Basal Cell Carcinoma

PLEASE BE WARNED – DON”T READ IF YOU GET QUEASY EASY.  I have provided all the gory details.

It’s been a while since I have posted, but really wanted to write all this down before I forgot.  The comment on the other post at least forced me to sit down and write it all down, so I figure I’ll make an official post also.

Here’s a rundown of the whole story.

I had a small scab that wouldn’t heal.  Got it sampled.  Came back negative.  Still wouldn’t heal.  Went back a month later and sampled again.  This time basal cell and possibly squamish cell carcinoma – the two most basic and treatable forms of skin cancer.  It was smaller than a dime, but it was on my cheek and needed to be removed.

Since it was less than an inch from my eye and nose, they decided the mohs surgery was best. (If it would have been any other area, they would have possibly treated it differently.) I’m glad it was this treatment, though.

The MOHs surgery was basically an outpatient surgery.  I was awake the whole time.  They started early in the morning since it can take anywhere from 3-5+hrs.  They had me in a chair that laid back flat.  They then (the only part I really hate) had to poke me with a needle full of numbing medicines.  They have to poke a lot, but after the first one or two sticks, the rest are mostly already numb – they are just enlarging the numbed area.

The rest is how it is described to me since I couldn’t see and really would have passed out if I had (low tolerance to people cutting and sticking me with needles and knives.)

They cut out the bad area with about a 1-2mm radius around it.  He then immediately cauterized the area (nothing like the smell of burning flesh early in the morning), put a bandage on it and sent me out to the waiting room while he took the sample and analyzed it.  It took about an hr(standard time for this) before he had the results and he hadn’t gotten it all.

So they went in a 2nd time and I guess cut a little deeper. (of course I also had to get a few more shots of the numbing medicine since it had partially worn off in that time – did I mention I hated needles?) He then cauterized the area, put a bandage on again and sent me to the waiting room.  Again another hour wait.  That time, he came back and had diagnosed it as all gone.

Since he wanted me to heal with very minimal scarring and no stretching of my eye, nose or puckering of the skin, he had to cut a much larger area so that when he stitched me back together everything went back just fine.  He had a few internal stitches and around 15 external stitches that I had to come back a week later to get removed.

He gave me some sample scar creams and told me his favorite was the one online kelo-cote I believe it’s called.  I assume it’s working as the scar is healing really fast.

Once I got home, I had some bruising on my face around the area that was worked on (to be expected.)  It also took most of the day for the rest of the numbing medicine to wear off.

It itched a little the next day and that drove me crazy since I couldn’t scratch it.  Otherwise, I was given some Darvocet, but only took it the first two nights to make sure I slept through the night.  I didn’t really need it for pain during  the day.  Acetaminaphine worked just fine.

Some pictures can be seen at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/silentmenace/sets/72157619273932029/
showing all the gory details for those that haven’t seen them yet.

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The prognosis is: She’s a keeper!



The Doctors are in

Originally uploaded by silentmenace

Well, after a thorough exam from Ava and Bryn, it has been determined that Akela is a keeper. We got to pick her up on Friday and bring her over to the house. We’re still waiting for a visitor to drop by and do a house visit (our particular humane society does that,) but the girls love her. It’s definitely going to be a change, but it should be fun. She’s only 2, so she’s still got a little bit of the ‘jumpy’ puppy in her, but even when she knocks the girls down, they cry for a second and get right up and want to play with her again.

They actually followed her everywhere she went on the first day we got her home. I think she was about ready for some peace by the time they went to bed.

She got a few hours alone in the backyard yesterday and the neighbors said she was fine when I talked with them (that was their chance to complain about barking.) I’ve already gotten a few offers from neighborhood kids about walking or dogsitting so I guess that won’t be a problem if it’s ever needed.

All in all, a good time had by all. WIth all the walking she’s going to get us all in shape before it’s over with.

Harley Cat

He lived a nice long 12+ year life, but as of about 9:15PM tonight, Harley has moved on. He hasn’t been eating well lately and last night he was moping around more than usual. This morning when we got up, he basically was barely moving. He would stand, take one or two steps and then lay back down. Kim kept him comfy all day, but we knew if we tried to cage and take him to a vet, the trauma of that would kill him anyway – so we decided to just make him comfortable. It’s a sad day – as any pet that has lived for 12 years is truly a part of your life. More could probably be said, but I just don’t know what.

