Category Archives: Mohs surgery

What feckin’ lies beneath (Mohs surgery, Part I)

Despite the nature of my relationship with him, I really like my dermatologist. First off, he’s an expert in what ails me and the treatment for it, but also he’s friendly, on time and a straight shooter. That being said, I wish I never had to see his face again. His face, incidentally, has perfect, youthful, smooth skin. I went back for a spot on my nose, the same barely discernible spot I saw him for just after Christmas. At that time he whipped out the ‘hornets in a can’ extinguisher and said, “Let’s keep our fingers crossed.” Actually, I knew then, in the recesses of my brain, that that wasn’t going to work. This time he did a biopsy and it came back as more basal cell cancer, of the ‘infiltrative’ type. (Meaning that, although all I see now is a pinprick spot, it’s set up housekeeping under the surface, probably from my chin to my forehead.)

The one person I don’t like in his office is the young woman who calls to give biopsy results. I’ve never met her but she sounds like a cross between Paris Hilton and Shirley Temple. She calls while I’m in the checkout line at Publix and all in one breath says, “Is this Vicki Oh hi and how are you I’m calling with your biopsy results and it’s basal cell cancer and we need to set up an appointment for Dr. Spencer to just take that out so like I’m going to switch you over to like the scheduling person and we’ll see you soon and you have a lovely afternoon Bye!!!!” All in the chirpiest high pitched voice imaginable. To my mind, I would prefer some Irish matron (given the genetic origins of this curse) to call me up and say, “Ah shite, girl, the feckin’ mess is back. Soon nuff, yor face be lookin’ like a potato what’s been left in the bin too long!”

Later Abby called and I told her the news and she said, quite cheerfully, “Well, you still have both your breasts and if you need a skin graft I’ll give you one and then your nose will tan.” She’s a resilient optimistic type. Also, she’s right- I have very little to complain about because things could be much worse. Nevertheless, I would really like to complain about this as a mastery sort of process so I’m considering channeling my misery by writing a series of detailed posts about this particular episode and the Mohs surgery that I’ll have in 10 days- with lots of photographs. I’m thinking that this could actually be a public service sort of complaining because it might help someone get to the dermatologist and not stay home poking at a spot while blithely ignoring the implications- or not going because they are afraid to go. However, not wanting to gross out those of you who could do without the graphic details, I thought I might link to these posts in the sidebar. What do you think?

In other news, I’ve been away because we went north to Chicago for a week. A conference for Rich gave us a chance to stay in a nice hotel right on Michigan Ave. and see friends and then travel on up to visit with Bud. Unfortunately, and not to complain overly much in one post, Rich had brought back what was probably H1N1 on his return from a business trip the week before so I spent most of the week north and the following week with what we have been affectionately calling Swamp Flu. It was an upper respiratory crud that I knew I would get because it’s difficult for certain people to contain their germs as they roll around in bed whining, snorting, blowing and coughing like it’s the end of the world and please bring more homemade soup and some ice cream, too. I managed to not pass it along to anyone else because I have taken to heart how-to-cover your mouth and handwashing sequences on the national news, you’re very welcome.

After that, I got busy felting. The creative juices have been flowing and because, like everything else with me, that seems to happen in fits and starts, I try to take full advantage.¬†One area where I perform consistently well is in the kitchen and I’m feeling a little cramped in the galley style one here in our ‘winter vacation home’. While in Chicago I went to LuxeHome at the Merchandise Mart to do a little kitchen planning for the Asheville house. This is pure indulgent thinking but lots of fun. For example, here’s one I liked. I feel I could be an even better cook in a kitchen like this. If I can just convince the Lotto God. As soon as I get the Word I’ll start buying tickets. In the meantime I’m waiting to win the Wolf/SubZero kitchen sweepstakes.


Wrapping up, I have a wonderful YouTube for you. I’m bragging on Rich here. He’s been busy working on his “best of American communities” project with particular emphasis on high schools and colleges. He did this little pilot in collaboration with CBS and the National Federation of High Schools. I think you’ll like it.