After I got home, the bandaid came off. There is a good sized hole in my nose. I am reasonably sure the doctor used a jagged spoon for that biopsy. And its red, angry and really pissed off looking. And it hurts.
I start pouring over the internet looking for anything I can find on Basal Cell Carcinoma. I learn that if it’s on your face, they do a surgery called a MOHS Procedure. They numb the area with a local (like I had just had) and they take a thin layer of skin off. You are bandaged up and sent to the waiting room while a pathologist looks at the skin under a microscope to see if they got all the cancer cells. If they didn’t, they take you back and take a second more significant area of skin, bandage you up, send you to the waiting room and check it. Each one of those times is called a “stage.” Rinse and repeat until they get clear margins on the skin (no more cancer cells in the specimen.)
Okay, hold up. You are sent to the waiting room each time? YOU ARE AWAKE FOR THIS HELL?!?! These people are sadists!!!
After it is clear, the surgeon stitches it up. If its a significant area of skin removed and there isn’t enough skin to close it, then you are going to need a skin graft. That requires a plastic surgeon, and you will probably be put under for that part. And that may not take place the same day. You may have to come back another day. I am not kidding.
I then make the mistake of looking at pictures of this. I am horrified. Here is an example of a woman who has Basal Cell Carcinoma in almost the exact same place that is on my nose.
Picture #1 is the MOHS procedure. Picture #2 is with a forehead skin graft (called a forehead flap.) It stays like that until it’s created a blood flow to the hole its covering (usually about three weeks.) Picture #3 is after the graft has taken and the surgeon performs the magic. Picture #4 is the final result (typically about a year after the surgery.)
Of course, that’s the worst case scenario. I don’t even know if I even have Basal Cell Carcinoma. Maybe it is just eczema like I initially thought. Perhaps the doctor was wrong? Only the biopsy will tell. And I am a wreck while I am waiting for the results. I am hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. And my gut is going with the worst.
Why is the biopsy taking so LONG?!?!?
*Picture courtesy of Google Images*