Thursday, March 25, 2004

Mole Update

The delayed closing of escrow wasn't the only thing causing me to freak out on Monday, I also had my stitches removed. I expected it to hurt a lot more than it did, based on my experience with the stitches in my scalp from last year's mole. Gah, I really hope this mole-removal thing doesn't become a springtime routine for me. Anyway, I was anticipating brief but significant pain, combined with the general freakiness of my face being messed with, plus the background worry of what the biopsy results would be.

Turns out it isn't melanoma (entire family breaths a sigh of relief), but a less malignant form of abnormality called Spitz Nevus. So it's a mixed bag, hooray for absence of melanoma, but since the cells were still abnormal, I have to have the margin excised. Which means more of my face being removed. A very melodramatic way of saying that they'll take out a slim oval surrounding the original excision site, leaving me with a line about twice as long as the one I have now.

I was not happy about this news at all. The wound on my face still looked pretty swollen at this point, and the indents left by the sutures were still very evident, all I could think of was walking around for the rest of my life with a highly visible zipper-like scar in the middle of my face. As if I don't have enough appearance issues already. My one big self reasurring point has always been that even if by body is ungainly, at least my face is ok, sometimes even more than ok, sometimes beautiful.

I have no way of knowing how much I was channeling all the surrounding tension into the issue of further surgery, probably quite a lot, but I cried most of the way home, and the only reason I didn't continue to cry much at home is that Matt calmed me down and made me feel better.

Tuesday, Mum called me in the middle of the day to say hi. It turns out Dad had called to update her when he got my email saying the mole wasn't cancerous, but they still wanted to remove the margin. It meant a lot to me that from that minimal information she knew it was worth calling to see if I was ok. She has a couple of small scars, one from a broken nose, one from thyroid surgery (on her neck), so I know she understands the worry of being marked.

Today I'm a lot less worried, the swelling has gone, and the stitch marks too, and all that's left is a red line about half an inch long. No zipper, no big pucker marks. If the result of the margin removal looks like this, only longer, I can cope. My dermatologist is clearly capable of lining up the edges properly when stitching up a hole. I'm not ecstatic about the prospect of a further piece of my cheek being removed of course, or about another week of looking after sutures followed by however long it takes to heal fully after the sutures are taken out. At least I feel fairly confident I'm not going to become an investor in copious amounts of cover-up, just a more regular sunscreen wearer.