Thursday, December 13, 2012

All clear.

Several weeks ago Joel finally scheduled the appointment I had been bugging him about. I was a little nervous, but not too nervous. He had a weird bump on his head that we thought might have been an ingrown hair or a cyst or...something. It had shown up pretty quickly and wasn't changing a whole lot.

When he returned home to report the doctor cut it off and sent it for a biopsy, I was a little more nervous. Biopsy? I hate that word. But we both agreed that if he hadn't done that, we'd wonder if he was doing all he could.

Six days later, they called with the results: squamous cell carcinoma. When I googled it, the first several images looked EXACTLY like what was on Joel's head. The good news was this is one of the "good" cancers to get. Thank goodness it wasn't melanoma. They scheduled him for surgery in 10 days for a procedure called MOHS. Basically they dig out the skin and then study it under a microscope to make sure the edges are all healthy cells, ensuring you got it all (squamous and basal cell grows in one clump, whereas melanoma grows in clusters).

Today was the day. Let me just put it this way: the procedure went so well, that not only did he get it all, but they've set up a day to go skiing. I thought they were kidding until they exchanged personal info. "Really? You're doing this?! Because I'd be a little hesitant about you going with a hole in your head, but I guess if the person you're going with is your DOCTOR, then I can't really complain."

The doctor said Joel has a 50% chance of getting another spot in the next few years, but that's standard. Also, there's a chance that the hair won't grow back in over the dime-sized hole that now inhabits the top of his head. No hair? You mean, a bald spot? I just smirked and Joel just pointed to the top of his head. "Not a problem," he said.

I felt like everything would be fine. But I'm not being honest if I don't admit that there have been several moments over the past couple weeks that my imagination has got the better of me and I've gotten excessively emotional. Biopsy and cancer are two of the scariest words I know. But "all clear" are two of the happiest.

Merry early Christmas to me!


Sarah Burgoyne said...

Awesome! I'm glad it went so well. Merry Christmas to you and I'm going to throw in a Merry Christmas to Joel too :)