Monday, February 28, 2011

No skin off my....oh, wait.

OK, so my post title implies that there is skin off my nose...thankfully that's not the case! But there IS skin off my back and side, thanks to my fabulous skin that always keeps me on my toes!

Seriously, my skin just won't let me catch a break. I went back to my new dermatologist today because a week or two ago, I started noticing that a couple of the moles that had been shaved off for biopsy a few months ago seemed to be growing back. I noticed some darker pigmentation within the light pinkish scars and knew I'd have to call up the good ole derm. She confirmed that she also thought the pigmentation was returning, which can't be tolerated in a melanoma patient. Fortunately, the biopsies on both of the sites had originally come back as only dysplastic (abnormal but not cancerous), so an extensive excision was not required. And she said that she has never seen a second biopsy come back as more severe than the first in this kind of case. So, I am not worried about that.

As a testament to how much I've gotten carved up in the derm's office in the past couple of years, I didn't even flinch when she said "we are going to have to punch these and put in some stitches." Punching is literally like taking a hole punch to your skin - pretty gross, actually. The area gets numbed with a few shots (not liquor shots, unfortunately), then the punch goes in and takes out a chunk around and below the problem area. Since it goes kind of deep, each punch requires about 3 stitches.

So...I now have stitches in two areas, which will turn into two new lovely scars in a few weeks. They both look like this:

This is the one on my left side. I know it's hard to tell what exactly you're looking at in this picture, but it's basically an extreme close-up of my left rib cage area. Note the very pink and angry skin in a strip over the incision...I HATE the medical tape that they use to put gauze over an incision. Taking it off is more painful than anything else in this entire process!

At least I'm already married. I clearly wouldn't be winning any hearts with this patchwork Frankenstein look I've got going!

Could I please swap skin with someone...preferably someone with naturally good skin that's darker than mine? Maybe Sofia Vergara would be up for that...heck, while I'm at it, I'd be OK with an entire-body swap with her!

But really, I am not that upset about all this. What's a few more scars, anyway? At least I am on top of my skin health with a doctor I really like and trust, ready to combat anything that pops up before it becomes a serious problem. Still, it's just frustrating...why did the stupid things have to start re-growing their pigment? Those scars were almost healed. Ugh. So, I went to the gym and did an hour and a half of extremely hard cardio, and it made me feel lots better (even though it made the stupid incisions bleed).

One good thing is that I have a really good weapon for when the stitches come out to keep the scars small and thin. My friend Jill Moorhead recommended this product to me when I had my melanoma surgery, and it works so well to reduce the redness and puffiness of scars (old or new). So I went to Walgreens and bought another bottle on my way home from the dermatologist today. Try it if you have an unsightly scar you'd like to reduce. It's pricier than Mederma or Neosporin scar care, but you get what you pay for!

1 comment:

Laura and Lane said...

Im very glad that you are on top of your health! preventative measures save lives!

i think the "hole punching" is really cool!

Also, I have a serious girl crush on Sophia. I want to look like her, skin, hair, body, all of it (minus the annoying accent)