Thursday, October 2, 2008

"God- No More Cancer PLEASE!!!"

Yesterday was a rough day.  My day actually started at 1:00 am, when little princess decided to wake up hungry.  YES I FED HER! For those mommy's that say I shouldn't so her body isn't use to eating in the early hours like that.  I can't listen to her scream at 1:00 am, are you kidding me? Then she was UP-UP at 5:00 am.  So we hung out for a couple of hours. I made the beds, did a little dusting, a load of towels, fed that cats, fed myself and then she was ready for a little 20 minute nap around 7:00 am.  I then got into the shower and then dressed for my trip up to Jupiter for my cancer surgery.  

If you recall I posted back in July (24th) about Basil Skin Cancer, the type of cancer I have on my forehead.  Well, I finally had Mohs Surgery to remove it yesterday. 

First, let me say that when they talk to you about this, they make it seem like is really isn't a big deal (the surgery procedure).  I picture myself just sitting in a chair and they numb up my forehead and cut away at the cancer.  Well, that is part true, but not all the facts.  

Around 8:00 am my friend Noelle came to pick me up.  We thought it would best if daddy stayed home with baby girl since she is still a little picky with who she is left with. Still having a little separation anxiety I think. Besides, he could get a little work done at the same time while home with her.  Its been pretty hectic at work for him these last few weeks because of the market craziness.  I feel so bad for him and am thankful at the same time that it is him and not me.  I think I only like to deal with people when I want, I would hate to have to deal with so many people every day like that and especially over something so sensitive as money.  You know what I mean? 

First stop, is the dermatology office in Jupiter.  In which, Dr. Weisberg performed Mohs surgery.  Now some may ask why up in Jupiter?  For those who have no idea where that even is, it is about an hour north of were I live in Coral Springs, Florida. I had seen a couple of dermatologist in the last year, because I knew I would eventually be having surgery to remove this Basil Cancer off my head.  The ones I had previously met just didn't sit right with me. I wasn't 100% comfortable with them.  I started to ask around and doing a little research for myself, and it came to me that I should ask Dr. Patipa, the amazing doctor who did all the reconstruction face work on my husband after his softball injury last Oct. (1 year ago this Halloween).  He is known as one of the best of the best surgeons out here, and so I figured he would know some of the best of the best plastic surgeons that do my kind of surgeries (working with cancer etc.). 

He referred me to Dr. Weisberg to perform the Mohs Surgery, then Dr. Weisberg referred me to Dr. Lickstein to do the magic of Plastic Surgery.  My appointed with Dr. W. was at 9:30 AM, in which we arrive in plenty of time.  They take me right in and get me prepped to begin.  For this surgery I am sitting in a chair in a room just as if I were reclining in a chair for my dentist.  They shine this really bright lamp over you, covering your eyes if sensitive like me, with tanning goggles.  They poke a few thousand needles in my head around the cancer area.  At least if felt like a thousand needles.  It was like getting 2 years worth of Botox shots, injected all in one visit.  Yes, I tried Botox for about a year before getting pregnant with Morgan.  I LOVE IT, BTW!!!  When we can afford it, I shall one day start getting it again.  In truth it does help me for TV stuff, because I am very expressional in my face, and I seem to have a lot of skin on my forehead area. So when I am on camera my forehead seems to exaggerate the wrinkles when I raise my eyes brows while speaking.  Anyways...getting off subject here.

As I am sitting in the chair having cancer cut off my head, I am texting my mom, my husband, my friend Lisa and my friend Noelle sitting in the lobby.  Oh, the love I have for technology.  LOL! What they do is they cut the cancer spot out and then bandage you up.  Send you to the waiting room while they look at the spot under a microscope to make sure they got it all.  If there is any part of the cancer touching the edge of the spot they removed, then the will go back and gut another layer out, and they keep doing this until the edges of the skin they removed has no lining of the cancer touching the edges. Think of it as an octopus.  The BUMP on the outside of the skin is the head of the octopus, which is the main part of the cancer.  If the octopus has its legs all curled up in one spot they can scoop him (cancer spot) up in one little shot. If the octopus has it's legs stretched all out then they have to keep cutting around and around until they see no length of the legs left spreading in the skin. Make sense? You still with me? 

Okay, so they want to start small, of course, keeping it as small and clean as possible.  Im sitting in the waiting room for about 20 minutes, in which by the way I am by far the youngest person in this room probably by 30 years.  That is kind of scary to think about.  The nurse comes back to get me and says they need to go another round.  Aw man this stinks, is all I could think of! 

