Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Post Mohs Nose- 2 weeks post-op

Well, the surgi-strips fell off today- which was a momentus occasion as I finally got to wash my entire nose!!!! Although, this picture was taken this evening after a long day in the kitchen, so you aren't seeing what I saw this morning. I let the hubby see the post mohs nose before I did. He actually didn't notice the surgistrips were missing until I pointed it out. There was no sound this time so I quickly went and looked at myself. I can see how my nose looks different, but you can be the judge of the before and after mohs surgery nose. As you can see from the profile the dent in my nose is leveling out.... so we will see. Overall, I am pleased with my nose and Mohs Surgery.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Post-Mohs-Nose-or 1 Week later

I got my stitches out today. Only to get suristrips! The mohs doctor is only in town a couple of days a week. He didn't think the stitches should stay in until Thursday, but he wanted to put surgistrips on just in case. I have to go back on Thursday to see if I need new surgistrips. I was told under no circumstances should I rub it, touch it, or do anything else to it- which is quite a feat when you have toddler twins going buck wild around you all the time.

I feel much more relaxed about the process than I did a few days ago. As you can read in my previous entry, I thought that my post mohs nose looked like a Bejoran. I still do. In fact, a couple people I knew looked at the pics on this site and FREAKED out, which didn't help the self confidence. But, now I can laugh about it.

I took a couple of pictures today of the front and profile of my nose before the stitches were removed: As you can see, still an odd profile to the nose, but the scar looks good. And then here is the pic with my new surgistrips! Yeah!
I asked him about the nose profile. He told me it isn't so much that there is a dent. It is more that there is a bump on both ends of the scar where the tissue was pulled together. Basically, I had an elipse shaped wound. In order to pull the two widest edges together, it caused the skinnier ends to bunch up a bit. He said he will look at it again in 3 months to see how it healed. Possibly the bumps will settle down. If not, he said he can shave them down, but it will leave a bigger scar..... so we will see and I will keep you updated.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The First 3 Days

So, my surgery took almost 5 hours. If you are familiar with Mohs Surgery you will know why. Essentially, he took 1 huge chunk out. Then, 30 minutes later, took a small sliver, followed by another sliver, followed by a fourth. Then I got the all clear and he stitched me up. He felt confident that a plastic surgeon wasn't needed to do the close. The worst 2 parts were the repeated numbing shots needed for each layer that was removed and the AWFUL smell from the cauterization between each cut. Also, seeing the large chunk as it was removed from my nose wasn't wonderful either.

Oh, actually, I think my favorite part was the repeated blows to my nose's ego. First, he tried to reassure me by saying "it won't look any worse than the spot..." Then, he told me I had a bump on my nose and it gave him "extra room" to close the room whereas he may have needed to refer me if it hadn't been there. I was not to be "surprised if your nose is skinnier next time you see it"... uhmm I didn't know I had a bump and I liked my nose. The final blow was when he told the nurse to schedule me in three days for a new bandage because my nose was "too oily to hold on a bandage all week." My poor nose... it probably thought I was having it put down.

Yesterday I went back to get my new bandage and I got demoted to a bandaid.... which I prefer versus having the GIGANTIC cotton ball in my line of sight all the time. They told me to change it nightly and put Vaseline on it before applying a bandaid..... I don't like to put petroleum products (long story, whole other blog) on myself, so I am putting vitamin E on it.

The Moment of Truth came last night when, for the first time, I changed my bandaid and got to see my nose. I was looking at it head on in the mirror. Ugh. Swelling. No infection- that's good. I can see that my nose is skinnier. Still dealing with it when my hubby comes walking in. Looking at me from the side he made a sound. I can't really describe the sound. He swears that he did not make a sound, but I definitely heard a sound.
So, I freaked out. I took the profile picture (below)... and now I feel like I look like a Bejoran from Star Trek:TNG. I say this to my husband who replies, "Kyra was hot." He didn't understand why this was not the appropriate response. My sister hit the nail on the head, he apparently already realized I look like a Bejoran, came to grips with it, and decided it was okay before I even knew I looked like a Bejoran.

Anyway, we will have to see how this progresses.

A Place Where I Found Some Info

There is plenty of information online that will describe every scientific fact about Mohs Surgery.... however most of the pictures and other info online is for EXTREME cases. I was clearly not one of those. So, naturally, I was hesitant to take such drastic measures. In search of someone who had a similar experience, I found this site.

A Look At Me The Day Before

I know I am a few days late posting this.... but I wanted everyone to see what I was dealing with before my Mohs surgery. Actually, it would have been better if I had taken a photo a month before this one.... this one is after they shaved off a chunk of my nose to do the biopsy.
The spot that you see on my nose is far more visible than it was before the biopsy. If you look at the right (as in my right) side of the area, that is what the whole thing used to look like. I am not an especially vain person and I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. In fact, I thought it was a blackhead or something that had become scarred over time.
I have papillary thyroid cancer, so that has been my main concern for about 2 years. A year ago, I was having a treatment and the nuclear medicine techy asked me what I was doing about the spot on my nose..... my nose? Oh that.... it is just a zit..... and I didn't think about it again.
Then, in the beginning of the year I had an annual visit to the OB/GYN. Yeah! Anyway, as we were touching base he says to me- well insisted actually- that I needed to get that spot on my nose looked at. You mean the zit? No, he says, I mean the almost classic looking basal cell carcinoma on your nose! Oh, that- well why didn't you say so?
Anyway, he basically made me swear an oath that I would make an appointment, and soon. So, I started looking at docs in the area and asking friends. I live on the Coast of Southern Georgia so we have a lot of sun and A LOT of dermatologists. After researching and researching, I decided I didn't want to just get the thing burned off because if it was cancer it could actually continue growing. That led me to Mohn Surgery.... that led me to my doctor. (I am not going to publicly give out his name, but if you contact me I will give it to you.)
My biggest fear was that it was on the bridge of my nose, which is rather thin skinned versus the side of the nostril area. My ob/gyn had told me that the scar wouldn't look worse than the original spot. Mind you, I didn't really think the original spot looked that bad.... but I was still worried. Especially, when I couldn't find pictures of people who'd had Mohs surgery on a minor spot like mine on the bridge of their nose.
They shaved off the part of the spot you can see is missing.... four weeks later I get the call that suprise, suprise it is skin cancer. The lab actually said they believed it was squamous cell carcinoma.... however, once the doc removed it and looked at it himself he said it was basal cell. Then, I am thinking- well if it isn't melanoma is it really worth it? Then the nurse told me this awful story of a girl that had like 3 inches of her face eaten by this type of cancer.... the whole shock you into submission tale.
So, I set the appointment and hoped to heck I would still have some resemblance of a decent nose afterward.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I recently had Mohs surgery to remove a spot of basal cells on the bridge of my nose. As it was a small spot and I am only in my early 30s, I was hesitant to get it done. I had a very difficult time finding pictures online of what I would look like afterwards. Most of the pictures were of EXTREME cases or on other parts of the nose/face. I wanted information about the bridge of my nose, where the skin is less supple. Anyway, I took a before photo and will be taking pictures every few days/weeks so that everyone can see what it looks like and make the decision for themselves. Feel free to ask me questions or comment.