Thursday, April 21, 2016

No problem

In response to my last post, a friend wrote: "This time will not be like the last. Though it has the same label they are very different. It is normal to be thrown back to where you were when you first heard the word, but try to focus on the fact that you are not going back to where you were under any circumstances. "

The wound left by the biopsy had healed and I was sitting in my dermatologist's office waiting for the 'Novocain' to finish numbing my skin.  In a few minutes she will return and cut out a piece of skin and about 1/4 inch of underlying fat that surrounds this thing.

Outline for cut
As she drew the outline for the cut, she explained what she would be doing. She said that I was lucky it wasn't on my face because that procedure takes all day as they want to minimize the amount of tissue they remove so there isn't such a big scar. Here they don't mind taking a lot of tissue in order to make sure they get it all in one cutting.

She said that my basal cell was kind of rare in that it was pigmented. She said (lightly) that I should feel special. I told her I didn't want to feel special. She assured me that it was absolutely no more of a problem and just a difference in appearance. 

The surgery was a piece of cake. The cut only took a minute. No I didn't watch but she gave me a play-by-play. She takes a little extra skin around the thing and some fat from underneath. The lab then slices the sample and to make sure they have clean slices all around the thing.

Once the sample is removed she prepares for stitching by separating the skin from the underlying fat for a tiny margin around the hole so that the skin will be easier to stretch. She cauterizes a few blood vesicles to stop the bleeding. I might feel a little burning sensation -- maybe it's just the sound. Then she puts three stitches inside and seven on the outside. Each stitch she asks me if I feel anything. Not a thing.

She tells me that this will cause a large bruise (I should make some sort of fun story for friends.) I told her that bruises aren't uncommon for umpires. She urged me to not do any games for a couple days -- or anything else. "We don't want you to start bleeding or rip stitches." I assured her that wouldn't be a problem; I plan to milk this for all it's worth.

So that's it. The nurse put on a bandage that is to come off after 48 hours. Wash with mild soap and apply Vaseline and do not cover. "Wear old T-shirts." She warned. 

Within a couple days I had an email from pathology lab saying they found 'clear margins' and 'this indicates that the abnormal growth has been completely removed and requires no further treatment.' 

Beautiful words.

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