Around a year ago, my son commented that I had a pimple on my forehead. It was true, there was a blemish there that would not go away....
It took a year or so (two years?) before I made an appointment to see a dermatologist, who didn't need a microscope to diagnose the "spot", or lesion: a basal cell carcinoma.
I hurried home from the dermatologist, to begin googling the diagnosis. Dumb, dumb, dumb, for the images we're horrifying to me.
Meantime, I went in for surgery...
You can just spot the growth in the upper center, about an inch from my hairline. (To read all of the posts I've written on skin cancer, click here) The photo, below, was taken 8 hours after surgery. Two days later, factoring in the swelling, things looked much worse. (I hear things will look much better soon!)
I realize that the surgery looks "highly invasive"! But when we got the lab reports back, I learned just how spread out the cancer was. I even asked the doctor if he was sure to have gotten it all out. Note: Here in France, Mohs surgery (in which little bits of skin are removed, then tested--so as to avoid invasive surgery) is not easily available. The alternative is to take out a greater amount of skin.
This photo was taken last week (end of November, 2011), ten weeks after surgery. I trust the scar will continue to fade. It is a bit raised, in the center. I continue to massage the tissue, in order to break down the build-up. I am also using a silicon patch (or should be... just where did I put that...)
(Update: While my forehead was healing, I found out that the "spot" on the side of my nose needed to come off. Why had I let it sit there for nearly 4 years?! It turned out to be another basal cell carcinoma (photo of the nose stitches, here). A third spot, on the tip of my nose, was biopsied a year after that, in 2013. Good news this time... it was only a papul.)
Continued from Nov 2011: This post need updating. In a nutshell the past 10 weeks have been an emotional roller-coaster. To take my mind off of the slow healing surgical wound, I concentrated on a 21-Day book publishing challenge. While this helped a lot, my mind went right back to my face (where I began to focus on another "spot". This time on the side of my nose... see the note above). Will update on that in a future edition. Thanks for your caring notes!
Here is a letter I received from Mom, who is determined to "read into" the "H" mark on my forehead (please excuse the ALL CAPS - but you know how Moms can turn emotion into enthusiasm:!)
WE ARE ATTACHED FOREVER BY THE DOUBLE CROSS - WHICH REPRESENTS OUR RELATIONSHIP TO ONE ANOTHER AS WE HOLD HANDS AND FORM THIS LETTER... WHICH STANDS FOR OUR HOLINESS.
I can feel your HOLINESS RUN THROUGH MY FINGERTIPS AS WE FORM THE LETTER 'H' WITH OUR BODIES STANDING FIRM AGAINST EACH WIND THAT BLOWS AGAINST OUR LIFE.
WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SEE THE SIGN WHICH GOD HAS ALLOWED TO COVER YOUR FOREHEAD YOU WILL KNOW THAT
'H' stands for HOLY and that you are holy in the eyes of GOD (and your MOM).
"H' stands for HEAVEN which is the promise you carry to all from Jesus
'H' represents the state of HEALTH you have received --- because your ears HEAR all that GOD whispers throughout every cell of your body.
WHen you look in the mirror you will see that your are not only cool, but you are now 'HIP'.
Yes - you will automatically smile because you will know deep within your HEART you have a HALARIOUS sense of HUMOR.
What can you say but
HALLELUJAH as you notice GOD'S HAND reaching down for your HAND.
This is my gift to you on this special day - September 23, 2011 - God gave me the greatest birthday present today because he has
HEALED your HEAD and HEART and joined our HOLY HANDS together forever.
Don' worry - be HAPPY!!
Everyday when you look in the mirror remember God has given all of these wonderful words especially for you and that
He has built a HEDGE around you forever to protect you.
p.S. don't forget that your #1 HELPER the HOLY SPIRIT is with you always to guide you, teach you, and comfort you in all things.
I think we should turn this note into a song and HUM it's notes forever to each other. XOXO