What About Life After Skin Cancer Surgery?

I had Mohs surgery Wednesday to remove a basal cell carcinoma on my cheek and another one on my back. I wrote about this being my second skirmish with skin cancer a couple of weeks ago. You can read about it if you want the details.

This is how Mohs surgery works.

This is how Mohs surgery works.

Yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life. The operations took three hours, but at least one hour of that was waiting time. In Mohs surgery, they remove a section of skin and then take it back to the lab to see that they got all the cancer out. If they did they sew you back up. If not, they remove some more skin and go back to the lab for another look. For my two growths, they got it all the first time on my cheek, but had to go back in for a second cut on my back.

My girlfriend met me at the hospital about halfway through the procedure and then we went to lunch to celebrate my being cancer-free. The condemned man ate a hearty meal. It was a great relief to be finished with cancer for now and, hopefully, forever. Remember, I had two fresh wounds on me with at least a dozen stitches in each. I went home, walked the dog and then crashed for two hours.

They gave me a sheet of do’s and don’t’s to protect my stitches. I can not drink alcohol because it thins the blood and may contribute to post operative bleeding. The following is underlined: Avoid strenuous exercise which raises your blood pressure, as well as bending and lifting  that causes your muscles and skin to pull, which may interfere with wound healing.

As regular readers know, I don’t smoke and I advise strongly against it. Here is what the post operation sheet says – Avoid smoking. Smoking reduces the blood supply to healing stitch lines and drastically worsens the appearance of the scar.

I drove 15 miles to the riverboat yesterday for some non-taxing video poker. That certainly wouldn’t strain any muscles. I was surprised to learn that within a half hour, I was v e r y tired. I cut my visit short and found myself worried about falling asleep on the short drive home. I even considered a different route that would keep me off expressways. Long story short, I made it home all right, but took a big nap that ate up the afternoon.

I was low energy the rest of the day, had a light meal and watched a football game from the weekend on my DVR. Went to bed early.

I am writing this Friday morning, I am still low energy after a full night’s sleep. I am not in any way ready to resume riding my bike yet. I feel funny not having any rides or other exercise, but my body doesn’t seem to mind it at all. I listen to my body. First things first.

This is clearly a one day at a time deal.



Filed under cancer, Mohs surgery, skin cancer

2 responses to “What About Life After Skin Cancer Surgery?

  1. Maria Hobbs

    Good luck with the cancer. Life is always “one day at a time” whether we realize it or not.
    I continue to enjoy your pearl of wisdom and sometimes share them with friends.
    How is John???

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Thanks for your kind words, Maria. Nice to hear from you. You are so right about the one day at a time.

      John left the blog in December of 2012 and we haven’t spoken since. I hope he is well.


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