Skin Cancer – A strong likelyhood

Well, I’m feeling even more old now.  My body is falling apart.  For anyone that has seen me lately, the small spot (about the size of a thumbtack head) on my face still hasn’t healed. I finally broke down and went to a dermatologist yesterday. He thinks the same as I (and stuck me with a needle so he could take a chunk of skin as a sample to perform a biopsy with.) We are guessing either Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma.  I don’t like either, but I think it is still bothering me more about the fact that the treatment will involve them sticking my cheek with more needles and then taking slices of skin until they determine they have it all.  I guess it could be worse (and I still have to wait until next week to be sure that is even what it is.)

At least I now have insurance, even if it’s a high deductible…that means I will probably have to pay for the entire thing before insurance will really kick in.  I’m so excited…can’t wait 😦

Birthday Party

What a fun time. Last weekend we had a combined birthday party for Ava (now 4) and Bryn (now 2.) Kim did an incredible job organizing and getting it all pulled together.

Since Kim didn’t like the thought of a large number of folks at the house we decided on having it at Central Park in Forsyth.
When we got there, it was a wee bit chilly, but that didn’t stop the girls from having a blast. By the time everyone got there and we were ready to eat some pizza, the kids were exhausted. It was nice to see 7-8 little kids all just sitting around the table eating and not running around and creating havoc. They were so tired from playing on the playground all they could think about was eating.

2009 – A New Year

Wow. August. That was my last post. I’m such a slacker. But I’ve been having such a great time with the girls, that I haven’t really given much thought to writing down what’s happening. Work is depressing, so I’m not going to linger there.
Bryn has really developed over the past month. In December, she basically started to initiate potty training all by herself. She just walked up to Kim and said ‘pee-pee’ and when she seated her on the potty away she went. Now she’s just wearing a diaper at night for accidents.
Ava and Bryn both had a blast over Christmas. It was the first year they both truly figured out “hey, we get presents from Santa.” We’re still watching Rudolph and Frosty videos and singing the songs. It’s so much fun to see it so fresh and new considering it’s songs and videos I’ve seen now for over 30 years.
Anyhow, I know I should write more, but hey, at least I’ve written something. After all, who actually reads this? I figure I’ll just document it to have later in life.

2008 First Day of School

Well this ends Ava’s first week of school this year. She is attending 3 half days a week at Creekside elem. She did so well on her first day. She just marched right in, put her bags in the right spot and sat down to start her first activity. At the end of the day she had received an Excellent report.
Friday she wasn’t that good. When Kim went to get her, the teacher had to report some discipline issues as Ava was ‘backtalking’ the teacher.
That just means the threat of ‘if you misbehave at school you will get sassy sauce when you get home’. (sassy sauce just happens to be a non harmful form of punishment Ava can’t stand.) Hopefully it will work. Only time will tell.

CRASH!

Well, Ava got a huge knot in her head yesterday when she decided to stand up in the stroller while Kim went inside the garage and then proceeded to tumble head first into the concrete.  Let’s just say she hasn’t quite perfected her face to concrete technique as the concrete won in this instance and scored a bloodied nose and a knot on the head.  At least Kim didn’t freak out – she just called to verify that she should just monitor her behavior and kept an eye out for signs of a concussion.  That afternoon, it was as if nothing happened, other than a sore spot if she touched it.

Disney – Day 7 – Magic Kingdom

Well, the final day has come and gone.  We eventually rolled out of bed this morning and headed off to IHOP.  It was cool since they had the Horton has a Who pancake special.  It was pancakes with Red and Blue syrup and a lollipop on top.  Ava and Rebecca both got it (along with the green eggs and ham Rebecca ordered – yes, she actually ate it…ewww.)

This time when we arrived, we took the ferryboat across to the park.  Nothing special, it just took longer.  When we entered Rebecca and Kim decided to drop me, Ava and Bryn at the storytime with Belle while they went and rode Space Mountain.  I’m told its ‘boring’ now by Rebecca and she needs a bigger loopier coaster.  Ava and Bryn enjoyed the storytime once it started and they both got to meet her once it was over.  Ava really liked it.

