Saturday, April 25, 2009

Biopsy Back and I Give My Face Some Love

The lab report came back showing that I have 2 kinds of skin cancer cells present on my nose.

The side of my nose started to bleed spontaneously after my shower on the day we left Tanzania. We flew to London and on to Lisbon that night and next morning but as soon as I got to internet again after landing I asked Mom to book me in at the dermatologist when we arrived in California.

So, yea, skin cancer. Hhhhhmmmm. I have basal and scquamous cells present.

The C-word... Never welcome.

Here are the fortunate things--

We found this very quickly.
The doctor says this is still in the "good" zone, whatever that means.
Removing skin cancer from faces seems to be par for the course here in California.
Basal cells are relatively non-threatening.
Scquamous cells "can be aggressive if not treated" but we are treating them.

I have a pre-op visit on May 5 and surgery on my nose on the 12th. We hope that it will be a small surgery and not require a skin graft. But even a skin graft wouldn't be such a bad deal in the scheme of things.

But, yes, I was teary and shaken to hear the words "skin cancer."

I've not really been a sun-worshipper. I've had some bad burns accidentally in life and those all add up. I've been in a lot of sunshine since I've lived in California, East Africa and Portugal.

I've also never really done much to care for my face. I mean, I do wash it in the shower and I've used mascara and lip gloss for a long time. I haven't had a lot of product for the old face apart from moistureizer. When I was 39, I went to the make-up counter with my big sister and had the lady show me how to use a little foundation. I figured I should grow up a bit since I was about to turn 40.

So my new thing this week is to give my face a little more love. I bought a hair band to push my hair off my face so I can cleanse it properly. And every morning I smooth a nice #40 sunblock for faces on, which I should have been doing for many years. Then I don my lovely new hat to shade me.

Being nice to my face is kind of pleasant. The redness and scabbing is all gone from the biopsy sites and I look no worse for the wear.

Thanks for prayers. Mostly, I feel calm... And a little freaked out from time to time.


Sarah said...

I've been checking your blog to see if there was an update on your skin condition. I'm sorry that the news wasn't as great as it could have been, but am thankful that they caught it when it is still treatable. Dave had a s.c. scare when were in Portugal, so I imagine some of the stress you've been under. Praying for a quick and complete healing.
BTW - something as small as a blemish on your nose could possibly hide your radiant beauty!

Sarah said...

Ugh- my last line should read - could NOT possibly hide your radiant beauty!
This is why I should wear my glasses at all times. :)

lisa said...

Hello Sarah! Thanks for checking up on me. I love your typo. My favorite thing was that I was meeting all Jesse and Trevor's friends with a bright red nose and dark scab. Then the nose finally calmed down and it was just the scab on the last night together. We got home to my parents' house after midnight and the scab came off as I undressed, leaving me looking normal at last once I was done with days and days of meeting people. I thought, "You have a cute sense of humor, God." :-) Thanks for your prayers. xx

Amy Spahr said...

i'm praying for you too, lisa :)

Adriana Roos said...

Hi Lisa,
Praying that the peace that transcends understanding will be with you. I've decided that a big sunhat will be way forward for life here in Mexico ;-)
Love, adri

Baba said...

praying for you...I'm glad you are at peace...not much more to say anyway...
I Love you much

andrea said...

am praying, love you lots beautiful

soulsong said...

Lisa, you are so brave and beautiful--we are all thinking of you.

Tehur said...

I didnt know!!!! I will be praying for you...I want to give you a huge

Carolyn said...

Oh,'s some hugs for you. ((((((hugs)))))). I remember when I got my cancer diagnosis, and at first, it didn't really sink in; however, after it started to, I remember being at my hairdressers, who is also a friend, and I was telling her the news; I was putting on my brave face, and yet, I was really, really scared; my friend looked at me, and said, "Carolyn, it's ok to be scared". That was just such a comfort to me at the time. News of cancer is not something one takes easily or lightly. But, now that I'm almost 8 years cancer free, I can say that it is definitely something that has made me stronger and more resilient, and, like you, given me reason to take better care of myself. :-) Congrats on turning this into a positive so quickly. And, isn't God so great as to give you parents who live in a place where they have experts on this kind of cancer, and who know how to deal with it well? :-) There are just so many blessings to be had......and, your cute photo hiding your nose makes me smile!