Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Nose Gets an Update of Her Own

I had a small surgery on my nose on Tuesday and this is only Friday but I'm having difficulty hanging around being gentle. The process to remove the basal-squamous-carcinoma from my nose involved Swipe, Freeze, Check, Repeat. These are my non-medical terms for it (in case you thought otherwise--ha ha.)

Swipe is when the doctor takes the scalpel and cuts off what he believes will be all of the cancerous stuff on my nose. Freeze is when they freeze the tissue so they can look at it. Check is when they look at it through the microscope and decide if they got it all. If there are basal-squamous cells at the edge, they have to go back until they get a clean perimeter.

It took 3 Swipes before they got it all. The little hole left in my nose is about the diameter of a plump pea says Byron, who was watching the procedure.

Next step was Cover the Hole. This required a little skin graft taken from right in front of my left ear.

Then you have Stitch and Patch. Or Patch-Stitch-Patch. Make a patch, cover the hole, sew it in, sew up the graft site, and patch me up with bandages.

This all went fine. The patch of graft on my nose is lighter than my nose skin so I will have a little polka dot on the left of my nose. I could decorate that with a piercing, I suppose. (Except I'm too old for that.)

Anyway, it's THE BANDAGE that has given me grief. Turns out I'm allergic to the adhesive on the tape and I woke up on Thursday all swollen with puffy eyelids. Happily, the allergic reaction caused the nurse to remove my LARGE clown-nose bandage. Sadly, I have to be more careful now in the next few days because my nose is more vulnerable to disruption.

So, I was set to fly to Kansas City today to be with my 24-7 Prayer mates. But I'm here in Pasadena being gentle instead.

I am accepting this weekend as a gift of rest... but I'm still having a bit of a hard time with it. I can't help but feel a little sorry for myself to be missing out on the chance to be at the Kansas City Boiler Room with some of the best folks around. Many of them have flown in from Europe for this.

The remaining patch on my nose looks like a yellow ball about the size of a gob of chewing gum. It looks like the stuff that people hang posters on the wall with. It's actually sewn onto my nose right over the skin graft and it looks like I've stuck chewing gum onto the side of nose.

This ball patch comes off Tuesday when I go show my healing to the doctor.

And all of this is to say, PLEASE WEAR SUNSCREEN, friends. I've not been a mad sun-worshipper but every minute of over-exposure does finally catch up to us.

Thanks for prayers. I appreciate them.

(Regarding the photo: the sewn-on patch is a little bit scary to look at but here I am anyway, some puffiness still remaining.)


Carrie said...

Oh your precious little nose! Sorry for the little side route what with the bandages and all. Maybe once Africa gets in your blood, nothing can be a direct line anymore. ;) Still praying for you and vowing to wear more sunscreen.

sue said...

Oh Lisa, dear! Not to be relieved of this as quickly as we hoped!! You and your adorable nose WILL be healed and relieved soon we pray!!!

Baba said...

Oh Lisa, I pray you'll get full recovery...
I'll try to remember the sun screen at the land...I'm not so good with that!!!
Bless you..
Big hug...

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa! I'm praying that you are continuing to heal well!
I really missed having a chance to chat with you this past weekend! I was looking forward to it but noses do need quiet time to heal!
Well, until we meet again in some other country!
Catherine Jones