Mohs surgery, part IV: 6 weeks later.

I know that I have been absent, conspicuously or not, but I meant to give a final followup on the Mohs surgery. I had thought about that because FC commented that his brother was having same and he was sending him over here. The Mohs surgery posts consistently receive the most hits and I think that’s because lots of folks are worried/curious/concerned about what’s involved.

I will say that for the first weeks following, although I took you right through the procedure, I didn’t feel much like putting a photo of myself up. To me, the incision was as clear as the nose on my face- in fact, it felt as though it was the whole of the nose on my face. Now it’s sort of settling into becoming just another small battle scar in the course of day-to-day life. For me, these BC carcinomas crop up all together too often but there are certainly many worse things in life.

I’m heading up to Asheville later this week to see the house, start to plan for kitchen renovation next February and consider the garden. I may rototill it this autumn and throw a few things in as part of the happy anticipation. I’ll take some photos and try to get a few posts up. I’ll be away from the wool that’s clogging up the works around here so that might leave a bit of time for writing.

Here then is an unretouched- sans makeup, complete with bad haircut- photo. I still have a nose. Dr. Spencer said it could take up to a year to fully resolve and I’m busy applying something called Kelocote, a kind of silicone sticky mess that aids in healing and reduces scar formation. But, if you look closely, you can see the white scars from previous surgeries: one right in the middle of my forehead coming onto the bridge of my nose (that one was huge, a full inch diameter down to the bone, and one on my left upper lip (right side in the photo) that was also very deep. The point is, they heal. And I can get these all touched up surgically, if I’m so inclined, which I’m not. And so, if you’re getting ready for Mohs and worried about it, there you go. If you have a spot and you haven’t tended to it, get to the dermatologist. It will all be okay. FC, how’s your brother doing?vicki


26 responses to “Mohs surgery, part IV: 6 weeks later.

  1. You are beautiful!

  2. You are looking GREAT!!

  3. This picture of you has made my day. Miss you a lot and I am glad that you are doing well

  4. I would say you are healing nicely.
    NOW–stay out of the sun…or wear lots of sun screen.

  5. Vicki, you look great and I love your beautiful, clear, piercing, intelligent eyes! You are healing very well, I’d say. Wear your hat!!

    Thanks for the comment tonight. As always – you’re the voice of reason and calm. I’ll be fine. I didn’t have much of a relationship with Martha; it came too late in life to develop easily or well (on my part, at least). I wish I could have felt closer to her, but I didn’t. I was gratified to learn how beloved she was by her current family and friends, when I attended her 85th birthday party last year. It is nice to know that I came from a compassionate, caring, loving woman and an equally nice man.

  6. You are so beautiful, Vicki. Really and truly beautiful. Can’t wait to hear more from you when you get time.

  7. Actually Vicki, you look incredible! Can’t actually see any scars and that’s NOT because I’m blind

  8. Beautiful photo. Did Rich take it? When you get back, I have some alpaca with your name on it. Safe journey!

  9. Great results. I agree completely that you don’t need any cosmetic procedure. Wonderful.

    Here’s the Web site for DuPont State Forest. You can click on “maps” to see the trails to the waterfalls. The hike to Hooker is simply a walk. There are hills involved in Triple and High Falls. We park at the Hooker Falls parking lot and cross the road to the trail to Triple.

    If you looked at the previous Looking Glass and Sliding Rock, they are off US 276 in Pisgah National Forest between Brevard and Waynesville. You don’t even have to walk a trail to get to them.

  10. Who would ever notice any scars with those eyes… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen eyes of “amber”… Liz Taylor’s violet eyes have nothing on you!

  11. You should be the Mohs Surgery poster girl. Wow. You look fantastic.

  12. Spectacular!
    Great pic by the way.

    My brother had a hell of a mohs day, they came and went 4 times so he was there from morning until evening.
    He has a really long incision 30 staples and stitches … but it’s mostly under his hair, so once that grows back, it should be pretty invisible.

  13. Hi Vicki,
    You look great!

    Call/e-mail me if you need anything while you’re in Asheville.

    BTW, I have a great contractor/renovator if you need: Mark at Rare Earth Builders:

  14. The eyes have it! But shouldn’t you be sporting a pretty green and white bow in that lovely head of hair?

  15. Good for you for sharing! You look wonderful! I too have had a Mohs procedure done–the only complaint the plastic surgeon had was that my skin was almost too taut to work with (I had it done in Phoenix where the median age of patients there was much older than I).

