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John better, now it's me!

Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2009

John is much better mentally and emotionally since talking to the social worker a week ago. I am more relieved after ready many of your postings since I know I am not alone in worrying.
But, now we add my problem, which has John's mind off of his, for now. I had MOHS surgery for basal cell carcinoma on my right cheek yesterday. It was a lesion the size of a dime. I thought, no problem, just get it off. Well, seems like what you saw on the surface was just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Our daughter took me and was my comfort during this procedure since John was not up to it. It took 4 1/2 hours. It was far more extensive than I ever imagined. I now have a scar that goes from the outside right corner of my right eye, all the way under my right eye to about 3/4 inch from my nose and then straight down my cheek for about 2 inchs. Looks like a weird question mark. My daughter saw a picture of the gaping hole left after the cancer was removed and before the stitching. She said it was a miracle they could even close it as well as they did. I was awake, but numbed, during the procedure. The doctor was wonderful and even called to see if I was okay last night. I kept telling him all through the surgery when he was apologizing for how large it was that at least it was not my esophagus, like my poor John. I maybe frightening looking for as long as a year, but my cheek is now cancer free. No chemo, no radiation. For this, I am thankful.


ndmp's picture
Posts: 38
Joined: Jan 2009


Just the other day, I was watching the news and a very brief story came on about a dr. who had melanoma came on, he was given 6 weeks to live and he created his own treatment for the disease and has been cancer free for 9 years.

Dr. Stephen Cantrell medical director of Neo Plas Inovation
website www.neoplas.org

don't know if this will help but it is worth a try,

My best to you

Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Nicole,

I am very thankful that this was not melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is not malignant, but it can spread and be destructive to tissue none the less. The dermatologist told me that if you have to get cancer, this is the best kind to get. Great. BUT, this stems from me playing in the sun as a child. I am 60 years old! Who would have thought? I do not lay on the beach or anything, but I like to go fishing. You better believe that I will load myself up, especially my face, with sunscreen.

I wish they would ban tanning salons though. People do not realize the price they could pay for that tan!


mumphy's picture
Posts: 486
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Lee,

Just read your post and I'm sorry about how much they had to remove. I hope the scar won't be so bad. I am glad that it was only Basal cell but you still will have to be careful as you know. I liked what you said to the Dr. about not being esophageal cancer
I'm sure he didn't know what to say.

Stay strong, get better!!
God Bless!

Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Kath,

The doctor kept apologizing as he was removing more and more tissue and he would talk to bme while doing this. I told him my husband was also a patient at Fox Chase with esophageal cancer. He knew about the 5 week radiation/chemo regimen. I told him at least I did not have that and I also told him about a story I had read on MSN before going to Fox Chase about a poor 15 year old boy who had been doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire by the kid he had reported to the police for stealing his Dad's custom bicycle. I said, at lease I am not that poor boy either. You just have to put things into perspective. Of course, I was scared because it was so close to my eye. He kept telling me that I was a real patient patient. Great doctor. I just saw my scar tonight after removing the bandages. It is not too bad. Not what I wanted, but it could be worse. John said what you see first is my eye because it is all swollen and a variable rainbow of blues and violets and reds! But, there is no cancer. I agree with you in that I still have to be careful because I was told that once you have basal cell it can reappear anywhere. I told the doctor I hope it is not on the other side on my face!

Thanks for making me feel better! And John was busy worrying about me that for a bit he forgot his problem. He became the caregiver for a day.


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