Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Please Use Sunscreen - A cautionary (and true) tale

I'll admit that I love sunshine. Working shirtless outside in the Garden, walking the beaches of Cape Cod feeling the warm sun.

Sure I got a sunburned, but I figured it was part of the summer experience. I used a little sun screen on my instep since it was uncomfortable to wear sandals.

Ah Cape Cod sunshine:


For some time I was aware of a sore on my left ear that didn't seem to heal. It hurt and like most guys I didn't bother to have it checked out. I'm not even sure how many months went by when I finally decided to have a dermatologist take a look. That was a wise choice since it turned out to be Squamous Cell Carcinoma which is treatable with Mohs Micrographic Surgery, a technique developed by Dr. Mohs in the 1930s.

I had this procedure performed a Cheshire Medical Center in Keene NH by a very friendly and competent team. It wasn't exactly a party though since I was getting carved up a bit. I'm including some photos but they will be at the BOTTOM of his post so the reader will have a chance to look away.

The procedure is time consuming. Part of the tissue is removed, frozen, sliced and stained. The slices are examined for cancer cells. If the sample is clear, the procedure is over, if not it is repeated.
Just like shampoo, apply and rinse, apply and rinse.

I was clear after the first round. Yippee. And the team played Bluegrass while I waited staring at the ceiling for 45 minutes.

As I write this, the lidocaine or whatever they use has worn off. It hurts but not too badly.


So my advice to my readers and myself is PROTECT YOURSELF from UV.



!!! Warning - Surgery Photos Below !!!

I confess I was a little surprised how extensive this was. I did hear some clipping and smell a  bit of burning flesh... I really didn't know I was going to lose a wedge of ear but as you see it got sewed up just fine.

I'll probably have a cool scar to match the one over my pacemaker... Yikes I'm falling apart.


!!! Warning 2 - Surgery Photos Below !!!