Monday, November 20, 2006

Chop Chop

So I finally had the surgery to remove the Basil Cell Skin Cancer from my ear this past Friday. I mentioned in an earlier post that the procedure the doctor was going to use to remove the cancer was called Mohs. They essentially slice the infected area then freeze the removed piece and slice it into very thin layers to analyze the tissue. If they find that no cancer exists in the bottom layer than you’re done, but if they find that the cancer still exists they will cut deeper. The time between cuts takes approximately 1 ½ hours; I had to be cut twice, so that meant that I was there for a little over 3 hours.

The whole experience was quite comical. My mother went with me because the doc said that I shouldn’t drive after the procedure. I'm not sure which was more dangerous, my mothers driving or the surgery. My wife stayed home to be with Amanda and to relax in her ninth month of pregnancy. I wish I had brought my video camera because the experience was laugh out loud hilarious, even though I didn’t make a peep in fear that I met get thrown out. You basically go to the doctors office where everyone in the waiting room is there for the same surgery, on different parts of their body of course. So it was 7am and people start to trickle into the waiting room. I would have to say that there were about 18 patients there when all was said and done. They all looked healthy and fine, a bit older. I must have been the youngest by at least 35 years. Again, everyone looked fine. All of a sudden the nurse starts to call us back one-by-one (I was the second called). You go back to where they perform the surgery, they take a picture of your ear, audio document it, analyze it, numb it, cut it, cauterize it, bandage it, then send you back into the waiting room for about an 1 ½ hours so that they can check the tissue. So again, I was the second one called back which meant that I was the second to return to the waiting room. The funny part was, me included in this, everyone that appeared healthy just 20 minutes ago started to return with bandages all over their faces obviously without various parts of their body. It was absolutely hilarious, you walk through this door looking spiffy and you come out looking like Frankenstein. People had multiple bandages on their face, some on their head, nose, ear (me), neck, cheek and brow. There were wives looking at their husbands and husbands looking at their wives thinking “Wow, your hideous, you’re not riding home in the same car as me”, they each grinned at each other and waited to see if they would be called back for a second round of slicing and dicing. Again, husbands praying for their wives and wives praying for their husbands not to have to go back to get butchered.

The Mohs surgery is probably the best procedure for skin cancer because there is very little scaring if done correctly, and this doctor did know what he was doing; he had the 3,576 diplomas, certificates and citations hanging on the wall to prove it. I asked him which frame smith he was keeping in business. I also asked him to stop cutting if he saw daylight on the other side of the wound.

They didn’t prescribe me any pain medication, damn, so I just took 800mg of Motrin to take the edge off. It’s Monday and I’m feeling great.


Anonymous said...

I am glad the procedure went well, too bad you didn't get some of that good stuff for the pain.

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Glad you came through with flying colors and are now pain free.


Anonymous said...

After having 15 mohs procedures, it works! But each one is as painful as the rest. Good luck, and hope this is your one and only.

amy flege said...

good to hear it all went well and that you are feeing great!!! whoo hoo!!

Kim Ayres said...

next time take a video camera then upload it to youtube and post it on your blog

BStrong said...

Rebecca – Thanks becca. I’m no junky but perks and vikes are welcomed for pain in my home.

Dori – Still a little pain but nothing major. I wish I was flying though;

Anon –Thanks for the visit. 15 Mohs, is there anything left of you? I think the most painful part was the needle to numb it.

Amy – Yes, “good to hear” thankfully I’m still able to.

Kim – What the? Next time? There will hopefully not be a next time. I understand what you’re saying though. PS. I think you gave my son your cold.

Karen said...

It's scary, even though the odds are excellent. But any time you have someone cut off parts of you it's scary. My ex had this and he's still fine; the Frankenstein scar went away and is barely noticeable now. Best of luck, and enjoy the Advil (seriously? they didn't give you anything else? not fair).

Jessica said...

Glad it went so well! I'm a wimp, I would have been begging for vicodin!

Michelle said...

Glad to hear the surgery went as well as could be expected - and this means they got it all?

She's really in her 9th month? already?!