A little off subject for a second here.  The nurse and I were talking, and while talking I learned she has a 16-month little girl by the name of Morgan Rose.  So of course we shared Morgan stories and all the stuff mommy's talk about.  While telling her the story of how Morgan was at first told to us she was a boy, and that her name would have been Jesse Logan, she then starts laughing because her name was Jesse.  Would that be Jessie, if she is a girl? It is short for Jessica is all I know.  So, we have a good time laughing and chatting it up while in there.  She let me sneak a couple of pictures with my camera phone before she covered it up each time.  I was thinking of all of you when taking the pictures.  (Winking) 

I know posting with out pictures, is like lemon water with no lemons.  It just isn't the same! 

So I am back in the waiting room. Noelle and I are reading the 50 magazines we brought with us.  Again, I get called back in for round #3.  Keep in mind now, that for each round, this means its getting deeper and wider on my head.  I am getting a little nervous by this point.  After all it is my face and I do model for a living. 

After Round#3 they come in and say "Area Complete".  So they begin cleaning the area and bandaging it up so I can drive over to the hospital for the plastic surgery part. Jesse couldn't get the bandage to stay attached to the top of my forehead area because it was right on the hairline of my head.  So another nurse comes and says "we are going to have to shave" (as in shave my hair!!).  You want to see reaction?  I quickly shouted "NO WAY!" I continued to say "please, seriously, lets try to figure this out with out shaving my head.  I have a photo shoot on the 15th and I can cover up a scar and as well can also touch it up, but it would be impossible to fix the hair with a shaved spot missing." I quickly reassured her, I will be gentle, and careful and I will only eat lunch and go straight to the hospital.  Taking a huge deep breath for I convinced her to not shave my hair.  Could you imagine?  It was almost like I was more concerned about the hair (such a girl) than I was about the cancer and the scar I am about to have.  LOL

Noelle and I leave.  We go to this place called "Leftover's Cafe".  It's pretty good dining if you ask me.  I like it. Then off to the hospital for yet another surgery. Still thinking that it will just be another setting like I just had, sitting in a chair while the doctor does his thing.  

We get to Good Samaritan Hospital in Jupiter, head over to the pre-op registration room and fill out what seems to be a life's worth of paper work. Once I was done there they take me to the patient waiting area.  Its that room that has all these bed in one area and all types of patients laying around with curtains opened and some closed. I am told to get undressed, put on the hospital gown, booties and hair cap. I ask the lady, "do I really have to put all of this on if I am only using local anesteia and they are only working on my head. After all I was now a pro at this (I thought) for I did just have "Mohs Surgery" done a few hours ago.  She said with a surprised / questionable look on her face, "are you sure your not being put under for this?"  Im like yea, I am pretty sure and considering I just ate a huge burger (I mean a lite lunch) I can't be put under now anyways, can I?  She stills looks confused and says she needs to go talk to the doctor.  I look at Noelle with a "uh-ho" look. If you are put under you cant have anything to eat or drink after mid-night.  I had breakfast and lunch before arriving at hospital (permission from my doctor).  She came back and said "we are all laughing at you Ms. Burger eater.  We don't have many that chose local anesteia so I was confused, but we all voted we would rather have a burger too if we were you." LOL 

Okay I know this blog is getting long, I am wrapping up here.  

I get undressed, I am sitting in the bed and still texting away to Lisa, Mom, Mark and chatting with Noelle sitting next to me.  It all felt way too familiar laying there.  It reminded me so much of the day (5 months ago) going in for my c-section.  Except this time it wasn't as exciting.  I was getting rid of something, versus getting something. 

After sitting there waiting, they came and sent Noelle to the waiting room and rolled me out to take me to the operating room.  I get in there and yeap sure enough its an OPERATING ROOM. Not some little room, with one big chair in the center of it for me.  They put me on an "operating table", they strap my legs down, then put all these wires on me, they wrap plastic on me, take my blood pressure, check my temp and heart.  Refill my IV pack I have attached to me.  They start taping my hair back, washing my face with this soap and product like stuff and wrap this huge towel like think around my entire face, almost as if you are about to get the "facial" of a life time.  Before I know it, I have about 4 people standing around me, all asking me different questions, while also carrying on your typical conversations about the weather, life and kids. 

They begin..... 

Another hundred shots poked into my head.  "OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I feel that!"  Seemed to be all I could get out for the first few moments.  Once I was numb it began.  They had the music jamming in the room, Areosmith and Pearl Jam.  Which is probably a good thing, because the sound effects of them cutting your skin out and the smell of them burning your skin off arent the best things to focus on.  Yea, it was pretty gross and stinky.  

I can literally feel them yanking my skin around, tugging, pulling and stretching it.  It felt as though they were going to pull my head off the table by the skin of my forehead.  YIKES!!!! Basically, that is what he was doing.  Stretching my skin out to pull it together.


