Three days off

Wednesday 10-7-09 I had Mohs Surgery to remove some Basal cell carcinoma from my right cheek. I had a quick consultation with Dr. Griego before the surgery. He told me that my biopsy indicated that my cancer had an irregular structure to it, sort of like tenicals on the bottom side. because of this and the location being so close to my eye, the MOHS method of removal was recommended. Dr. Griego also noticed a growth on my nose that looked suspect. He took a biopsy from the nose and removed all the diseased tissue he could see from the cheek. I was sent back to the waiting room while the lab checked out the removed tissue. The nose biopsy turned out to be another Basel cell growth. Fortunately Dr Griego got all the cancer  from the cheek on the first try so I didn’t have to have any more of my cheek removed, but I will have to go back at the end of the month and have the growth removed from my nose. Dr. Heinz, a plastic surgeon, closed up the wound and the surgical tech hid the stitches with sterile-tape, I was given instructions to ice my cheek for the rest of the day, take Tylenol for any pain, and no exercise for three days so I wouldn’t start it bleeding again. I was also told red heads like me need to keep out of the sun, which is not going to be an easy thing to do here in Arizona. I told the doctor I would wear my baseball cap or visor (I have a new one that’s really cute) religiously and use a good sunscreen. He reminded my that I need to protect my ears too, they are very susceptible to this type of cancer, so I guess I’m going to have to find stylish hats with brims to protect not only my face but my ears and neck as well. Anyone know where I can find hats size small or extra-small?

I hope I don’t gain back all that I’ve lost while I’m recuperating, but I am following doctors orders and taking a few days off from the yoga and bike riding and pool exercising. Actually, the pool exercising may be done for the year. The pool temp is now around 70 and to me that feels very cold, but who knows, if the air gets warm enough I may want to be in the refreshingly cool water.

 Yesterday I wished for something stronger than Extra-strength Tylenol as I surfed the web, wrote a use case, proofed the Maddie’s Project Volunteer Manual and kept checking the mirror to see how discolored my face was getting. The swelling and color weren’t too bad, but my skin felt like it was stretched way to tight and really hurt. Carly arrived around 3 pm so I took a break and watched her run around the house and yard with my dog Chopper. Carly is a tiny Wheaten terrier with a lot of energy that I’m dog sitting until Tuesday. Just watching her run around is exhausting. I’ve been trying to get some pictures of her and Chopper together to share with you, but she is not very cooperative.

 Today when I woke up to multiple dogs barking I could tell my right eyelid was somewhat swollen because it wouldn’t open as much as my left. A quick glance in the bathroom mirror confirmed my suspicion, my lower lid is VERY colorful and slightly swollen. I put on my cool gel eye-mask and rested till it was no longer cool then got up for the day. I miss doing my morning stretches, but since my stretches involved putting my head lower than my heart I don’t think that’s a good idea yet. I feel much better than yesterday, but I look much worse.



  Ever since I was laid off, I’ve been considering doing some volunteer work. Last week I took the plunge and applied to assist at Maddie’s Projects Adoption Center and they accepted my application. I visited with the Volunteer Coordinator on Monday and we decided to schedule me for the 6 to 8 shift so I will still be available to interview and ultimately work, during the normal business hours of the day. I have my volunteer training session at Maddie’s Project Adoption Center this afternoon. I hope I don’t scare my trainer 🙂

I better sign off and go ice my eye one more time before heading out into the world.