Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chip chipping away

I had two squamous cell cancers removed yesterday, one from my right wrist and one from behind my neck.

The one behind my neck was so small that I could barely feel it, but it ended up being the larger incision of the two.

Joe drove me to Boston for a familiar routine: He dropped me off at the office of Dr. Victor Neel, director of dermatologic surgery at Mass General Hospital, who performed the Mohs procedure in which he takes off one layer at a time until the margins are clear.

It's hard to tell someone when to pick you up because you never know when you'll be done. But thank goodness for cell phones because I texted Joe with progress updates. It wasn't too bad, but it still took up a chunk of time because I had to wait for Dr. Neel to examine the first specimens under a microscope and then sit for him to take another cut out of each, and then sit again until he came back with the news that I was done.

The nurse told me that sometimes it can take up to four or even more passes. It's really an impressive operation (I didn't mean the pun, but it came out that way.) Five patients get situated in different rooms, and the doctor goes back and forth between all of the patients at various stages of their progress. It's no wonder that he's so thin, given the way he dashes around. He was very pleasant, chatting about this and that and checking in to make sure he wasn't hurting me.

It was fun talking to Joe on the way back and forth. One of the best times to talk to your children – even grown up ones – is riding in the car. In between dozing on and off, I heard the latest from WEEI sports radio, including the trade rumors about DeSean Jackson and speculation that he might go with the Patriots.

I was so tired when I got home that I could barely keep my eyes open. We got a pizza because it was late, and I almost fell asleep in between bites. I could have gone to bed at 8, but I stayed up a little later because I didn't want to wake up in the middle of the night. As it was, I woke up at about 4 a.m. with both of the spots stinging and burning. I took some oxycodone, which got me through the morning, but around noon it started up again. In my experience, it usually takes a few days for it to calm down. Meanwhile, I'm going to reach out to one of my nurse friends to change the bandage on the back of my neck in a few days.

I'm not supposed to walk Maddie because the spot on my wrist might bleed if she pulls me. It's a good thing that Mary Margaret is coming over later for a play date, and also that Deborah is going to bring strawberry shortcake.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Moh's surgery is great. Too bad we need it. You should take it easy and not strain yourself too much.