While I am typing this post, I go to google "Mohs Surgery" to see if I can find the kind they did on my forehead to give you an idea of how it is they repair something like that.  I googled "Mohs Surgery on the face" and this website appears. I click on it to view it and see what it says and guess who I see on their website????   Well, you will just have to go see for yourself.  I don't even remember doing this photo. Back in the days when you are new to modeling, the thing to do sometimes would be to do "stock photo shoots". Which means you get paid a flat rate to shoot random stuff, in which then goes into a stock file for clients to later purchase for their use as this website did, with out having to pay for the models and all the expenses that go with photo shoots. I realized later on, that doing stock photo shoots was a rip-off to the models, so I no longer do them. But, like today, from time to time, I will randomly see my face appear in all sorts of things, with images from a stock shoot I did years ago. 

Who would ever imagined I would see my face on the website of a dermatology clinic, and find it by searching the surgery I just had on my own face.  Crazy little things that make you say "hhmmmm".   As my husband said to me "I have Moh's surgery and advertise for it as well. I may as well be the Poster Girl for it now." Ha! Ha! 

This part of the surgery took about 45 minutes and when I looked into the mirror I almost cried.  My little circle on my head was now this long line. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be and right now because they did so much pulling and stretching, this part of my forhead basically had a lift and eye brow lift.  I am told that it will relax and that my eyebrow will not stay like that.  Lets just hope not.  I was able to before leaving the room, color my eyebrows back in with a eyebrow pencil to even them out a bit.  It was pretty funny for if I tried to raise my eye brows, only the left one moves and only that side of my forehead wrinkles up.  

I go back in next week to have the stitches removed (26 stitches - something I can bolding brag about to my son). I will ask the doctor all my remaining questions then (like what happens if my eyebrow stays a little higher, what will we have to do to even them out?). Again, I can handle the scar, as scary as it looks right now, but I can't walk around with uneven eyebrows.  You girls with me here? 

I did great during all the surgeries with little pain, until I got home that night, when all the numbness started to wear off, I felt like I had a brick hit me in the head.  I ended up taking 2 Vicodin and heading to bed. In the middle of the night I was itching all over but was so "knocked out" to care or get up.  I am still a little itchy this morning, but nothing really big.  I said to Mark "did you feel me scratching last night, I couldn't stop itching".  Well, I just google side effects of Vicodin and it says I should call my at once if I experience the following:

Vicodin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives;difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;

  • feeling light-headed, fainting;

  • confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • problems with urination; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • feeling anxious, dizzy, or drowsy;

  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation;

  • headache, mood changes;

  • blurred vision;

  • ringing in your ears; or

  • dry mouth.

Well, I am not itching that bad and I am not in enough pain where I will need to take more Vicodin while home alone with a baby, so I guess I will wait it out.  I will take Tylenol Extra Strength for my headache I feel coming on.

I guess I had a bit of an allergic reaction to this pill and didn't know it.  Next time I will know better. I seem to be okay and doing fine now. 

Enough of my rambling, here are the pictures I took through out the day with the camera phone.  

Remember: (click on images to zoom) IF YOU DARE!!! 


Round One

Round Two   

Round Three

Out to Lunch at "Leftover's Cafe" 

At the hospital in patient waiting room 

Getting ready to go in

The fun stuff

The scary aftermath (When I wanted to cry)

This was taken TODAY 


5 Personal Thoughts:

Vicky said...

Oh Misty, bless your heart! You are posting and able to laugh even when its so serious! My dad has had more Melanoma spots cut from him than I can count. And he just takes it in stride... So with a family history of it I know what my future holds. God bless you and I will pray for healing as apparently you are already very STRONG!


oh baby girl you look beautiful really, you have your health thats all thaT matters you are alright, wow it was like if we went with you, that was great, my mom has the same thing and has to go get it taken care of so your cliff notes i call them LOL will help her to understand what will happen.btw lisa kept me posted and said that you were alright i was thinking of you all day yesterday! glad you are better, hunter will think my mom is a rebel cool mommy! i think you are brave and did a great job, i would be texting on my phone as well ha.were funny they are taken care of us and we are making small talk, well GIRL glad you are alright! and ill talk to u later get some rest. and you can ask for some perK-it-set sp iam sure its a pain pill but you may do better with that and no itcy feeling.iam amazed whith how good they did it, misty you are lucky and blessed , it could have been LOT WORST. YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL....... LOVE YA MICHELLE

daniella said...

holy moly, where do I start?!!!

That scar will really disapear in no time. It will be a faint little line that you won't be able to see.

The good news is that now you're cancer free!!!!! And I'm glad you didn't let them shave your hair. You do have your priorities straight!

Do you remember how horrid the c-section scar looked? Well, look at it now and see how much better it is...with no plastic surgery! So, I think the scar will barely be visible. And with the new haircut, it think it should cover it right up in the meantime.

So, so glad everything went smoothly and you're healthy and OK. Nothing else matters :-) And of course, you're still gorgeous as ever.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I had to go back and see the before, before I viewed the new pics. Very brave sister, very brave!!

Anonymous said...

Yikes, honey I had to go and see the 'before' pics before I saw the new doo. Very brave sister, very brave!!

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