Mohs on the Nose

The schnoz continues to heal, so much so that I’ve “graduated” to those mini-band-aids I bought a kazillion of. They could be just a s-m-i-d-g-e bigger, but they’re better than the size bandage I’ve been wearing. Here’s a pic taken today. This Friday will be week three since the surgery.

Taken 7/7/10

I’ve come a long way from this:

6/18/10

The inside of my nose is still swollen, and I still have a little swelling/bruising under my eyes. What’s weird is that I don’t have any feeling in the “new part” of my nose. I know it takes a while for everything to connect like it should, it just feels weird.

Foot Update: No change:-(

Question

If one of your friends – who is also your dentist – brings you candy, do you think there’s an ulterior motive involved? (Just kidding, Sandy.:-))

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I had my 2-week-post-op visit to the surgeon today. (Actually, it’s one day short of 2 weeks because of the long weekend.) Any remaining stitches were removed and he cleaned all the gunk off. I have to say, I think it looks pretty damned good…

2 Weeks Post Op

…compared to one week ago. Wouldn’t you agree?

1 Week Post Op

My next follow-up visit is in 10 days. Maybe I’ll get to stop wearing bandages by then.:-)

My “I Survived Skin Cancer” T-shirt was a huge hit at the doctor’s office. Everyone in the waiting room wanted to know where they could get one.

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OK, kids, today we’re gonna learn about fractures – foot fractures, to be exact. To start, here’s an X-ray taken today of my swollen foot.

Fractured 3rd Metatarsal

As you can see, the third, or middle metatarsal is broken. Why didn’t this show up on the first set of X-rays I had taken almost two weeks ago? Well, here’s the theory, and it makes sense. The day the first X-rays were taken was the same day that I later gimped all over the neighborhood carrying one dog while chasing down the other one. Stress fractures usually don’t show up on X-rays because they’re more like a crack than a break. Most likely, that’s all  I had when those first X-rays were taken. The “runaway dogs” episode is prolly what completed the break and dislocated the bone. So, I’ve been walking around with this injury for at least two weeks, plus the week that it was most likely a stress fracture.

What’s interesting about this fracture is that it’s uncommon for the third metatarsal to break. It has the support of two other metatarsals on either side, which usually protect it. How mine broke is anyone’s guess, but if anyone is going to have an unusual injury or illness, it will always be me. (Any of my friends will confirm this.)

What are we doing about this fracture? Well, nothing really. Except staying off it as much as humanly possible. It has already started the healing process and Dr. G. expects it to heal normally without using a cast or walking boot. He said if I still have pain in four weeks, I need to see him again; otherwise, I’m on my own. I’m soooo glad I don’t have to wear a walking boot or a cast!

Now, about the nose….When I took the bandage off this morning before showering, my nose was covered with yellow “seepage” (the stuff scabs are made of) as the wound continues to heal. I tried to *gently* remove as much as I could, but it actually made me nauseated. I broke into a cold sweat, the room started spinning, and I started to gag. I had to lie down until the nausea passed, and I didn’t mess with it any more, except to put the new bandage on after my shower. I will say, tho, that it’s healing really well. If you’re wondering why I didn’t take a pic this morning, hello? Go back and read the first two sentences of this paragraph. If it made me sick, imagine what it could do to the general public.

Today was also the first day in almost two weeks that I put on any makeup. It gave a major boost to my self esteem, even tho I still have a bandage on my nose. Not only did I go to the doctor’s office and radiology lab, I also strolled around Marshall’s and picked up groceries at Nob Hill. Only one person seemed to notice my bandage, and I was very close to saying to her, “Hey lady. Don’t be so rude. It’s only a bandage.” Geez.

When my doctor first saw me today, he looked at my bandage and asked, “Was this intentional or an accident?” He thought for a minute that I’d had a nose job. When I told him it was the result of Mohs surgery for skin cancer, he said he’d had basal cell carcinoma removed from his face, too, but his didn’t require Mohs. Lucky guy.

