When I was diagnosed with lower eyelid basal cell carcinoma I was shocked. So very shocked. Mostly because the doctor and I had both known about the spot on my lower eyelid for a while. It was just this skin color spot. Nothing to be concerned about. Probably a sebaceous cyst the doctor had said last year. No need to be alarmed. Totally benign. Definitely not cancer… And yet… It was.
I have lower eyelid basal cell carcinoma.
I’m makeup free. Can you even see the spot? It’s there. So small. Tiny enough that it needed to be marked with an ink pen for the picture.
Each year I see the dermatologist. I have tons of scary looking moles and a family history of skin cancer so it’s just an annual appointment that I never miss. It’s a really quit appointment. I just go in and have a total body look over. At this point in life I have delivered 3 babies so all sense of modesty is thrown out the window. My annual skin check has become common place to me now. Nothing to be embarrassed about.
I had a couple of scary moles. Last month when I went in for my appointment I had a couple of spots that I wanted checked. Just a couple of moles that I wasn’t too sure about. The color and shape looked slightly off to me. Were the ABCDEs present? It’s honestly so hard to know. That’s why I get checked every year. I’ve had my fair share of moles removed. It’s not uncommon for me to leave the appointment with some new battle wound. A soon to be new scar. The mole pathology always comes back as being mildly to moderately dysplastic. So I’ve even had to return to get a little bit more cut here and a little bit more cut there. Thankfully this time around those scary moles were just moles. No need to take a sample. No new scars. This was going to be the quickest visit yet.
That spot on my lower eyelid. It was the last thing that I mentioned at the appointment. Almost forgot about it actually. I was more concerned about those “scary looking” moles. The spot under my eye did bother me. Just not in a scary kind of way. It was totally cosmetic. I didn’t like it being there. I was vain. I wanted it removed even if my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I would pay out of pocket. I wanted it gone.
They marked it with an ink pen. They took a couple of pictures. They sliced the spot off to send to pathology. They zapped it to seal the wound. They said there would be some bruising. They said not to worry. They said that they didn’t expect it to come back as anything. They said they would call with the results.
The results were not negative. It was malignant. I went from having a benign cyst on my face to a cancerous one over night. Sure I know that it didn’t happen over night. It had been skin cancer all along. But it sure felt like it was over night! Words like surgery and reconstruction were discussed. Doctor’s appointments were made. So many questions. So few answers. Lots of waiting.
Silver lining? The eyelid basal cell carcinoma is very slow growing. Most basal cell carcinomas are. They almost never spread and are easily treated. I’ll have surgery to remove all of the cells and it will be gone. From what I gather the only bad thing about basal cell carcinoma is it’s disfiguring because of the removal process. And I have it On. My. Face. The spot that I wanted removed for cosmetic reasons will now warrant reconstructive surgery to look normal again. Hows that for vanity?
Timeline for me: Ocular plastic surgeon consult on August 21st. Mohs surgery on October 7th. Reconstructive surgery on October 8th.
Slow growing means lots of waiting and wait I shall.
Read more about my skin cancer journey HERE.
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