Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Skin Cancer

I have had a scare in this new year. Sometime in December I noticed a strange spot on my right shoulder, right where my shoulder goes from pointing straight out to where it changes into my arm. This spot resembled a pimple, or maybe a boil (but I am not sure what a boil looks like), or some type of infection. I attempted to squeeze it thinking it probably was a pimple and that it would 'pop' and then would heal and not bother me. It would not squeeze--it just hurt when I did that. Next I tried applying hot packs thinking this would 'bring it to a head'. This did not work either. My sister-in-law looked at it when she was here for Christmas and said I should have it looked at, sooner rather than later. Christmas and New Year intervened as well as a few other things to do and then I went to see my doctor on January 14, a Friday afternoon. She looked at it, said "It looks like skin cancer. Come back on Tuesday and we will take it off." That was kind of scary, and I thought her manner was a tad abrupt.
So I went back the next week and she removed the spot, which by this time had grown a bit. It required five stitches to close the wound, and when the deadening stuff wore off, it hurt a lot. Three days later I got the call from her nurse telling me it was squamous cell cancer, probably caused by sun damage. The good news was that it was not melanoma.
The stitched were removed after one week and sterile-strips plastered over the incision so it wouldn't open up again. Today is two weeks since the incision was made and the sterile-strips are gone, but my shoulder still hurts.
While I was having the sutures removed I asked Dr. Froehner to look at my nose which has a red spot on it. She  told me it as pre-cancerous and 'froze' it. I am waiting for the peeling to stop, but I think I will have to go back and have her do it again.
We are going to Mexico in 3 weeks and I think I will wear a hat, long sleeves and sit in the shade. Sigh , , ,

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