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My basal cell carcinoma/MOHs surgery story

So I found this slightly raised spot on the edge of my nostril. I thought it was some sort of blemish and it would go away. It was probably less than 1/8 the size of a pencil eraser. I have a history of skin cancer on both sides of my family, though neither parents have ever been diagnosed. After reading more about possible skin conditions I realized this could be some sort of skin cancer.

I haven't had a sunburn in over 15 years, I'm now 40. But, I did have 2 severe sunburns as a child involving blistering. The worst of which had a lot of blistering on this particular area of my nose. I am fair skinned, have hazel eyes and light hair. I had every strike against me....this was my wake up call to see a doctor. Below is my story:

My GP sent me to a dematologist. He had a hard time seeing the spot I was talking about. It took his magnifying glass and having me precisely point it out to him for him to see it. He even made the comment that he was surprised I even found this. He suggested a biopsy and I agreed. A week later I was in his office being diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma. He told me if I was to get cancer this was the best kind to get, but I had it in the worst possible place, along my nostril near the tip of my nose. He the referred me to a MOHs surgeon. MOHs surgery allows for the least amount of tissue removal and one of the highest success rates. This is because the MOHs surgeon is also trained in pathology. They remove tissue and are able to prep and view the slides for lingering cancer in the tissue removed while I wait. There is no removing of tissue, closing you up, and calling you a week later to tell you there is still cancer there and having to go back in. They are also trained in the closure and reconstruction of the facial areas.

I opted for the MOHs surgery.....

I had MOHs surgery on my nose just about 24 hrs ago(7-18-12). My Basal cell carcinoma was located right around my right nostril near the tip of my nose. My fear was that I would have to have my nostril reconstructed. This was not the case. They brought me to the back, numbed me up, and they removed tissue(the numbing was the most painful part, but was still tolerable...just a bit of burning and stingingmthatmwent away in about 30'secons).All of that took about 6-7 minutes. I was then bandaged up and sent to wait in the waiting room. About 35 minutes later they called me back to remove more tissue. They numbed me again, removed tissue and bandaged me up and sent me to wait again. About 45 minutes later I was called back to close it up. I was told that a graft was needed. They took skin from the side of the bridge of my nose and just pinched that area and stitched it together. They then stitched the graft in place. I was told I have 12 stitches. I cannot take my bandage off until 48 hours have lapsed. I was then told to clean it with soap and water or 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 water then cover the sutures with something like neopsporin and a band aid. Easier said than done...I'm not sure how I am going to place a band aid on my nostril. I was also to keep and sleep with my head elevated. By the time I arrived home I started feeling throbbing and a few sharp twinges. I took 2 extra strength Tylenol and applied ice. This was more than enough to take the edge off the pain. 6 hours later it was time for bed so I took to extra strength Tylenol pm and slept surprisingly well. A few toss and turns here and there but I felt rested. I took nothing for pain today(day 1 post-op). I did not realize when your body moves you can feel it in your nose(go figure). I am extremely afraid to see what my site will look like. I am only 40 and have always had a good complexion and am concious ofmthe way i look. I am freaking out about what my face is going to look like! I will keep an open mind and remember that healing takes time. I may post pictures later.

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