As regular readers will remember, Jan had her brush with breast cancer a few months ago. And after some ups and downs, and a excisional biopsy/lumpectomy, everything turned out fine, with only more frequent mammograms needed in the future.
And now it’s my turn.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed a sore on my head that wasn’t going away, so about a week ago I took this head selfie.
Some internet research confirmed my suspicions that that it was almost certainly skin cancer. and based on how it felt, i.e., a raised edge and a depression in the center, I was pretty sure it was a squamous cell carcinoma, one of the two skin cancers that are eminently curable. The other one is a basal cell carcinoma. Melanoma is the really bad one.
So this past Monday, I made an appointment with a local dermatologist for an appointment at 2pm today. We met with a Physician’s Assistant named Mariah who checked me over carefully, looking for any other lesions other than the ones on my head.
To Jan’s relief, she did confirm my squamous cell diagnosis (well, the internet’s diagnosis, anyway) as much as she could until a lab confirms it. And she also confirmed my thought that white area in the lower left of the photo is a keratosis, an area that sometimes can evolve into skin cancer.
Then after checking me over, Mariah first used a freeze spray to burn off any slightly suspicious areas, including a couple on my nose. It stung a little, but wasn’t bad at all. She also took care of the keratosis at the same time.
Next, using a syringe with a very short needle, she deadened the area of the lesion, and using a scalpel, she removed a small section to send to the lab. Although I didn’t feel anything at the time, I did feel a burning sensation for a couple of hours after the anesthetic wore off.
Mariah said that in a week or so, after the lab confirmation, they will go in and do MOHS surgery on the lesion. MOHS is kind of a computerized freezing and sectioning of the carcinoma, looking at each sample until they no longer see any sign of cancer.
I then asked Mariah how deep they would go, and she said, “Until it’s all gone.”
The reason they didn’t do anything today is that Medicare will not pay for it until there is a lab diagnosis.
So here’s how I left the doctor’s office looking.
So now we just wait to hear from the doctor in the next week or so.
Coming home, Jan and I stopped at Martin’s for a few things before heading back to the rig.
Jan got her a Long Island Ice Tea (really misnamed because there is not tea in it.) And I had a Hurricane ‘Rita with an 1800 Tequila Shooter. Both very good.
And about halfway through my ‘Rita is when the burning on my head stopped.
Coincidence? I think not.
Tomorrow, the four of us are going to do a walk-in at the combination FMCA GLAMARAMA/Fleetwood Rally down in Goshen to check out the vendors and check-in with old friends.
Thought for the Day:
If you’re not part of the solution, there is good money in prolonging the problem.