And Now It’s My Turn . . .

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.

squamos cell carcinoma

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.

Bandaged Head

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 said after everything today, she needed an alcoholic beverage, so about 4:30, Nick and Terry, and Jan and I headed over to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

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.



20 Responses

  1. Hope they don’t have to go too deep to get it all. Glad you were astute enough to go to the doc before it grew any more.

  2. Greg,
    We will be thinking of you and hoping that they can get this removed easily.

    We are heading to Carthage, TX on Saturday to start on a new Gate Sunday morning…

    Hope to see y’all in the fall.

  3. Prayers going up, Greg! So, thankful that you went to the doctor and we can self-diagnosis from the internet…..early prevention for sure.

    Best Regards,


  4. Glad you got that looked at Greg. We might see you today at the rally as we’re going over too. And then to South Side Diner I’m sure.

  5. Bill had the Mohr’s surgery on his nose. They just make a small incision and then check it by lab work and take another incision and repeat until the lab result is goo.d. It took most of the day but the doctor’s office supplied lunch.

  6. Glad you got checked out and hope the resolution comes soon. That place on your head looks ugly! You and Jan sure deserved the adult beverages.

  7. I’ve heard of that surgery. Quite effective I understand. Take care.

  8. Hope all goes well with your MOHS procedure and hope the lesion is not too deep–good for you for staying on top of it!! Mike’s Dad Nat has had probably four or five MOHS–some really deep, some superficial. We will be thinking of you–Nat was 91 when he had his last one and did very well!

  9. Dave just had one of those (squamous cell) removed when we were in Houston. . .hopefully they’ll send you to a plastic surgeon like they did him. . .can’t even see where it was. . .his was pretty good sized too. . .wishing you all the best!

  10. So glad you caught this early enough that they will not have to go any deeper. I really think it is the hot food that makes your head sweat that is the problem. Otherwise, always wear a broad brimmed hat. Hugs anyway! Miss you and be safe out there.

  11. Greg,

    My cancer was DX as SCC-HN — (squamous cell carcinoma — head and neck).

    You are wise to get this looked at. My fingers are crossed. You might be asked to get a scan. Do it.

  12. Sending prayers that all is well after the tests are run and surgery done!!

  13. Thanks for sharing this with us…pray all will go well…not fun being cut on, etc. but hopefully they can keep you comfortable!! We too are in the age group to have to watch for such things. I have had several pre-cancers burnt off my face…they hesitated on one because it might leave a scar…but I told them, nope, don’t care…better not to have the cancer develop. It left a bit of a white area…but not bad.

  14. As with Jan, I will keep you in my prayers. Oh, and I’ll refrain from making smarty pants remarks about it being on your head. I’m sure Nick is taking care of that.

  15. Thoughts and prayers sent your way. Was wondering if you could tell us what gate guarding co. you work for and what you think of the job. Have been considering this for awhile. Many thanks Jim and Jan Swan

  16. The good news is you can still fix the stuff I break!

  17. I’m so glad you went in and had it checked. I worry about those things, and for me, so far so good. Meaning I have had a few small skin cancers that were cut off, but caught in plenty of time. We used to be such sun lovers and had no idea what we were doing to our skin. Thank goodness your lesion can be taken care of – and who cares how deep it is. As long as it’s gone when they’re done, right? 🙂

  18. Jan,

    We worked for Gate Guard Services that is headquartered in Corpus Christi.

    If you check the Green tabs at the top of our blog, just click on the Gate Guard Info tab, and it pretty much covers every thing.

  19. Well, actually, since it’s on the top of my head, I do kind of worry about how deep it goes. LOL

  20. Greg
    Sorry to hear this about what’s growing on your head.
    I have really been way behind reading the blog. My wife and I went out in our RV for a week after she went on summer break from her job with the Elementary School District, she works with Kindergarten Children. Before the useless teachers get to them and ruin them.LOL Any way I put her in the hospital last Tuesday for TKRS
    (Total Knee Replacement Surgery) The doctor said he was probably going to send her home after a week. WRONG he told her yesterday they were going to send her to rehab. Well that puts a big fly in the ointment.
    And while we were on our trip, I hit my right shin and it has developed into a raging case of cellulites again!
    Our prayers are with you on your head. Don’t let them dig to far they might break the vacuum.

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