Mohs on the Nose

True Confession

Posted on: June 22, 2010

At least one of my readers thinks my dermatologist is responsible for the extent of my basal cell carcinoma. I need to clarify that, and it includes a confession.

That little pinprick spot on my nose actually appeared three times – not just twice. After I had the first spot frozen, it took a few months before it showed up again. The second time, my doctor gave me a prescription for Fluorouracil, which I referred to as “chemo in a tube.” I applied it to the spot twice a day, for 10 days. It would kill the cancer cells, and then there would be a healing period of another week. The advantage of this over freezing was that it left minimal to no scarring.

Once the spot healed and my derm rechecked it, I was so glad to have that troublesome spot behind me. Unfortunately, a few months later, it came back. I didn’t call my derm this time; I used the Fluorouracil without consulting him first. After I’d used it for 10 days, I called his office and asked if I should leave use it longer this time. The nurse put me on hold, and my doctor came on the line. OK, he was pissed, as he should have been. He said I should never use that cream without his supervision because it would interfere with his monitoring of that spot.

This doctor has been my dermatologist for over 20 years, so we know each other pretty well. That particular phone call was the closest I’ve ever come to hearing/seeing him angry. He made me promise I would consult him regarding anything to do with that spot. After it healed that time, I really, really, thought it was gone for good, so I was really surprised when it showed up again rather quickly. This time I knew there was a bigger problem, and I went in for the biopsy.

So, could the extent of my cancer have been lessened if I’d listened to my doctor? Probably so, and I’m the first to admit it. I’m responsible for this entire situation and I don’t want anyone being blamed for something they did/did not do.


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Sapphire Maiden

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