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Skin Cancer Awareness – It Happened to me

As some of you know, I recently found I had skin cancer on my face. this blog post is not to scare anyone, its to make people aware of skin cancer. It came from a tiny scab on my face which i thought was nothing more, heres my short story…read on or comment below if you wish.  Its quite indepth well kind of, if you are squeamish, i guess dont read on!

And apologies for the rubbish phone photos! 😀

To begin…

So about 6 months ago, possibly more I had a scab develop on my face. It kept bleeding then healing over, never hurt was just annoying really as it healed for so long then started again. Plus any pictures I took I had this black mark on my cheek all the time, cosmetic i know..

So what made me go? About two months ago, my mum kept nagging me about going to get it checked saying thats not right it never seems to go. Mums ay! So we agreed if after the next time it bleeds it doesnt heal completely I will go to see the doctor. Also i was concerned it the scab never healed completely too.

So I booked an appointment with the doctor. To cut a long story short she said it sounds and looks like skin cancer. To say I was shocked and bit numb was an understatement at first. The first thing you think is well thats my lot then but being a positive person I thought lets first see if the biopsy shows it as skin cancer before getting carried away plus cancer these days is not always terminal.

The doctor I saw said it looks like basal cell carcinoma. Its a common form of skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun. Being fair haired I do use sun lotion as I dont want to get burnt like anyone else but clearly not enough. Im not a sun worshipper at all in fact!  This is one of the reasons i wrote this post as i said ok its happened to me, never thought it would!

As well as the scab on my face, inside my nostril started to bleed at the end too, this is why the leaflet the doctor gave me, i thought im sure it is skin cancer all the signs that are noted here point that way but lets still wait.

2 weeks later, I went for the biopsy. Very nervous like you would be I walked into the operating theatre. The doctor said its just a biopsy, we will take some tissue from the area of your face and send it off. Will give you a local anaesthetic and it will be over in no time. Two minutes later the doctor started to look closer and said Im going to cut it all out, i dont want to wait, to which i had mixed thoughts, one saying what! now? the other saying just let him do, its gone then and no more worrying!

So he did the minor surgery. Lasted about 2o minutes or so,didnt feel a thing apart from the movement in all honesty, no pain, just had my eyes closed all the time at his request.

Couldnt wash it or get it wet for 2 days. Got home and it started bleeding. After advice from the doctor, I re dressed it. This is what it looked like at first…ready!?

 

Before….with cover on    After before re dressing  20151126_182613   Nice shiner too! 🙂

So now I have to just wait for it to heal. Stayed in all weekend and just watched lots of movies, went back to work but took off the cover as I could.

There’s that thought that says shall i leave it on or take it off? Leave it on,people will always say oh what happened to your face? Take it off, some didnt notice if i was the wrong side of them, the others either said what happened or said have you been in a fight…the people that knew me well knew the last bit was so unlikely as im not that person at all.

In between healing image below, one where you can see a close up on the stitches:

IMG_20151201_130109

The two images put together below are before and after the surgery:

IMG_20151128_200714

It was the tiny mark on my cheek. The cut was large to ensure the final scar and mark was a small as possible apparently.

So common questions I got asked were:

Did the scab hurt? no

Did the surgery hurt? No, the needle numbed it, bit sore when the anaesthetic wore off but toothache is far worse!

Am I clear now? Yes although I am at a higher risk of getting another one however nothing says i will get one, I will use factor 50 i can assure you now! Would rather look like a milk bottle and be healthy than go through the risk again.

So my advice is if you have a mark, mole that just appeared or is bugging you, dont leave it longer than 2 or 3 weeks. You are more at risk if you leave things. My mum nagged me and i love her for it because im now healthy again and it has put things in perspective too.

For the sake of a 15 minute appointment, you are potentially saving your life. Sounds dramatic but I know i wont be risking it again, if I had left it longer who knows, just dont think about it!

Positive outcome, im all clear and the scar is bearly visible:

IMG_20151209_115340

Life is for living! Hope this helped anyone who is thinking about getting checked or currently waiting to be checked.

And as of November 2016 this is me today!

 

menov2016

  1. Chris Melotte says:

    Firstly and most importantly thank God your okay but also thanks for highlighting that we should never neglect this kind of thing – As you say for the sake of making that effort for a 15 minute check up you have potentially saved your life.

    Onwards and upwards for you now and sounds like your Mum is pretty amazing – Well done your mum for giving Dom that push !

    So glad all is okay for you now Dom

  2. Tony says:

    I never like reading medical stories or watching them on TV unless there is a happy ending and a good outcome.Which I am delighted to read this was.All credit to your Mum for urgeing you to get it checked out.Best wishes and excellent health for the future.

  3. Robert says:

    Hi Dom

    Very brave of you to post this, and extremely helpful too. I have a close loved one who has been referred to hospital for minor surgery in February to have a small cancer removed from just below her eyelid. She went through a similar procedure as you did except that they photographed it first and she was then referred to a specialist eye surgeon (because of the location). I am a bit worried and so is she (she is mainly for the aesthetic impact). I have spent all Xmas trying to assure her it will be very minimal (you could barley see a thing after the biopsy) but you know girls.

    Anyway that’s for this blog post, its most encouraging mate…

    Best wishes and cheers, Rob