From there we headed over to toon town where Ava got to experience her first real roller coaster.  It was designed for kids her size, but went really fast and twisted back and forth.  She loved it.  I had to drag her off of it so we could go a second time (she didn’t want to leave her seat.)  The second time, she rode with Rebecca and enjoyed it again.

We then played for a while in the play area (Bryn was loving life – it was just her size) and eventually slowed down the pace as we went over to the It’s a small world after all ride.

Once that was over we ended up in Frontier land where me and Ava ditched everyone and took the boat ride over to the Tom Sawyer area.  We had a blast walking through the underground tunnels and shooting guns out of the fort.  Ava really didn’t want to leave that area.  She would even run over the bouncing bridge without any care.

We ended up eating at the Pecos Bill cafe and when we finished we went next door to the general store for desert (Ava was asking for a sucker and we wanted chocolate of some kind.)  While we were there, we noticed they were clearing the road and our timing was perfect.  We walked out of the store and the big parade of the day was beginning.  We got to see the entire thing and had a good place to view it.

After the parade, we decided we had done enough for the day so we headed back to the room.  Later on it was dinner and souvenir shopping, and now we are crashing after a nice long, fun, last day.

**A minor editorial the Rebecca decided to include upon learning that I had been keeping a journal of our trip:

uncle heath is realy boring he does this just to show it of that he is at disney and all of yall ain’t    ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!!!  just joking  xoxo becca. 

Disney – Day 6 – Typhoon Lagoon

Well, first off, this was a water day, and I wasn’t going to damage a digital camera – so there are no pictures.  Otherwise, the day started out at a local breakfast buffet.  The food was only so-so, but let’s just say we did have a little excitement when Bryn filled up a diaper and then Kim went to take her to change and there was a blowout – all over Kim. 

So, back to the resort we went.  (We had to go back to change into bathing suits anyway.)

Once we arrived at the Lagoon, we went straight to the kiddie area.  Bryn loved to splash around and Ava discovered they had an innertube(sp?) ride just her size.  She rode it several times before we talked her into a break.  During the break, we went on the family tube ride.  It was me, Rebecca and Ava.  I don’t think Ava really enjoyed it since she kept getting water splashed on her head, but when it was over, she said she wanted to do it again so she did it with Kim and Rebecca.

Rebecca then took turns with Me and Kim doing the other two raft rides.  Kim then took Ava and Bryn to the tide pool and me and Rebecca went to the Slide tubes.  It was a long tube that you plunged straight down at around 30MPH only to splash to a stop at the bottom.  I was hesitant since I’m not a big fan of water, but I wasn’t about to chicken out on her.  We did it with no problems.

We returned to find Ava at her own water slide that she would slide to the bottom and then say “Let’s do it again” over and over and over.  She had to have ridden it over 50 times before we left the park.  I figured she would have to collapse before she would leave it.

After a small lunch we played in the sand and the wavepool some more.  The usual splashing around and getting wet in the sun.

Before we left, though, I finally wore down Rebecca and she agreed to snorkel in the shark tank with me.  We geared up and she grabbed my hand and we jumped on in.  You weren’t supposed to kick, so we hobbled along with one of her arms and one of my arms since the ones that were holding one another were useless.  We got to see a couple of stingrays, a leopard shark and a hammerhead shark.  There were also other salt water fish that kept getting in our faces.  You could tell they were used to people swimming in their tank.

When it was over, she went from “I’m not sure I want to do it” to “Let’s do it again.”  At that point, though, everyone was exhausted so we grabbed a funnel cake and went back to the room.  Ava and Bryn fell asleep on the way back, so Kim stayed with them in the car and I think all 3 of them slept out there for around 30-45min.

This evening we went to Downtown Disney and ate at the Rainforest Cafe again.  We did some window shopping, but didn’t really buy anything.  We got back to the room later than usual so everyone crashed hard.  It was at that point everyone got a laugh at me because my back had a nice bright red color to it.  I guess the sunscreen didn’t hold up to all the slides.

Tomorrow, a lazy day at the Magic Kingdom.