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 My Mohs Experience (warning pics are graphic)
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2018 :  17:49:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This thread originally started as "bloodroot paste on face? with journal and pics" detailing self treatment then finally choosing Mohs procedure with 5 stubborn lesions - 3 biopsied SCC and 2 BCC. Full transparency - did not complete bloodroot treatment on forehead or even attempt on neck L-side (1st Mohs). The forehead was just too big as this BCC was at least 6 yrs old; the neck SCC was sort of thrown into the pile and I knew it would be the easiest hence a good starting point. Please don't misinterpret this thread as "Pro Mohs"; not here to debate but just share the journey. I do favor self treatment always to traditional but sometimes it just makes sense if you can afford or perhaps you have tried topical remedies without success. By the way, I have had good success with bloodroot paste in the past with several lesions saving me $ and time. If you have not read the "bloodroot paste on face with journal and pics" thread than I encourage you to do so. Blessings - Bill

Edited by - bspratt on 09/10/2018 18:28:37

bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2018 :  17:56:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Repost from other thread on 9/8/18 Sept 8th today - had my first Mohs procedure ever on Sat morning! Have 5 scheduled; in 10 days go back to get stitches removed from neck and second procedure will be performed. After that 1 week only between the next 3. Wanted to journal this treatment method also. Like my new doctor very much; again he is cool with self treatment; just says don't let them get too big before seeing him. He is referring to BCC and SCC and pre cancerous - non melanoma; if you ever suspect you have melanoma get it looked at promptly. Appt was this morning 8:30AM very prompt and fast the nurse wiped area with alcohol then applied locals (shots) other than slight pinch and mild burn not bad at all. Doctor came in we mostly talked about football as he he took a scoop and cauterized wound; then sent sample next door to the lab. I went back out to lobby thinking that was fast! 5 min? Was not watching the clock but did not seem like 30 minutes (what I was told to expect) when nurse called me back into room and said good news margins clear - Hallelujah! Took about 10-15 min for doctor to sew me up, nurse applied bandages and said don't take off for 2 days then remove wash with mild soap and water and keep wet with vaseline or aquaphor. Will return in 10 days for #2 stay tuned.

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Edited by - bspratt on 09/10/2018 19:16:58
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2018 :  18:11:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quick update this is the Monday following 1st Mohs procedure SCC on Saturday. Few thoughts - pain has been minimal, took 2 ibuprofen Sat and 1 Sunday. None today. Took bandage off as directed 2 days later and recovered with aquaphor (keep wet) and applied one band aid. The number of stitches and length really surprised me - but so far no issues with pulling; I can twist neck fine. Looks pretty good. Now regarding Mohs - I have read and this 1st one proves that depth wise they go down to tissue and take a thin layer of it as well. Hearing about Mohs might lead someone to think minimal skin removal, but this is regarding perimeter and margins. Not a medical professional here but all pics and references indicate full layer of skin is removed and when necessary they cut out more around the wound at same depth to be cancer free. The next 3 will be (just being honest) more invasive as they are larger to start and not in the convenient locations as this one was. The 5th one is not that old and pretty small. Is there anxiety? There was - and not to be preachy but this body does not belong to me and I know there is a higher purpose in all things. Thankfully, there are people praying for me and I have complete faith that things will go the way they need to. Blessings - Bill

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Edited by - bspratt on 09/18/2018 13:57:41
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anivoc

645 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  13:08:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for sharing the update....

At this juncture I am very concerned and embarrassed that I have let the lesions I have get as far along without surrendering to the knife..

It's ridiculous how big some have gotten but day by day I have treated many areas have had some excellent success...and some terrible failures

I have been one who has tried a litany of approaches the first being bloodroot paste which absolutely worked but OUCH and holy swollen wounds....

Don't want to hijack this thread...I'll start a new one soon and document my first visit to a dermatologist which I have conceded I must do very soon ( have not made the appointment) The poor derm will probably freak out and certainly consider having me committed because You'd have to be crazy to let these lesions get as bad as I have...

Thanks again for posting your progress here...
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  13:26:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey brother, we are all in this together - especially the believers on this board who know there is a greater purpose to all of it! Thank you for your faithfulness in researching/trying different methods and sharing. Who knows how many hundreds/thousands have been helped by this board and given hope. I will pray that you find the right doctor - and keep fighting the good fight - Yes there may be a time to surrender to the knife but its not a pleasant journey either as you will see below with today's procedure #2 (behind ear). In the football movie "Facing the Giants" the theme was We give Glory to God for the wins and we Praise God in the losses! I know this may not make much sense to some but I pray that hearts and eyes will be opened.
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  13:30:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today I went in to have stitches removed for procedure #1 SCC and to have the second Moh's procedure. Something told me this was not going to go smoothly. First a quick picture of stitches removed and left side neck area healing well. Remember, the doctor ordered the procedures in a certain sequence and this one was the "easiest". Looks good after 10 days of healing very thankful.

