I have recently talked about my mom being diagnosed with skin cancer on twitter, facebook and even mentioned it on one of my recent blog posts. The news has been very difficult to swallow to say the least. It took over two weeks to get the biopsy results back, we knew it was cancer but not which kind or how severe. She has a place on her face and on her lower leg. Outside of these two places that were biopsied they also froze several places off her face and body.
Once the results came in they confirmed that both places were cancer and both were two different kinds, which is exactly what we thought. The place on her leg (which to me looked worse) is Basal Cell and the place on her face is Squamous Cell (which is classified as worse). When she first got the news she was informed the place on her face was most likely going to require radiation but no chemotherapy was required. This past week I went with her to meet with two surgeons.
Tuesday we met with the surgeon who is going to perform the cancer removal surgery. I must admit, he was very cocky and arrogant. Although my mom noticed, she didn’t seem bothered by this and since he is a Harvard graduate and supposed to be the best in his practice around here, I won’t complain. I just hope he does a perfect job for my mom! He assured her the procedure would be painless. He gave us good news and bad. The good news was, she does NOT have to have any radiation or chemotherapy. They believe they have caught the cancer early enough that removing it and watching it closely should work. The bad news… or maybe not so bad news is that she has to have plastic surgery as well. He said that the cancer was so deep she couldn’t just have it removed, it would leave holes that had to be filled/fixed by a plastic surgeon.
Thursday we met with the plastic surgeon who will take her into surgery right after she has the cancer removed. So literally she will go from one surgeon to the next all in the same day. That was a relief for my mom since she was so nervous about the whole process, she just wants to get it over with. Can’t blame her a bit! He plans to do a skin graph from her upper thigh (almost hip area) for the lower leg plastic surgery. The surgeon said there is just not enough skin in that area to fix it without conducting a skin graph. Her face won’t need a skin graph but he said there will be a scar. We are not sure how severe the scar will be but he did assure her that he tries his best to keep it within the natural lines of the face. Meaning wherever he believes a wrinkle will be, he will try to make his incision there. I know my mom is most worried about this. All she keeps saying is ‘but this is my face’. I feel so hurt for her. I hope that he does the best work possible so it doesn’t show.
Also did you know that your leg is one of the slowest healing parts of your body? I had no idea. Neither did my mom. They told her that it could take six months for her leg to heal. She even had to sign a release saying she understood that. We were both shocked. They said her face will heal in no time and she shouldn’t have any troubles with it but her leg they couldn’t guarantee. Is that crazy? They even gave her a handout explaining all about the leg. The scab is still on her leg from the biopsy and it has been five weeks. I’ve always known scabs to be gone within a week. Learn something new everyday…
Her surgery is scheduled for September 23rd and of course I’ll update everyone afterward. My main concern is that they get all the cancer cells removed completely so it doesn’t spread or get worse. I just want my mom healthy! I feel completely guilty even thinking of how I would love to have a nice tan or want to lay out to get some sun. Going to a tanning salon might be out of the picture for me completely from here on out. I hate being pale but I love life more.