Toenails are so overrated

Running, rambling, and randomness

The year that was 2012

can be best summed up with one word. Cancer.

Everybody have fun tonight

I’m fine now, let’s just get that out of the way.

In April 2011, I went to the dermatologist for a rash that I get pretty much every summer thanks to Florida’s lovely humidity. She wrote me my usual prescription and, since I was there, did a full body check. And three biopsies.

Fast forward 10-14 days and the phone rings. It’s a nurse calling to tell me I have cancer. Specifically microcystic adnexal carcinoma. Go ahead, google it, I’ll wait. Not a whole hell of a lot out there, I know. It’s apparently a rare form of sweat gland cancer. The nurse gives me a referral to a MOHS surgeon and sends me on my not so merry way. I had the requisite freak out phone calls with my boyfriend and my mom and then made an appointment with the surgeon.

Oh and did I mention that this was on my face? Of course it was.

I spend a lot of time consulting Dr. Google about the MOHS procedure and by the time my appointment rolls around, I’m feeling pretty decent about all this. The surgeon takes small amounts of skin, checks them under the microscope, then takes more if necessary. Later, rinse, repeat until the margins (edges) are clear of cancerous cells. Then the spot is grafted and voila! all done. Tiny spot on my face – not so bad, right?


Apparently microcystic adnexal carcinoma is so rare that my dermatologist didn’t quite grasp the severity of things. But the MOHS surgeon, oh the MOHS surgeon sure did. And she promptly started spouting off things about lymph nodes and radiation and I had my first real “oh fuck” moment sitting in her office.

She referred me to a head and neck oncologist at MD Anderson Orlando and the first available appointment was a few days later on my 36th birthday. Happy birthday to me.

So I saw the oncologist. Who discussed my surgical options. And sent me for a CAT scan. And referred me to a radiologist for a pre-surgery consult. And a plastic surgeon who would close the incision she made while removing the tumor. In a two week span, I had more doctor appointments than most people have in a year.

Then I got the first bit of good news. The CAT scan showed that my lymph nodes were clear. Had they not been, chemo and a whole host of other things would have suddenly been on the table.

With that bit of good news, the surgery was scheduled.

{To be continued…}

You can view a lot of images from my recovery {some fairly graphic, consider yourself warned} along with some ranting and rambling about the suckiness of it all over at The Patient is Not.


4 comments on “The year that was 2012

  1. Pingback: The year that was 2012 {Part 2} « Toenails are so overrated

  2. Pingback: Skin checks and stress « Toenails are so overrated

  3. Yoga Fire Florida
    December 18, 2012

    I am glad everything is ok now. Cancer is scary.

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This entry was posted on September 6, 2012 by in cancer and tagged .
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