You can find the history of this in Part I and Part II but today, with part III, I have weathered the surgery quite well and I’m doing the happy dance. Make that shuffle. I’ve just now shuffled into bed after sleeping on the sofa all afternoon. I highly recommend sleep as the best way to spend your first hours post surgery.(The unkindest cut: Rich takes a picture of me sleeping, with my mouth hanging open and the dewlap in full repose…)
As you know, I was dreading this procedure and in retrospect, I think it was because the first time I had surgery on my face it was just so extensive. This biopsy was also BCC of the infiltrative type so I was expecting the worst- a full blown forest of roots growing beneath the relatively small spot on the surface. It wasn’t so bad. (The moral of that is, “Don’t put off going to your dermatologist. The sooner you catch it, the less extensive it’s likely to be.”) Because I now scrutinize my skin constantly and go every 4-6 months for appointments, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of staying on top of it.
So, here’s a quick photo review of the day, with brief comments. I’ll follow up tomorrow with more (when I’ll probably feel worse because, if memory serves, the second day sucks) but tonight I’m going to watch 30 Rock and then read myself to sleep. If I last that long.
Waiting room, not smiling, not even sitting up straight. Xanax is starting to take effect. I like that it’s all done in Dr. Spencer’s comfortable and attractive office. It doesn’t smell like a hospital and I now know all the staff. Never wait for more than a few minutes. Today I met the perky woman who called with my biopsy results and I appreciated her happy and friendly manner. So now I apologize for being snappish about her overly cheerful initial report.La-la-la-la. A little pre-op discussion. I could care less. 1 mg of Xanax is working nicely. Kind Dr. Spencer is optimistic with the proviso that he won’t know for sure without path results. I should mention that we had earlier discussed radiation as an option, one that apparently has a good success rate. The downside? Every day for 30 days and it can dry up-permanently- the mucus membrane on the inside of your nose. Sounds a little too buckshot to me so I opt for the Mohs.Hand comes up in defensive move. What Xanax? You take the cap off that needle and I might pop you one…owowowowowow! Although he’s fast, smooth, gets down to business when it comes to shots. owowowowo. Times 12 total today.Here we go. If you watched that video I posted in Part II you remember that during Mohs surgery they start small, read the path report while you wait in a nice waiting room with snacks, and go back again as necessary until the margins are clear of cancer cells. It can take hours but it means the smallest possible excision with a high cure rate. Because we told Dr. Spencer that I was going to be posting about this and Rich was taking pictures, he was especially good about talking us through the details as he worked. Rich found it pretty fascinating and said it wasn’t nearly as harsh as that first one 6 years ago.
Nasty, but not really. He’s cauterized the edges. He does this by putting his instrument on the exact spot and then his assistant touches the other end and sends the electrical impulse through it. Makes for extreme precision. We like precision. Now it’s off to the waiting room. Dr. Spencer had three of us going at once but it all seems to move smoothly, in order and on schedule. I think I napped a bit while Rich watched CNN.Oh, crap. Not this again.Dr. Spencer’s cheat sheet from the path report so he knows where to make the second excision.Yippee. More shots and then it’s time to close. This, as he described it and Rich went over it later, is pretty interesting. He lifts the skin away from the underlying tissue and removes bits of underneath tissue, skin and what have you that might make for little lumps. In the process of doing that, the round hole sort of reshapes itself into a more natural oblong hole. Dr. Spencer described it as sort of ‘finding it’s own shape’ which then guides him in his repair stitching. I figure this is where the art part of this procedure comes in. We shall see.As delicate as this work is, it feels like he’s doing upholstery repair. Tug, pull, jerk, tug. Skin must be thick and tough.That’s it for today. All stitched up and ready to go home. Tomorrow, probably more swelling and bruising.
Hey. Thank you for all the encouragement and support. And the pot roast. Rich says it was delish. I haven’t tried it yet. I think 2 Advil and a glass of Chiefland Pure Florida Noble wine are just what the doctor ordered. Sleep well. I know I will.