Saturday, 8 September 2012

A taste of my own medicine?

For a couple of weeks now a little lesion on the side of my nose has been bothering me. It bleeds, dries but does not go away. Happily I work for a consultant plastic surgeon who specialises in skin cancer. He very kindly donned his loupes to have a look yesterday when we were at work. He then put a hand on each of my shoulders, looked me in the eye and said 'let's go into my office, we need to have a chat'.

My heart was in my boots. In his office he drew a diagram of what it is and where it is and that is why we needed the chat. It is not sinister. It is a tiny little wee thing on the surface, it will not turn nasty, but it does extend under the skin and at this stage it looks like part of my nose will have to go and there will be a bit of plastic surgery necessary to maintain its look!

Now, every single day I talk to folk who are having bits taken off. Sometimes they are innocent lesions, sometimes sadly they are terminal, and the bits are coming off or out as part of palliative treatment. I am always positive, kind, reassuring and tell them they are in the best hands.....they are, I truely believe that, but now I think I know just a bit more how some of them might feel. Noses are tricky things, love em or hate, no one wants to loose a bit of one. 

The hardest thing to come to terms with at this point about my own reaction is that I am really scared about the cosmetic effect of having this done. It makes me seem shallow in my own eyes, and maybe I am.  One good thing is that now though, when a patient is telling me how scared they are, I'll get it. And in a few weeks time when mine is done I can reassure them by telling them it will be fine.


I have for decades worn a hat out in the sun, sun block, a rash guard when swimming and do not lie out in the sun for more than a few minutes at a time if I ever do it.  Lovely as a tan might look, do look after your skin folks.


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