Went for my second visit and first treatment for skin cancer on the side of my nose. Waited too long. Worse than I thought. Two areas to be “treated” were on the side of my nostril where it meets my cheek and also below it; above what could be a moustache. The difference in treatment options were quickly decided upon with significant consideration given to the cost of the treatment. “Scraping” would cost $440.00 and would require the wound to repair itself, whereas a skin graft to cover the same would be $1500.00. No insurance. Guess what scraping is like. After two pinching numb inducing injections, a support mechanism was inserted in my nose to support the tissue during what I was soon to discover was a rather aggressive procedure. A short time after this unpleasant “scraping” and under blinding light, Doctor and Nurse were involved in cauterization of the two wounds with some sort of laser that smelled as it melted my skin underneath it’s heat. My partner and I managed to exhange glances immediately after the “laser melt” and as she witnessed the result, her audible gasp was eclipsed in severity by her facial expression which caused in me no certain amount of comfort. I reasoned I must look like something from a Rod Serling bit, flashing vividly on images. A bandage over some ointment was the end of the visit, along with instructions and a short dissertation regarding the obvious consequences of “waiting too long” and the possible extent of inevitable scarring as well as the time frame expected for results of the “biopsy”.
All this excitement and I got to pay for it too! It didn’t take much convincing for me to believe the Doctor’s theory that this was not malignant, but his discourse was tempered by disclosure that growth could recur. My treatment was bought on an “as-is” basis and parts and labor were not included in subsequent repairs. Once in the daylight outside the office, I could see none of the bandaged “results”, but more emphatic was my partner’s expression; that of concern and empathy; enough to contaminate my own attitude about life in general.
More to come. There are several more lesions on my arms and back that can be taken care of at a later date. There is some interim healing of today’s repair to my nose and my wallet before the next exciting visit to my new found “dermodemon”. Lesson for today: Skin cancer is real. It will get worse if untreated. It can be treated, and is not to be dismissed. Get lesions examined early, diagnosed and treated.
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