14 years later that small spot came back with a vengence. It immediately started to bleed, scab over and was sore to the touch. Now I was really concerned. I went to a dermatologist next door to our wellness facility in Duluth and had another biopsy taken. Dr. Cole said that I needed to have this removed and that it was Basal Cell Carcinoma. Not a deadly form of skin cancer but can and will be disfiguring. She said the best option for me was a procedure called Mohs Surgery. This procedure was rather new but had great results. A Mohs surgeon takes off one layer at a time and looks at it under a microscope. If they did not get all of the cancer then they go back and take another layer off until everything is gone. Procrastination is one of my downfaults so of course I decided to "think" about it. A year and half quickly went by but my nose blemish did not. It was time to take care of it. Unfortunately I was turned down for health insurance because it was a Pre-existing Condition so this only made me worry more, especially about the cost. But my family was much more important to me than a few thousand dollars so I scheduled the appointmant with Dr. Pharis, a Mohs surgeon in Duluth. I had heard great things about him from clients and members of our facility so I felt good about the results.
As an Exercise Physiologist for the past 22 years I have come to realize that being healthy is not just what you eat or how much you exercise or what you look like in a bathing suit, but more importantly how all of your systems in your body work together to create a strong and healthy immune system. Its your immune system that fights off foreign invaders (cancer cells), prevents diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and slows down your aging process. When Dr. Pharis looked at the spot on my nose he commented that my strong immune system had prevented the cancer from spreading. This made me feel good!
Dr. Pharis started the procedure and fortunately it took only two layers to remove all of the cancer. However, because of where it was located the suturing was going to be much more extensie as well as the recovery. After all said and done the total stitch count was around 30 stitches and the pain scale was going to be above 10. And let me tell you it was 12!!!! Thank goodness for pain meds. The following pictures may be disturbing to you but I felt it was important to show you what a small spot can turn into. If you have something on your skin that does not seem to be healing and looks abnormal do not wait. Go see a professional immediately. If it were not for my strong immune system due to my activity, healthy eating, lack of smoking and other healthy lifestyle choices who knows how much this cancer would have spread.
DONT WAIT. TAKE IT FROM ME!!!!!!!!!!!!