July 1 2019
Our theme this month is “Life Goes On, How Do You?” Although it wasn’t the loss of a loved one, I experienced a loss six years ago that brought me face to face with the question, Life goes on, how do you? Almost two decades ago while living elsewhere, I asked my primary care physician about an irritated area on my nose. He told me it was an infection and he gave me some antibiotic cream. This irritation came and went for several years and when we moved to State College, I eventually went to a dermatologist for skin cancer screening. The dermatologist scheduled me for a biopsy and we learned it was basal cell carcinoma. I was then scheduled to have MOHS surgery to remove the cancerous cells, one small piece at a time until they were certain they got it all. Three times the surgeon dug tissue from my nose and checked it under the microscope before she was certain I was in the clear. Because of the shape of my nose and the lack of extra tissue to stretch, I now needed reconstructive surgeries. That same day, the surgeon took a piece of cartilage from my ear and grafted it to my nose to begin the process. Our daughter’s high school graduation was in a few days, so the surgeon kindly bandaged me in a way that my profile from the right side looked normal – allowing for graduation pictures. I’ll continue this story next week.