Sunday, September 16, 2007

Erin, Cancer Survivor

So, Friday was the day. The day of my cancer removal on my forehead. I went into a Dermatologist here in Seattle for what's called a Moh's Procedure. Under the encouragement of Bernie, I'm blogging the experience here.

I ended up waking up around 6 am. Guess I was nervous then. Did a few things around the house, and finally headed towards the doctor. Here's what was waiting for me here in the procedure room.

Honestly, as a nurse, I am prepared for what's coming, but looking at those instruments scared the shit out of me, actually.

The nurse came in and injected the lidocaine with epinephrine into my forehead. I don't know if you all have ever had lidocaine, but that shit HURTS!! Especially in the forehead. I actually cried when it was injected, and I'm pretty good with pain.

My skin is so pale because of the epinephrine in the lidocaine. It's used to make the blood vessels constrict so I don't bleed.

Here I am right before the surgery. I look so scared.

And really? I was. Shitless. I took myself alone to the procedure, and at this moment, I really didn't want to be alone. I needed someone. But that really wasn't an option, and I had to center myself, and get through this. You know what I used to center myself? A room full of wool. :)

So the Dr came in and removed the lesion of cancer, injected some more lidocaine and stuck a temporary dressing on. They then process the stuff off my forehead by looking at it under slides. They use that to evaluate to make sure they've removed all the cancer. It took about an hour.

And oh, yes. I did some knitting while they were working on my slides. This is my Puff Sleeved Feminine Cardigan, Version 2.0. I'm knitting it in Knit Picks Merino Style in Maple Leaf.

After the hour of waiting, they took me back to suture up my wound. I took this picture before they came in the room, took a look at it, and went HOLY FUCK! What is THAT ON MY FOREHEAD?!?!

THAT'S HUGE! So what's a good blogger to do? Oh, yeah, I took took a picture of it. Here's a doctored picture of it, for those with delicate sensibilities. If you want to see how it really looked, click on the picture, and you'll see.

The doctor did some fancy schmancy undermining, put in 3 deep sutures, and 12 superficial ones. Then I was all done!

I then invited all of my friends over for a party to celebrate my cancer free-ness!

I'll be going back on Tuesday to get the sutures out. Then all I'll have to do is finish healing. I hope I didn't offend anyone with these pictures. I felt it was important to document my experience for my own future reference.


Nicole said...

congrats on the cancer free Erin... and the new title you can put after your name.

Octopus Knits said...

I'm glad it went smoothly -- I totally peeked at the picture (youch!). In spite of the big hole in your head, it's got to feel good to get that removed. (Nice job with the knitting, too!)

Karen said...

It rather reminds me of the saying "you want another hole in your head?" I'm glad it went well, and it's ok to be scared. Here's to no more cancer!

Bonnie said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. You are very brave.

Denise said...

That was a much larger hole than I expected. Yowch!

Congratulations on being cancer-free!

Liz said...

I'm glad it went well, and thanks for sharing. I think the hole looks pretty cool, in a sorta gross way :-D

Elemmaciltur said...

Congrats on the cancer-freeness!!!

Aren't we glad that we're knitters and have our wool to keep us sane in most situation? ;-)

Sunflower Farm said...

You are very brave and I hope you heal well. My thoughts are with you.

Justshajam said...

You rock! You're so brave to have gone by yourself. Yeah to kickin cancer's ass!

goodkarma said...

I'm so glad everything went well, even though you had to go it alone and were nervous... you are brave and now you are healthy! Yay! That was a serious crater sized hole in your forehead, though, wow. I'm toasting to you and hoping that you heal quickly.

anna said...

this reminds me of my punch biopsy on my hand a few months back. i was soooo scared! i feel for ya, and lidocaine in your forehead? OUCH! glad to hear the procedure went well.

Cheryl said...

Wow, what an experience. I for one am glad you documented it, I think that was a very good thing to do.

A Life of Knitting said...

Your such a brave girl! I am so scared of needles. I am so glad you were able to get the procedure done and over with. All My Best