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Re: OT: Not exactly good news...need advice

Hi Cyndi,
Not exactly good news, but while traumatic, should be manageable. Of
course you're nervous - yes they do this all the time, but you don't!

For what it's worth, my father-in-law had numerous basal cell carcinomas
removed from his face and head, and several other family members have
also been through it. I tore some chunks out of my nose and burned a
sizeable part of my face off in a mountaineering accident (you wouldn't
think falling down a glacier would burn, but the friction does) so I can
speak somewhat to facial scars (and getting them to heal and fade -
after the wound has closed, vitamin A, vitamin E and selenium are your
friends!). I did not take such consciencious care of my arms and hands,
and the difference shows.

In your place, I would want to know how large an area will be affected,
where the area(s) will be, and what they anticipate the scarring will be
- how much and where. I think sometimes cosmetic surgeons are a little
overboard when setting expectations regarding scarring - I had a couple
'suspicious' moles removed from my cheekbone and the surgeon was telling
me that, with proper care, after 6 months the scars wouldn't be very
noticeable. Well, they were only ever about 1/8" big anyway and I never
thought they were noticeable at all after a couple weeks when they had
healed up. Then again, this is the kind of situation where it's better
for reality to beat expectations...

I am very blind, so I would want to know whether swelling would affect
whether I could wear my contacts for a few days, and also when I'd be
able to wear my glasses. And sunglasses. Are we talking band-aids or
rolls of gauze and tape? You garden, so you play outdoors. How long
before your skin can handle sun (and you WILL be using sunblock from
here on out if you didn't before - scar tissue has no ability at all to
protect itself!).

Does the surgery require general anaesthesia or can it be done under
sedation? (You're out for the count either way, but sedation has a
gentler recovery). Sounds like he feels there is reconstruction to be
done after the carcinoma is removed - I'd want to know some more about
what's involved with that.

That's all I can think of. I usually think of the things I should have
said/asked after the fact, so if anything else comes to mind, I'll let
you know. Good luck with it all, and be glad they've caught it early.
You'll do fine!


Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSR <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil> wrote:
This is off-topic, sorry, but no one I work with can be helpful so I'm going
farther afield. 
I got a piece of news that wasn't so great. Apparently I have a basal cell
carcinoma on my nose and I have to have plastic surgery to get it removed.
The good news of course is that once it's gone, it's gone; they are very
common and people get this done all the time. The bad news is that due to
its size and position they are going to have to move a lot of skin around on
my face to patch the hole. (I swear this thing is not really that big. I can
barely see it. But he's the doctor). Two weeks, he says, before I ought to
appear in public, although I gather actual feeling-bad time is only a couple
days, and probably a year before the scars are not noticeable.
I'm such a wimp I don't even like getting my blood pressure taken, let alone
general anesthesia and surgery! I haven't had anything like this before. I
was rattled and I couldn't really think of what questions I should be
asking. I know it's a common operation and they're real blasi about it, but
you know, I'm nervous. What would you want to know if it were you? 


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