I presented with one BCC in April and ended up having 13 removed last Wednesday.
After a busy day last Tuesday visiting the amazing Crook Hall and Gardens in Durham (post to follow in the next couple of days) and a family funeral on the afternoon, I took the sheers to my hair and gave myself a number one all over. (I had also spent a lovely day on the Monday buying hats and bits and bobs in Primark)
Needs must, and it did mean that I located a couple of BCC‘s and for all they seemed nothing on the surface, they had progressed under the skin.
I spent four hours in surgery and for the first time in a very, very long time, I gave in and stayed overnight. I was in massive amounts of pain and my blood pressure was reflecting it.
It was a very restless night but I was very well looked after and despite the doctor taking quite a few hours to come to my rescue the Nurses kept me topped up and I managed a few hours.
I came home with stronger pain killers than I would normal and they did their job. Although I am still struggling with the pain in my head. I had my facial stitches and my graft dressing taken away yesterday and they are all looking good. However, my head feels like it has been in a vice and my next appointment cant come soon enough so I can get my head stitches out.
On Tuesday I start the Erivedge…….the saga continues…
Far be it from me not too keep you up to date with all things me.
This is going to be one of those text heavy post with only one picture. (There are only so many pictures of hospital signs and ward signs that one person can take and look at).
The last time I spoke Gorlins Syndrome I told you that I had my surgery cancelled, this was due to my Consultant wanting to see me in person because of the large increase in BCC’s that I had. Well…..
On Monday, I got to see him. Despite having a 1025 appointment that had been changed without advising me to 1100, then having to wait until 1200 to see him, I finally got in.
He apologised for having cancelled my surgery and told me, the reason was that I had gone from a half hour surgery slot to a three hour slot, also because I had such an increase in BCC’s. A new date had been found for me and it was late November, he asked if I could give his secretary a call to confirm what date it actually was.
He asked me to show him where the BCC’s were and that I did. I explained to him that I have several on my head but finding them is a nightmare, so asked if we could just go with the flow and take them off on the day as I would have no hair and he looked quite shocked. (I have been threatening the hair thing now for so long I am boring myself) When I explained to him that keeping my hair seemed pointless when I am starting the Erivedge after the surgery, he seemed to back down and said “Oh ok, well yes you are highly likely to get alapecia in some form so I understand the reasoning”.
At this point came the question I was expecting.
“So why, if you are planning on taking the Erivedge, are we doing surgery?”
My answer was simple, I could not get my head around starting the oral treatment with visual BCC’s. I wanted to be clear and want to start the Erivedge on a clean slate.
I explained that I had consulted the team at The Freeman Hospital and that they were happy with this decision, also I told him that I understood where he was coming from but there was in my mind no other way about taking the treatment. I have spent days thinking about nothing else, hours when the kids have gone to bed crying because I just couldn’t get my head around what to do. This way I am comfortable and in the zone and that is what counts.
I am going to have to have a sizeable graft on my head and maybe a couple more too. He has asked if I would consider leaving two on my lip for the Erivedge to work on, they will need a graft that will inevitably give me an upturn in my lip which he isn’t happy about so I said I will think about it and give him my decision on the day.
At this point I was so stressed, and so flustered, choked to the point I was holding back the tears that he gave in and said ok, lets go with that.
We had a bit chit chat and off I went home to call his Secretary.
When I called she was on the phone so I held on for her. As I sat my mobile started ringing and it was her calling me.
Turns out I had left him and he had got back in touch with her and asked her if I could be put in any earlier.
Could I go in next week? The appointment was mine and could I let her know before the end of the day.
A few phone calls and I called her back and confirmed.
I followed this phone call up with a call to The Freeman and explained the whole thing to them. Thankfully they were very helpful and understanding and I now start the Erivedge two weeks after my surgery.
Here’s hoping that this is now the plan and it stays that way.
Preparations for next week have begun. The plan was to do my hair on Monday night or Tuesday morning but we sadly lost my Great Aunt over the weekend and her funeral is to be held on Tuesday. As a result it will be a Tuesday night chop for me. I will of course share a picture with you when it is all done.
As always thank you for reading…until the next time 🙂
We all remember the charity drive for no make up selfies….
Seems like an age ago now but I also did one of those lovely pictures…. (excuse the background)
For all I don’t wear a lot of make up, I do try, all be it bearly, to cover my scars on a daily basis. My morning ritual takes about 10 minutes, and involves, primer, concealer and on occasion BB Cream. (Another story, seem to be adding a lot of these to the list 🙂 )
This picture is two and a half years old now, since then there have been a fair few more scars added to the mugshot.
With the naked eye you may not see all the scars that I have, in fact many people comment that it isn’t until I point them out that they know how many scars I have. Now either they are being polite or I am paranoid. Mark insists it is the latter.
Truth being there are some I can cover and some I just can’t. I don’t know how many scars there are, I only know I have had what seems to be an obscene amout of BCC’s removed.
The following photos are shots of my scars taken in the last week. (I considered adding a selection of post op pictures to a post also but as there are many people who don’t like gore or graphic images I have decided to add them as a page under Gorlins on the page instead, if you click here Before, During and After, it will take you too them)
First, my neck scars. These are where my amazing surgeon has removed the skin that now makes up my face. The last lot of surgery I underwent, they realised (partially down to weightloss) that I am running short of excess skin on my neck, so now only facial grafts will be removed from my neck, anything else including my last scalp graft will come from my stomach (where courtesy of weightloss I have an excess of skin haha).
The ones that can’t be covered……My Scalp. Once over my hair was my pride and joy, as you will have noticed in my pictures in Hubby and I, I had very log red hair, which I loved. When push came to shove though it was only hair and it got shaved off (Before, During and After). I had a full scalpal dermabrasion and then surgery to remove the deeper BCC’s. In the case of the two bigger grafts, the surgeons tried to direct close these but when the Histology results came back, the removals had not been complete, meaning when under the microscope there was still remnants of BCC left. Meaning they had to remove the full scar and replace with a graft.
Then the face, well where do I begin, my nose is mainly skin grafts, i have scars up and down the side of my face, in my eyebrows, I have a mishaped nose, more on my eyelids (where there are no lashes and more on top) and also not pictured my whole outer to inner ear on one side.
Hmmm…I hear myself say, takes a lot to put the no holds barred pictures up and I would be telling a mistruth if I told you these two posts didnt’t make me fill up a few times. This is me though and this is a Gorlins patients life. It’s fine dealing with it on a daily basis but when you look back and look at today you realise what you have come through….. x
Just to make me feel better…. A Make Up Selfie too 😉