It all started around September of this year. I noticed a tiny bump on my shoulder. I thought it was a pimple or a white head beginning to develop. I tried to pop it, of course. (I know it sounds a little gross). But nothing came out.
As it got a little bigger, it started to irritate me. The seatbelt would rub against it. My shirts would irritate it. So, I set out to get rid of the bump once and for all. I sterilized a needle, and poked it several times. I even made the needle go from one side to the other. All it did was bleed a little.
That's when I decided to have it checked by the doctor. It was a little embarrassing, and appearing like a hypochondriac was the last thing that I wanted. The phone call was made, and to my surprise, the secretary said she could get me in that day.
It was the end of the day, and I realized I was the last patient they had. Boy, there I was making them wait to see a darn pimple. Well, after the doctor checked me, she said it was a boil, and gave me a topical prescription. "Whew, at least it wasn't just a pimple," I thought.
I tried the antibiotic, and used it for 10 days, as directed. The antibiotic not only didn't work, but it caused the bump to cave in. So, once I finished my ten days worth, I made another appointment. That's when the doctor decided to do a biopsy. She sliced the bump and made it level to my skin again.
Waiting for the results was very difficult, especially since I also had just had three biopsies of my breast, and was waiting on those results, as well. Finally, the day came, and my doctor called and said it was pre-cancerous. It wasn't until I went to the dermatologist that I knew it was cancer. It's called a squamous cell carcinoma (pronounced with a long a sound).
The doctor set me up for an appointment with the dermatologist.. The surgeon told me I didn't have to have chemotherapy or radiation, that surgery would be enough to get rid of it, and then he scheduled me for an operation on November 11, 2008.
The big day came. I was anxious to get it over. In the room was the doctor and two assistants. They gave me a local anesthetic. I do wish they would have put me to sleep. Some of the areas were not numb completely, and I can tell you it hurt. The doctor cut, and cauterized. Cut some more, and cauterized some more. Have you ever smelled your insides burning? It wasn't very pleasant.
I didn't think I was nervous, but my whole body was shaking. Relief set in when he began to sew me up.I new he was about to be finished. But once again, I could feel him pulling my skin. I was just the tugging. I could feel pain. But by then, there would be no point in giving me another shot. Actually, the shot hurt enough. I just toughed it out, gritted my teeth, and let him finish.
I had to leave the bandage on for a full 24 hours before I could take it off. I didn't even peek. When I finally took it off the next day, I was shocked. I thought I would see a little incision, but instead this is what I saw:
I was surprised, to say the least. I was and still am glad the doctor did what he could do to ensure all the cancer was removed. I used vaseline, as a way to let it heal, and the dermatologist prescribed me an antibiotic. No pain killers, just an antibiotic. After two weeks the stitches came out.
Now all I have left is a scar. The scar does not bother me. It is a reminder to me to use sunscreen on myself and my children every time we go out in the sun.
I hope this article will convince you to do the same.