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Remember my horoscope said something could happen last Friday to rock my world? Well, it did, but I only found out about it today. That swollen foot I’ve been complaining about? An MRI showed it’s “fractured and displaced.” I had the MRI last Friday, but I got the results this morning. My internist suggested I call my ortho guy about getting either a cast or a walking boot. I did, and my appointment is tomorrow at 11:30. So I’ve been walking around on a broken foot for exactly three weeks. Even more interesting: I have no idea how I did it. I was fine when I went to bed and had a broken foot when I woke up. Go figure.

One of the first things I thought about when the dr. said my foot was fractured was about the day, a week and a half ago, when my dogs got out. Those of you who are pet owners (and haven’t already heard it) might appreciate this story.

We had new furniture being delivered, so I told a friend she could have the current pieces. Her husband and his brother arrived at about 5:30 the day before the new stuff was to be delivered. They moved the sofa out to the truck, then they came back into the house for the cushions. When they went out that time, they left the front door open, and Casey and Bono, our Tibetan spaniels, took full advantage and ran outside.

I knew I was in for a rough time getting them back inside, but I had no idea what I was in for. I tried calling them and just walking after them, trying to use a calm approach. I guess they thought they were out for a walk without their leashes and they headed across the street to the little park in front of our house. The two guys were with me, trying to catch the boys. We managed to catch up to Casey, and one of the guys started to pick him up and Case bit him. Great. I snatched him from the guys’ hands and we tried to get Bono. (BTW, it’s pronounced “BONN-oh, like U2.)

I’m guessing that when Casey cried out before he bit the guy, it scared Bono, and that maybe Bono thought he was next. So I’m carrying Case in one arm, and limping across the park, trying to coax Bono to come to me. He ran to the opposite end of the park, and the three of us walked in his direction. Just as I got up to him, he bolted past me toward the opposite end of the park. As we got close to him, he bolted back toward the other end. This happened 3-4 times. By now, my swollen foot is even more swollen and I’m still carrying Case.

There’s a little shortcut from our street to the houses on the next street over, and Bono bolted down that sidewalk. By the time we got to the other side, I could see Bono running at top speed at least a block away. I couldn’t run to save my own life, let alone to save his. The two guys ran after him and they all went down another street – straight toward Sylvan, a busy street. By the time I got to the corner, neither Bono nor the guys were anywhere to be seen. I got to the next block, hoping I’d see them down that block, toward home, instead of toward Sylvan. Nope. No trace. They’d headed straight for Sylvan. I limped there as fast as I could, still carrying Case. Remember, this was during evening traffic and the street was busy. I didn’t see them in either direction, but I did see a guy standing on the sidewalk, looking down a side street. I asked if he saw my dog (everyone around here knows the boys), and he pointed down the street. I walked out into the street, not even thinking about getting hit by a car. Let’s just say I stopped traffic.

A guy in a white truck asked if I wanted him to drive me the 1+ block down the street where the two guys and Bono were. I jumped in, holding Case on my lap. Bono came running toward us, so I jumped out of the truck and called to him. He ran past me like I wasn’t even there, straight for Sylvan. I was maybe 50 yards away as Bono ran across the busy street for the second time. I knew he didn’t have a chance of getting across without getting hit, and I stopped dead in my tracks and screamed like someone in a horror film. Let’s just say his guardian angel was very busy that day.

The “Perps” (Casey, on left; Bono, on right)

He made it across the street (miraculously) and the two guys followed him. Case was still in the truck with the guy I’d never seen before in my life. Again, I walked out into the street like I owned it, stopping traffic in both directions. Bono ran 2 blocks down Sylvan and turned onto a side street with the guys running after him. By now I’m limping big-time and I’m as close to being hysterical as I could be. That side street is only 3 blocks long, and it dead-ends into a big apartment complex. I saw Bono almost at the end, and he darted into someone’s front yard. By now, there were at least 10 people gathered around. The white truck guy pulls up next to me and asks if I want a ride the remaining 2 blocks. I did, but I just kept walking toward this crowd of people. They were all looking in the same direction, and I was so afraid Bono was hurt and that they were looking at him. I asked if it was my dog. They all said yes. I asked if he was hurt. They said no, that he just looked scared.

