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Basal Cell Carcinoma

Well.....here is my basal cell carcinoma story that I have been sitting on for a while. This kind of cancer is the most common type of skin cancer and according to the dermatologist that cut mine out it was caused by childhood or early exposure to sun and/or tanning beds.
When I was 14/15 I wanted a tan and went to tanning beds a lot and I also did burn several times from the sun. The last time I went to a tanning bed was over ten years ago now, I remember....I was in Denver working at a club called Shotgun Willies. I wanted a tan because I am one of those fair skinned people. And thought (like many others) that I looked better with a tan. Plus in a strip club you look better with a tan in general, that is just how it is. Pale skin lit up on stage by all the lights is more unforgiving than tanned skin or darker complexions, that is why so many girls that dance either tan, use self tanner or cover up with corsets, pantyhose and other articles of clothing.....I don't cover up with that stuff. Anyhow, I burned badly from that tanning session in Denver and I had to stay home from work because I felt feverish, my skin was red, hot and hurt to touch, that is when I decided no more tanning beds. But like I said, this BCC (basal cell carcinoma) is from from early sun exposure.
Anyhow, a few years ago I noticed what I thought was a mole on my back that felt weird and I have MANY moles and skin tags, probably over 100. Blergh.
Some people point them out and think they are cute and I've had a few Chinese people really like them and told me my moles means I am lucky. Well, I personally do NOT think most of my moles are cute in any kind of way and I want about 15 of them removed like TODAY. I have even entertained the thought of cutting them off myself with a razor blade. I had four (if I recall it right) removed as a teenager in Sweden, I should had removed more that time. Because it was FREE.
And it wasn't free a few months ago when I had the BCC cut out. My first surgery by the way......
So this mole on my back felt weird, like scaly and rough and it would bleed sometimes. So back in May I FINALLY went to a dermatologist, she actually would frequent the cafe I worked at and I would make her soy lattes, we started talking and she told me she was a dermatologist at a doctor's office nearby, so I made an appointment. And yes indeed, my suspicion was right.....this was not what I thought a weird mole, it was BCC.
Jordan (the dermatologist) scraped about a quarter size off and had it sent into a lab for a biopsy.



I got a call back a few days later and Jordan told me that I should have the whole basal cell carcinoma cut out. Which I did. I was awake the whole time, I got a few injections for the pain and then she started cutting and digging. It took a while, longer than I had anticipated and then she sutured the wound shut. I got nothing for the pain. When I drove home I felt sad, lonely and I really missed my Mom.
I have not told my Mom about this because I do not want to worry her, I am OK.
I felt somewhat uncomfortable from the surgery the first two days, I felt a burning sensation like that area was on fire and sleeping on my back was not an option.
I took an over the counter pain pill twice, that's it. I think it was Advil.



I had the stitches in for about two and a half weeks, they were kind of itchy. It felt good to have them removed. Like.....ahhhhhh.....finally!



And here is my scar. It is kind of red. I have Mederma and something called ScarAway but I am too lazy to apply that on a regular basis.



It is EXPENSIVE to have a procedure like this done in the US. Just made me think even more about how messed up and unfair healthcare is in this country.
I of course think that healthcare should be free, or at least low cost, for everybody and available to everyone that needs it. NOBODY wants to be sick, at least nobody sane. I don't think it is OK that some people get healthcare for free and others have to pay. You don't have a job, you don't pay taxes and you get your healthcare for free, others that work and pay taxes have to pay out of pocket or pay for expensive health insurance and worry about confusing and costly deductibles and the wealthy don't have to worry because they can afford their medical care anyways. And why do some get their methadone for free but others that have cancer for example have to pay? I do not agree with this at all. Healthcare and all that surrounds it, like insurance costs, the insurance companies and the doctors......it's all a profit making industry. I feel it is morally wrong to profit of sick people. Has anybody heard of the Hippocratic Oath? Seems to me that the Hippocratic Oath and making profit of people when they are sick does not go hand in hand.
So....what can I tell you? I survived. It wasn't my most exciting and fun moment but it is over, I hope. They cut out all the basal cell carcinoma, at least that is what I was told. I want about 15 more moles removed, just regular moles not cancer. So if you are a physician that wants to do some pro bono work and cut away some of my moles - let me know.
And one more thing - DO NOT USE tanning beds (just DON'T ) and try not to burn your skin in the sun.

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Carla on :

Very interesting.... a good warning for those who are fair skinned like you and me. I have never used a tanning bed and I do indeed burn very easily so I try to cover up and use sunblock as much as possible when I am out and about in the sun... and especially when at the beach or a pool.

I have a scar above my knee from a bad bike accident some years ago... I have used ScarAway with good success but my doctor told me to also massage it and/or aggressively knead it several times a day... after several months my scar became barely visible and now it is just a distant memory.
Because your scar is on your back you will require a friend (or lover) to do those things for you... it could be a pleasant experience for both !!!!!

Yep, healthcare is messed up.... ObamaCare was a failed attempt at fixing it but ended up screwing it up for most people that work, especially the self-employed that don't have company subsidized insurance covering some of the costs of insurance premiums. In many states there is only one provider and no alternative choices, plus the premiums have increase dramatically and the deductibles are so very high that most folks will never reach them..... It will be interesting to see what becomes of the replacement plans....

Sorry to hear about your bouts with basal cell carcinoma.... keep on top of this like you have been doing.

Thanks for sharing...

Tatiana on :

I regret every minute spent in tanning beds. You made a great decision Carla to never step foot in one.
Outside tanning in moderation....we can never avoid the sun completely.
I don't like the idea of massaging my scar vigourasly......I will just occasionally smear some vitamin e on it.
It is what it is.

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