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Thread: Mohs Nose

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    San Diego Calif.
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    Mohs Nose

    Mohs Nose

    The procedure is drawing near and I’m beginning to show the strain. Before this it was stiff upper lip. But now my bottom lip is trembling in anticipation of the unknown. Barb faced cancer a few years ago. Now it’s my turn.

    They say it may be all day, to bring a lunch. That doesn’t sound good.

    They’re cutting the basil cell carcinoma out.

    Then they take the slice of you out and take it to a lab. Somebody in a white coat freezes it so they can slice it and dice it to a get a 3-D view of the tumor.

    “Sometimes they have roots that grow deeper into your flesh,” Barb tells me. Did you hear they can have roots?”

    “Yes, I did. But I’m hoping mine isn’t like that.”

    When she was battling breast cancer, I had a sty in my eye. She got all the attention and I had to sleep upstairs when I was suspected of having a cold. She got bouquets, cards, cookies left on the doorstep, and deserved it all, bravely battling a disease that could have done her in if she’d given up. Now I’ve got the least harmful version of the same disease, I’m shaking in my boots, and the treatment hasn’t even started.

    “If you’re going to get a cancer,” they told me, “basil cell carcinoma is the one to get. It’s the most treatable.”

    I suppose that was said to soothe me. It’s good news as far as it goes, but it leaves out the ugly procedures. Her biopsies and breast-Xrays, those horrible machines she put up with, now I must face them myself.

    She’ll be with me day after tomorrow and she’ll have to drive me home. I’ll be an altered state. And the idiot bandages the size of a football on my nose won’t be alone. They’ll be on my ear too.

    “They may have to cover the hole on my nose with a skin graft they’ll cut from my ear.”

    Barb reached up and fondled my lobes with both hands.

    “You’ve got plenty of material to work with.”

    Now she starts singing, to the tune of the 1930’s song “Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye”.

    Root root rootsy goodbye,

    Root root rootsy don’t cry,

    Watch for the slice,

    If it don’t look nice,

    Then take your knife and go back in,

    Just one more slice and dice again,

    Root root rootsy goodbye,

    Root root rootsy don’t cry.”

    For a significant other, Barb shows no mercy. She’s attempting to toughen me up. She should have been a Spartan instead of an Ashkenazi.

    I admit it’s referred to as minor surgery. They intend to give me a local. It’s nothing. Yet I’m cringing because I’m facing a new experience, facing the unknown. At least I don’t have to face it alone.

    I’m going to sleep close to Barb tonight and hear some of that brave and confident tone she gives me when we first cuddle up, and her soft and secure tone just before we fall asleep.

    Hearing her so close always helps soothe me.



    to be continued...? Toot, Toot, Tootsie! - Al Jolson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, The Middle East, UK, The Philippines & Papua New Guinea.
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    Hi Buddy

    Not sure if this one was in the realms of fiction or reality. Too much feeling expressed to take it as the former.

    Hence a bit of advice based on my own experience. All those years under the sun in Africa and the Middle East meant the price I paid was precursors to skin cancer: actinic keratosis and BCC. Lots of positives. You can see it. Its not inside. Thus you can diagnose it quicker & more effectively. I've had so many BCC's cut out of me, ( forehead, shoulders, arm, legs) that I really wonder sometimes if there is anything original left!!

    As for cutting out the bcc, its no big deal. Local injection, don't feel a thing while its being cut, nor the stitch's afterwards. Bit like having a tooth out actually, though you can chat to the dermatologist while its ongoing.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Beyond nowhere
    Hi, Steve,
    Your protagonist will get out of it victoriously as always. And I demand a sequel!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  4. #4
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    San Diego Calif.
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    Thanks guys, you made my day, hence:

    That was day one. Here’s two days before the dirty deed.

    After sleeping on it, I’ve decided I should simplify things. There are two possible outcomes, and only two. Either I end up more handsome than ever, or end up the Elephant Man. Here’s why.

    I’ve been doing my research and found out that Hugh Jackman has suffered from the same affliction over three times! He’s had the ‘procedure’ three times too. And look at him! Was he always this handsome? Was he always this buffed? According to his high-school picture on Google he wasn’t. Could it be that the ‘procedure’ had something to do with it?

    Will the ‘procedure’ have the same effect on me? I am kind of skinny. Maybe my hair might go back to its original color too. I could get used to being buffed and having my Clooney hair restored to its original luster.

    The other side of the coin is where things go terribly wrong, I end up a freak and have to get a job in a circus side-show.

    “Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and see The Guy That Used To Be Normal.”

    “You’re making too much of this,” Barb tells me. “I’m worrying about the Corona virus! It’s serious stuff!”

    What? Please! This is serious stuff!”

    I point to my beak.

    “Yours is an existential threat! You may or may not get it! This is my fricken nose. It’s right here, in the center of my fricken face!"

    I gesture.

    “Maybe they’ll cut out too much and I’ll end up with no nose at all. I’ll be the Man with No Nose.”

    “I’ll still love you anyway.”

    “But you won’t be able to kiss my nose. After all, where would Cyrano de Bergerac be without his nose? Or Charles De Gaulle, or Jimmy Durante?”

    “Barbara Streisand?”

    “You understand.”

    “I do,” she said, and kissed my sickly nose.

    Later, when I’m back in the kitchen, I wonder if I went too far with the Hugh Jackman Wolverine bit. The bad doctors operated on him and changed him. The good doctors are operating on and changing me. I’ve never met these doctors before. I hope they don’t slip up. I pray they got enough sleep the night before, and don’t have any arguments with their significant others just before they go to work. I pray they will be tender with their sharp instruments of healing. And keep in mind, I was the dude who argued that dentists were invasive because they put their fingers in your mouth.

    And now this.

    And another thing. It’s all done while I’m awake. Awake! They say they have a solution to this too,

    “We’re going to give you Ativan to relax you.”

    Once, about twenty years ago I was in a doctor’s office and sitting on his desk was a three-sided cardboard box with Ativan printed on the side. There was a picture of a sailboat on a calm blue lake in the Swiss Alps, you could see white mountain tops off in the distance.

    So, Ativan makes you feel like you’re on a placid lake. It better, because while you’re cruising on some placid lake, a couple of other people wearing gloves and masks are slicing and dicing and picking at your nose, and you can’t ignore or dismiss them, because the cancer is not as remote as your big toe or as far away as your butt this time, it’s right in the middle of your face.


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