    The alternative was much worse than the scar.

  16. Your hair is so beautiful. I know you don’t like the cut, but I have to say the natural color is amazing. And looks terrific with your eyes. And I, like the previous commenter, don’t see the old scars. And the new one is healing beautifully. Miss you. I’m trying to convince my parents to let me drive them down to visit their snowbird friends who are leaving for Florida soon. Perhaps I’ll get to drop in for another visit and take a class or two. 🙂

  17. Beautiful and brave. You are so right to emphasize (and demonstrate) that taking care of yourself and looking good are not incompatible.

  18. Thank you for posting about your surgery and recovery. You have such a great spirit, and you look marvelous! Your story helped ease my mind.
    I had my first MOHs procedure on Wednesday (10-7-09). I had a BCC on my right cheek, very close to my eye. It was a simple removal, about the size of my pinkie fingertip; all bad cells came out on the first scraping. Unfortunately, before the procedure my surgeon noticed what I thought was a cyst on my nose. He biopsied the nose, then took care of my cheek. The cyst turned out to be a BCC too, so I will be having another surgery at the end of the month.
    It’s very comforting to see that others have gone through this and come out healthy and looking great.

  19. You look good there. I wish our Wolverines looked as good lately. Now I think you’re supposed to avoid direct sunlight, right? My mother-in-law went through the same type of surgery and she wore one of those big, floppy hats after that on sunny days. I’m sure they have plenty of selection, you living down south.

  20. Hi Vicki! I quite agree with those who have commented before me…. you are very brave and very beautiful…..very blessed, indeed, to have had an excellent Mohs surgeon. I had Mohs done on my nose on 7.28.09, with plastic surgery the following evening to “cure the defect”….. with not-so-wonderful results thus far. May need to have another procedure…. the plastic surgeon seems to have stuffed too much ear cartilage into the holes formed by the so-called “flaps” they use to close the defect.
    And he is offended that i am feeling like a cross between WC Fields and Frankenstein!

    I am very happy for you…. none of your scars a noticeable, and your natural beauty is a joy to behold! Best of luck and good health to you! And thank you for sharing… now i know what is possible…. and what i should expect………… Best wishes!

  21. Ditto, ditto, and ditto. You are beautiful my friend. I’m kicking myself for being such a late visitor to comment, and not being the first one to rave over those amber eyes. Glad you are faring well, and am green with envy over the whole Asheville adventure!

  22. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say thank you! Thank you for sharing, thank you for the incredibly lovely photo. I had Mohs on my forehead back in the early 90’s. I wear bangs so the scar is hidden. It wasn’t stitched, just left to heal. I also had Mohs on both sides of my nose close to two years ago. Healing (he did flaps) went well but without makeup ~ let me just say I do require makeup. Now I have a bcc on my cheek and face Mohs again. This time it’s going to be a larger area I suspect. But I am encouraged by you.

  23. Your eyebrows make you look like a Vulcan! >> Thats a compliment, I LOVE Star Trec!! Thanks for the post pretty lady.

    Love Long & Prosper!! 🙂

  24. Hello Vickie, first off, I just want to say you have a great website. Very interesting and informative.
    I was at the Picato website this morning after my regular 4 times a year visit to my dermatologist and found out that I will be under the gun again but this time with Picato. I had Mohs surgery in 2001 with a squamous Cell Carcinoma on the inside of my left ear. The procedure was done at the University of Texas Health Science Center here in San Antonio. I must say that the procedure was not at all a bad experience. In fact, I read in my e-reader most of the time during the procedure (with a 20 minute break such as you had). Unfortunately, I do have a visible small but shallow hole scare in the middle of my ear but I still have the ear! The team was prepared to do re-constructive surgery on the ear if necessary.
    But I must say after seeing all your photos your surgeons did a great job on all three procedures with hardly any visible scaring. Back to the Picato topic. Your detailed information on their blog is most informative. I will probably go back to the doctor in about 10 days to find out when I start this procedure. If there is anything else that you might and or can think of in reference to your experience with Picato it would be most helpful. I am really concerned about doing this as a good friend used the Efudex treatment and said it was worst than childbirth and will never do it again. If you don’t mind sharing through email that would be great, if not through email I can watch for a post on the Picato site. Again, all your posts were most helpful as well as your site.
    Ray in San Antonio,Tx

  25. Hello, you post interesting articles on your site, you deserve much more visits, just search in google
    for – augo’s tube traffic

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