Day 10 Post MOHS Surgery on My Nose

10 days after my surgery, 10 days.  It is funny how fast the days are going by, yet still how slow.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and I think, wow, that looks pretty good.  Other times, I see myself and just feel…sad.  I know it sounds so incredibly vain, but I do, I feel sad that I was once that young girl who felt it necessary to damage her body in order to make herself look a certain way so that she could FEEL a certain way.  And, now, here I am today…with this scar and this worry of wondering if I will constantly battle this?  The wound is healing well, it is sore and it is numb.  Sometimes it feels like a tickling on the tip of my nose, which drives me insane, sometimes I can’t feel it at all.  At the worst it’s a throbbing pain in the bridge of my nose, that radiates into a headache.  All of which my doctor says is normal and a sign that the nerves are healing.  Anyhow, this is it.  This is my last picture for a while.  I’m ready to put it behind me, the skin cancer, the surgery, the healing and the scars.  I am ready to move on with my life and quit defining myself by how dark I can be or in this case now, how noticable my scar is.  I am ready to be recognized for something more.

So here it is, no make up, raw and untouched.   Like I said, it is getting better, what you can’t see in this picture is how it pulls slightly at my nostril and how deeply it tucks in at that spot.  Only time will tell how that relaxes, and I guess I have nothing but time to wait and see!  There is a great quote by a novelist named Harry Crews…

“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.”
So, as this wound is now closed, so too is this chapter in my life.  Will I have other spots biopsied and removed, yes, of course.  However, I do not feel that any of the other ones will be as personal and scary as having my face cut on.
I will continue to advocate for safe tanning practices, and I will continue to harp on everyone I know (and don’t know) about sunscreen and for God’s sake STAY OUT OF TANNING BEDS!  But, for now, I am ready to move forward, I am ready to see what Leilani Tan brings me, and whatever other awesome adventures are out there.  Please, continue to write to me, please continue to share my story and please do not be afraid to ask me any question at all about my experience throughout this. From now on though, any pictures you see of me will be with a big, crooked smile (thanks to the skin cancer scar) on my face and my resilience and love for life shining through!

12 thoughts on “Day 10 Post MOHS Surgery on My Nose

  1. I just wanted to say that I am so thankful that you have shared your story! A friend of mine happened upon it over a month ago, only about a week before I was to undergo MOHS surgery on the side of my nose near my eye. I had googled the surgery and read up on it, but nothing that I saw truly prepared me for what I would undergo. I was a bit shocked at first, seeing the graphic pictures, and thought, “surely mine will not be that severe”. Although I was scared and nervous before my surgery, I think I was much better prepared for what I was about to endure after seeing your story in raw truth. Due to the placement of my basal cell, being in a concave area, I too, had to have extra cutting, cauterizing and extra stitches. I agree that the sound of cutting skin and the smell of it burning is awful and almost indescribable. I have kept up with your posts silently, but after reading your thoughts and feelings after your second surgery, I wanted to express that I can totally relate. I have felt vain myself on several occasions since my surgery, but know things could be so much worse, so try to keep them to myself. I also completely understand about the sensations you feel (or don’t feel) on your nose….I had trouble expressing exactly how it feels, but it seems you found just the right description. Mine is in such an irritating spot, that when I put on my sunglasses on or prescription glasses for work, it just aggravates me, as well as the area, and just makes me aware again of the destructiveness I inflicted upon myself in past years being in the sun without protection, and in the tanning beds as much as I could to be as dark as possible. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing, in such great detail, the story and pictures of such a difficult time in your life. I know many of my friends have decided to stay out of tanning beds and protect themselves while in the sun since seeing what all I have been through, as well as reading your story that I have share. Trust me I am preaching skin safety with you!! 🙂

  2. I had Mohs July 26th 2012 on my right upper lip which was basal. I had it best guess is 8 years. It popped up and looked just like a translucent pimple that looked like it has a white cauliflower texture to it. I would squeeze it and it would even pop and then heal up and be gone for months. It would then appear all over again of and on for 8 years. The whole time I just thought it was a clogged pore. I had a bcc on my neck in the past and the one on my lip didn’t look anything like it. I even asked my dermotogist about it and he dismissed it as a type of harmless wart. I went another year and it started to change. It became sore and red. I knew this wasn’t right and in the past if I popped it, it would go away but not this time. It bled and bled. I went to a different dermotogist and had her look at it and she said it was a mole and not cancer. I almost left and went home and something said no. I looked at her and said I want you to take it off. She shaved it off like it was a mole and sent it for a biopsy. 10 days later I get a call while on vacation to tell be it was bcc. She told me I needed a Mohs surgeon and then I freaked out because I knew having cancer on your lip for 8 years was bad. I had the surgery 3 weeks later.

    The bcc was still small the mohs surgeon thought but wouldn’t know until he cut. I remember when I got the shots how I felt my lip get huge and I felt it overlap my lower lip. I thought no way my lip will ever shrink back like it was. He made a cut and I went to the waiting room and waited. 45 mins later I was told I was clear on the first pass. I am so thankful to God for not letting it get big for 8 years it was there. I have a 1 inch scar now and get stitches out next week. I’m still sore and lip is still huge but he said in time it will go down. I hope I never have to do this again.

  3. This was so helpful, thank you for sharing your story. I’ll be having Moh’s surgery soon and wanted to see how the healing process might go

  4. Thank you for these posts. You have helped me in dealing with the disfiguring effects left behind after skin cancer surgery. I try not to think about it too much, but it never fails that I catch myself looking in the mirror and feeling sad, too. I am 42 and shocked at the reality that I have skin cancer so young. However, I need to realize that the cancer is gone and that I need to move on. I am only 6 days out my my mohs surgery and I am scheduled to have the wound looked at on Valentine’s Day. Hopefully it is a good outcome. I just feel like my life has been consumed by all of this.

    • As summer is coming back around, I am trying to take some time to catch up on this blog…I just saw your post. I hope that this response finds you cancer free and wonderfully healed. Please feel free to contact me anytime!! Best of luck to you!

  5. I am so thankful to have read your 10 day update. I am at day 8 in recovery with a VERY similar reconstruction from MOHS surgery. Tomorrow I get my stitches out and I am frankly making myself sick with apprehension of seeing the area. I made at a point to not look the area after MOHS before reconstruction and it has been bandaged every since the reconstruction with my plastic surgeon with only one changing at a check up and I refused to look then as well. The picture you posted has settled me. I pray that on day 10 mine will look at least as good as yours.

  6. I am currently following in your steps and keeping my own blog on my Mohs surgery. I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness yet relief in reading and seeing others experiences. It makes me feel a sense of not being alone in this and not the only one who has experienced this. I am having Mohs on a desmoplastic melanoma so unfortunately I won’t be having a singular scar line, I will have a circular skin graft. I would like to thank you for sharing your story.

  7. I had MOHS done on my upper nose in June 2013, the cancer had been there several years and I had always lazily and stupidly thought it was just a spot that was not healing. The MOHS was painless but I was more pyschologically affected after the reconstructive surgery (a flap was done). However, it healed nicely although in the following weeks I had tingling and numbness at the tip of my nose. This has gone now or has gone to that point that what remains doesn’t bother me. There is still a faint scar along the flap to remind me of the experience but overall I am just relieved the cancer hadn’t spread more. I’m not embarassed or ashamed about the tiny scar I just see it as part of who I am, another experience in my journey through life and was glad I could move on from it.

  8. Hello, my mother is having MOHS surgery in a few days and she’s very upset and thinks she will be very disfigured, I’m very upset just because she’s upset do you think that it will really leave horrible scars yours seem to be healing very nice

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