Post MOHS surgery x3- 5 days later

 

 

I have had so many people checking in on me over the last few days, I just wanted to say thank you so much. I am so grateful to have so many friends and family members who have taken the time to call or text, or order my family dinner, drop of gifts and goodies, bring me drinks or offer to go get me more pain meds when the ones prescribed to me just weren’t cutting it!

I thought I would update everyone real quick as to how it’s going! First off, I drove today! That was a pretty big deal, and probably just a little too soon. While, I’m not really in as much pain, I’m still babying the incision on my leg, it’s probably at the biggest risk of the stitches busting or becoming infected. It also seems that if I’m on it too much, my ankle and foot begin swelling…so for now, I’m still on the couch. Luckily I work from home and have plenty to keep me busy!

We changed all of the bandages on Sunday…even though I have pictures and I was there and knew full and well what was happening, it is still a shock to look in the mirror and see.

First was my head as this was the bandage that was bugging me the most, the tape was stuck in my hairline, so of course I lost more hair that I didn’t have to spare…I’m TRYING to let it grow again, but it seems like it’s just going to stay short. Anyway, overall it didn’t look too bad, and if I try to find a positive from it, it’s kind of like a mini botox or face lift or something….on one side of my forehead….wonder if I can get insurance to cover treatment for the other side? The incision site really never bothered me too terribly, unless I was laughing, yawning, eating, talking….ok, so I guess it did bother me, but I can assure you that the headaches were WAY worse. I don’t know if it was from all the numbing medicine or the tugging and pulling or both maybe, but I am talking full blown migraines. EVERYTHING

was getting to me, the light, noise, everything…and I was already cranky and tired…so it wasn’t good. 

In comparison, this was a much longer incision than my last MOHS on my forehead, 2 years ago….and interestingly it runs right into that first scar. This time my doctor chose to run my stitches in a line on my head rather than vertically like the previous doctor had, I’m interested to see how it heals and if it scars bad?

Why do I look so angry???

My leg was next, I was so scared to unwrap it, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I had feared, just have to remember to keep taking it very slow!

I know you’re probably looking at that and thinking I must be crazy, but really, I’m most concerned with that spot right in the middle opening up! There is a big indention that she warned me about, but I can live with that, the alternative was cutting a longer incision, down through the top of my foot. Um nope, indention is fine! The bruising wasn’t too bad when we checked this one on Sunday. It’s a bit more sore today, so I’m thinking, it’s probably beginning to bruise more.

Last was my chest, I don’t know why or what happened, but that tape would not budge. It had became one with my skin and did you know that the skin that’s kind of under your arm is the worst place in the world to have tape stuck to? Just don’t stick it there. Trust me. After 30 minutes of Kelsey taking a little off, waiting for me to stop screaming, then taking a little off…etc…OH and I almost forgot to mention the stitch that had somehow managed to weave itself into the tape…yeah, it’s a good thing Kelsey saw it before she ripped it off, that would not have been a pleasant moment.

Ok, there’s no sugar coating this one, it looks bad. It looks awful. The lighting is not good, but it’s yellow, and blue, and a little black, maybe brown…purple and did I mention red? And it hurts. And it’s swollen, it looks like I’m growing some weird thing off the side of my chest. And my poor skin is being pulled and tugged in ways it just wasn’t meant to. And one more thing I would like to address…because maybe someone will come up with some really cool answer to this…how on earth am I supposed to wear a bra?! And yes, I need to wear a bra…one because I was blessed in that area, and two because of the gravitational pull of the earth and kids, well lets just say my skin is getting even more abuse from the tightness and whatever. It’s awful, I can only walk around holding myself up for so long. I spent hours last night looking online for a post surgery bra. All I could find were ones for breast augmentation. Ugh. I don’t need that! I even looked into things like shoulder surgery, there were a few recommendations like strapless bras and camis, but again…that blessing I mentioned and strapless bras are of the devil. So, this morning I found a very old, very stretched out, cotton bra from Victorias Secret vintage 1990 and that is what is working. I’m not sure how long it’s going to last before it gives out though, it has seen better days. So if anyone has any good ideas, please let me know because I’m at a loss and I still have over a week before the stitches get to come out!

Anyway, that’s how I am. I’m so ready to get past this bump in the road and move on, but I think it’s going to take a little longer than I originally hoped! I will update you all again soon!

 

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!