Monday at 9:30 am was the day and time of my 'excision'. A couple of weeks ago I met with my dermatologist, Dr. Jou, to get a referral to a 'MOHS' surgeon who will remove the rest of the 'basil cell carcinoma' from the top of my right ear. "Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer. During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. Mohs surgery is also known as Mohs micrographic surgery." Fortunately, basil cell carcinoma is easy to treat....you just remove it.
During our discussion he asked me if he could examine all of my skin surface to be sure there were no other problems, and I agreed....thank God. He found a couple of areas he was concerned about and took biopsies. One of the biopsies came back negative (nothing going on there), but the other came back as Stage zero (Ø) melanoma. Melanoma is the bad one, but stage 'Ø' means it is only in the very top layer of skin, and it is just a matter of removing it. No further treatment is necessary. Stage Ø means it was caught in its infancy, and full recovery is like 99.99%. There is no history of melanoma in my family, so I am the first. On Monday Dr. Jou excised that area. The melanoma itself was about the size of a dime, but he excised an area the size of a quarter which meant a lot of stitches because he then had to elongate the incision so he would be able to close it properly. After all was said and done the excision area was a little larger than the size of an adult eye, and as a result I'll have to avoid working for about 3 more days to allow healing to begin and prevent any post surgical bleeding......that blood thinner (Brillinta) I am taking is working well.
The procedure took about 45 minutes and we were then on our way over to Dr. Ashley Ruben to have my future MOHS surgery consultation. After the consultation the MOHS surgery was scheduled for next Tuesday (August 27th). Once that is done I will be, hopefully, done with surgery for a long time. If it is even possible, it seems our decision not to go to Alaska this summer seems even more momentous now.
After a quick stop at Stater Brothers to pick up a few grocery items we were home a little after 12 pm. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I spent the rest of Monday in my recliner doing as little as possible.
After all that has transpired with me physically over the last couple of years I am really beginning to feel my mortality. So far I have come through all of it just fine, but sometimes in the quiet times of the night I wonder what is coming next, right? The rest of the time I just keep pushing forward, and looking forward. It's a beautiful day today, and life continues to be good to TLE and I.
I'll leave you with the great Van Morrison song........
Thanks for stopping by!