He was pretty much trapped against a redwood fence, behind a garbage can, and under a bush. As I got close to him, he rolled over on his back. I picked him up, thanked everyone for their help (they had kinda funneled him into that spot), and got into the truck where the guy and Case were waiting. We were 4 blocks from home, and I don’t know how I could have walked all that way carrying Bono. My foot hurt more than I can say. The guy drove us home and held onto Case as I took Bono into the house. I came back out for Case and thanked this nice guy profusely. I asked if he had a dog (I wanted to give him some Furfection products), but he said he’d lost his dog in his divorce. I thanked him again and brought Case inside.

The guys didn’t make it back to my house for the rest of the furniture for at least 10-15 minutes. I believe they were scared shitless to face me. This was when I called my gf in Tulsa the first time. My entire body was shaking and my hands shook like crazy as I dialed her number. I knew she would understand exactly what I was feeling because her Tib had gotten out a few years ago and was hit by a car. Luckily, his injuries were minor. Unfortunately for her, as soon as I started talking, I TOTALLY lost it and couldn’t stop crying. I still couldn’t believe how incredibly lucky Bono was to cross that busy street TWICE during evening traffic and not get hit.

The guys came back while I was on the phone and moved out the rest of the furniture. Mario came back to the door and apologized all over the place. He asked if I was OK, and I said I wasn’t, but that I would be, eventually. I called my gf back and got hysterical all over again.

After I finally stopped crying and shaking, the boys had the audacity to give me their “Can we go for a walk now?” looks.

So, is it any wonder the broken bone in my foot is also “displaced”? And where are those boys? After reliving that nightmare chase, I’m ready to drop them at the shelter. Kinda. Well, not really:-)

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Yesterday I stumbled upon a website about sunscreens and how the companies use “weasel words” to make consumers think they’re safe. I’ve had a hard time finding a moisturizer with sunscreen in it because they all seem to make my eyes water by the end of the day. The last bottle I bought came from Whole Foods. The salesperson and I spent at least half an hour sampling the different formulas until I found one I liked. It’s SPF 15, but since I’m not in the sun that much, 15 is ok. Well guess what? That new sunscreen is a no-no according to this website. They use a rating system from 0-10, with 0-2 being the best. My new sunscreen is a 5, which falls into the “Caution” category. It provides “poor” UVA protection and “moderate” UVB protection. Remember, UVA rays are the ones that actually cause skin damage.

The score for my Bareminerals® makeup is even worse; it scored a 7, which landed it on the “avoid” list. Bareminerals® Sunscreen SPF 30 is also a 7. That’s pretty much like wearing no sunscreen at all. What’s a fair-skinned lass like me supposed to do? Research, darling. Research. So I did, and I decided to try Keys Soap Solar Rx Cosmetic Moisturizing Sunblock, SPF 30. It’s risky buying it online, since I don’t get to try it first, but I’m thinking positive thoughts that it will work just fine.

I had my first shower today without having to waterproof my nose. Dr. M. said to take off the bandage, slather on a layer of Aquaphor beforehand and not let the shower fall directly on my face. Worked like a charm. Clean hair and a clean bandage, and I’m ready to go…read a book.

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It’s been a quiet, low-key Saturday. Nuthin’ happening here, which is good. My face is still swollen, and the smaller bandage is already bugging me as much as the big one did. I hope when I change it tomorrow, I can make it less annoying.

No change in the foot. It’s still swollen and painful.

Wow! What a relief! I expected the worst when my bandage came off this morning, but it was a piece of cake. I expected it to hurt like crazy when the stitches were taken out, but it didn’t. “Why not?” you ask. Because they’re the dissolving kind.:-) Dr. M. said he was “very pleased” with the way my nose looked at this stage. He cleaned it up a little, put on a new, smaller bandage, and told me to come back next Thursday.

Bandage Off

Bandage Off

After A Bit of Cleanup

The actual surgery site didn’t shock me at all. Like I said, I was expecting the worst. I still have swelling and bruising, and of course, it’s very sore. As long as I can see a little progress each week, I’ll be happy.

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