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Kisma
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec 2009

Hello there. I am new this site, but not ACS. I was looking for an online support group and checked further into this one before deciding to post.

I am a 7 year survivor and still fighting skin cancer. I am currently playing the waiting game on a biopsy that was done right before the holiday. I have had both melanoma and BCC. TO date I have 52 biopsies and five surerigies two that were MOHS.

I have my good days and bad days and I guess you could say this is a bad day and that's because its been a week and I heard nothing back. I just moved so I was referred to a new doctor whom I loved, but that doesn't change the fact that I hate these check ups. One never gets used to being a cutting board. I have done the full photo body imaging so the biopsy's aren't as frequent but they still happen due to my history.

I have two kids and a wonderful husband that is my biggest support, but I also know that its hard on him when I am beyond cranky and anything and everything sets me off and I cry at the drop of a hat. Every three months I go in for check ups and it really wears on me.

I noticed there are few people on here that have had MOHS... I would love to hear how your experience.. I had a wonderful doctor but really hate the whole experience.

gailaj
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2008

Hi there Kisma --
You probably already read my post about my Mohs surgery for basal cell under my eye (if not, see below - if you can't find it, let me know and I'll repeat it here), which was in October. It has healed very well, almost not noticeable, just looks like part of my usual under-eye "wrinkle"...I was lucky that I was biopsied and diagnosed and then scheduled for surgery quickly (after only a few weeks, was able to wrangle an appointment). My next checkup appointment is supposed to be in March.

I have also had one previous surgery, a wide local excision for a melanoma on my neck/shoulder, way back in 2003. No recurrence, appeared localized, not too deep. But have a nice scar from that too, but it has faded with time. (I also had a thyroidectomy in 2008 for thyroid cancer....also has not recurred. But all of this stuff makes you paranoid about what's next.)

But I hear you about it being very wearing to go in for checkups -- I feel the same way, and I have not had the amount of surgery that you have, so it must be worse for you. Hopefully the delay is due to holiday vacations, etc...even this last time, I found the most stressful part waiting for the biopsy results, and I called back in one week as they suggested, and got the results over the phone (thinking, d**it, of course it was positive). For some reason, the BCC was particularly upsetting for me -- because I had let it go too long (I was familiar with the melanoma signs, but not with basal, and had a derm that was not concerned about it when I pointed it out over a year ago), and I guess also because it was so visible (call me vain, but it was stressful to walk around with various forms of band-aids and pressure bandages under my eye for about a month -- I'm sure you can relate).

And I don't know if you've had this experience -- but I find that unless they've gone through it, many people are very dismissive about skin cancer, offering helpful advice like, "well at least you can cut it out"....as if it's not stressful to have someone cutting you up under any circumstances.......

Anyway....hope this helps, and thanks for letting me vent too. Hope you hear soon and can move forward to the next step (if there is one). Here's hoping for a healthy 2010 for us all! --Gail

Kisma
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec 2009

Gaiaj

I can relate to what you have said more then you know. I have had two MOHS procedures. One above my left eye and one on my right cheek. Both taken care of by a wonderful doctor. I just struggled with being awake for something like that and hearing everything so close to my face. I wore the pressure bandage and band-aides for about a month as well until everything was healed. The scars on my face are barley visible.

I have had several people make comments about how "its just skin cancer" and about came undone... I think cancer is a horrible thing no matter what kind you have. I am grateful that each time I have caught mine its been early enough that all I had to have done was a simply surgery to have it cut out, but I think what people fail to realize is just how painful that can be. Chemo and radiation is horrid and I pray I never have to endure it, but being a cutting board is no fun either.

I don't think people stop and think when it comes to those that suffer from cancer because they don't have it or know someone with it.

Thanks for the chat... it does help.

gailaj
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2008

Thank you too, Kisma. I think that sometimes people try to think of something positive to say instead of just listening, so we get these comments that make us crazier....

Happy new year, Gail

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