Two more anxiety-filled weeks passed until I met with a surgeon who specialized in something called Mohs surgery…
I had never heard of it before.
Named after its original developer Doctor Frederic Mohs, it’s the meticulous process of progressively removing and evaluating thin layers of cancerous skin until only cancer-free tissue remains.
Anyway, after greeting each other, the first thing out of the surgeon’s mouth was “You’re a bit young to be here, aren’t you?”
“F me!” I thought to myself. How did the doctor think that made me feel?
Anyway, after a quick examination of my nose with a magnifying glass, he proceeds to palpate my jaw and neck.
“HFS!” Now my stress is really going through the roof, absolutely convinced that the cancer has already spread to my lymph nodes.
I blurted out: “Doc, is this going to kill me? Am I going to lose my nose? Am I going to be scary to children?”
And then he said something totally unexpected… That he was 99.9% sure that the cancer was minimally invasive, that it had not metastasized, that it was not life-threatening, that I would not lose my nose, and that I would not be scary to children.
“WTF?!” Right then and there, I broke down in tears of exhaustion.
The medical assistant who was present seemed baffled by my tears… as if I was overreacting and being a big crybaby.
But, to be fair, the doctor appeared to understand my response… and put his hand firmly and reassuringly on my shoulder.
But why did it take weeks of wasted worry on my part to get to this point?
2 thoughts on “A Cancer Journey: My “Easy” Cancer, Part 7”
This is Shen, your co-worker from Sandia Labs. I’m sorry to hear about your many encounters with cancers but happy to hear you are beating them with early detection and treatments. It takes lots of courage to share your experiences and I wish you best outcomes for your treatments.
I recognized your full name immediately, old friend! It’s great to hear from you. Thanks so much for reaching out and for the words of encouragement. What, where, and how are YOU doing? (I still live by Shen’s Rule #24: Never eat anything that’s on fire!”)