug. 7th). A small bandage was applied that has to be left on for 24 hours. Then 2x a day I have to clean with peroxide, apply Vaseline, and cover with bandaid. Also, apply ice pack for 15 minutes each hour I'm awake this evening and tomorrow till I remove bandage. I am also to sleep elevated tonight to help reduced the swelling.
The whole process took about 2 hours.
1 day post-op
Still have some swelling (can tell by the white blotched areas on skin) and so far no bruising. Woohoo!!! Was surprised when Dr. Meads called to see how I was doing and if I had any concerns or questions, to give them a call. While she was on the phone I took the bandage off and everything looked great. She was also glad that I had no bruising. It took several differnet sizes of bandaids and some custom trimming to get one to fit right. Not much pain, just tightness from the swelling but not bad. I do seem to be more tired than usual today, however it has also been gloomy outside all day.
7 day post-op and stitches removed :)
Finally got stitches removed. Seven days of faithfully cleaning 2x a day with peroxide, applying Vaseline, and covering with a bandaid has paid off. She said I no longer have to wear a bandaid or do anything to it unless, I would be doing yard work. However, I am still cleaning, applying Vaseline 2x a day, and only wearing bandaid at night to avoid any irritation. Due to the flash on the camera, it looks redder than in person. Still have some swelling that should subside within the next week and slight tenderness. Extremely happy with the out come so far, told it could take up to 3 months for full recovery. Included 9 day post-op to see less irritation and redness from having the stitches removed 2 days prior.