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Edited by - bspratt on 09/18/2018 14:14:27
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  13:52:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
2nd procedure SCC performed today behind ear. Started out much like the first with a quick "num up" local shots and "scoops" taken/cauterized. 1/2 hour later called in and given results "there is more". We repeat this 3 times! Each time, more locals, more samples and cauterizing. Not pleasant, and at times you begin to ask yourself - has it spread? Is it ever going to be over? Just being honest - praying every step of the way. On the 4th sample he said we are at finish line just clearing edges. Not sure if that makes you feel better or not but it was a small piece taken compared to rest. It is what it is and I'm reading a book about a soldier with PTSD and the kinds of things he is dealing with and telling myself could be worse - Lord Bless every man and woman who has served and sacrificed may He bring healing and peace to those souls. Pictures below 1st is before the procedure. Please take note and DO NOT ALLOW your lesion behind the ear to reach this size. If you notice on the 3rd picture a small circle drawn with marker the doctor noticed that this is probably BCC and biopsied that also - one stop shopping! If you don't smile or laugh about this stuff it will drive you crazy. He decided to not stitch but to let heal on own 4 weeks minimum, however my next procedure is next Weds already - was hoping for a reprieve but probably for the best. #3 on deck is the Left side "temple" area - closer to forehead SCC. More to come. Going to get some Tylenol...

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Edited by - bspratt on 09/18/2018 14:06:23
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anivoc

645 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2018 :  22:17:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brother prayers going out for you and a speedy recovery... being men of faith helps but in the end this ain't no picnic. I've been on vacation I will choose my supplemental medicare program this week (Turned 65 last week) and then it's time to face the guys with the scalpel...ugh! Hope mine are all just basal as they have been in the past I am really concerned about the one on my cheek...just behaving differently than the others on my forehead and shoulder...The shoulder Nodular basal cell is a beast as big as a medium sized apricot at this juncture so it has to go first...just call me Quasimodo...bump? what bump?
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2018 :  10:29:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Moh's #3 BCC complete; this was the basil the doctor spotted while performing last weeks dig behind the ear. Doctor said things were looking good healing wise - thanks to my wife for carefully cleaning/changing out bandages daily in the morning and at night. This has to be done for still another 3 weeks. Today took 2 Motrin before 8AM appt. No problems with the procedure out by 10:15AM, however he did have to go back a 2nd time to clear margins. The Doctor has a hand drawn picture with colors of the lesion and whatever areas still need removing. So he will for example have the NE corner marked as not "clean". No stitches again just surgical open wound to heal with silver sulfadiazine cream and bandages changed twice daily. For those keeping track there are 6 mohs procedures scheduled with 3 down and 3 to go. Next week the largest lesion - basil; center forehead that goes back to 2012. Hopefully no skin graft but just 2 large stitching in shape of T or perhaps flap. This is my preference over graft but whatever needs to happen will - just thankful to be alive and moving forward. Hey Tom, Happy Birthday! and yes don't worry about the "one acting differently" you will do great! Take care of that uniquely designed miracle body of yours and keep the faith John 14:27 Cheers - Bill

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Edited by - bspratt on 09/29/2018 21:04:48
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2018 :  13:11:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
4th Mohs procedure complete. Center forehead BCC going back to 2012; This was hopefully the largest (you can't always tell by the outside) 60 or 70 stitches. 3 rounds of cut/lab results. Going to have a headache for a couple of days :) Every one of these is bigger than you think they will be at least for me. Just prepare yourself for 25 to 50 percent larger than what you see and if its less, count yourself Blessed! The lab results were quicker than the standard 1/2 hr (first one 15 min) not sure if Doc put a rush on or if it was just today. Stitches to come out in week; may need a week of reprieve will cross that bridge then. Still healing behind the ear and scalp right side open wounds they are looking good. Told the doctor about this forum and he said be sure to post pics 4 to 6 weeks out so people can see the finish line :) and not just grossed out by trauma. Next up either left side forehead SCC temple area or BCC upper left cheek. Blessings - Bill




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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2018 :  11:10:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mohs 5/6 complete. Doctor decided to swap upper cheek BCC for L forehead SCC to allow last weeks center forehead to heal and strengthen more. He sort of pulled and flexed my skin and concluded this would be best - made sense to me. Today's procedure was once again more invasive than I would have thought. (there is a reason, will get back to) 2 Moh's layers were taken, much closer to the eye (little scary) and the stitching was kind of lengthy. Once again thankful its over could have been worse. Initially, I asked the doctor about doing an incision on this BCC since I had a SCC removed 30 yrs ago on my right upper cheek (1st experience with skin cancer) where the doctor simply cut out a small football shape piece of skin/stitched - called me a few days later to say margins were clear. I have seen 3 other derms within the past year and not one of them said anything about the little bump that current doctor identified first visit as bcc and took biop. Thinking this was new and fresh certainly would not require Mohs right? He advised Mohs. Okay, I trust him. Now we know why. He also said that it had been there for years and if I had seen him a few years ago he would have caught. (even made sure his comment was not taken as arrogance) This is why its so important to find a good or great derm or Moh's surgeon. This guy can see these things a mile away and yet is okay with natural remedies - just don't let them get away from you (pencil eraser ideal, NO bigger than dime) Doctor promised a black eye on this one. He keeps up with the latest treatments. First picture was after num so there is swelling. Also update pic on center forehead/looks great swelling and bruising WAY less than biopsy 2 or 3 months ago! Healthy lifestyle may be helping, also taking a supplement "Bruizex" found on Amazon. Next week L forehead SCC. Blessings - Bill

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Edited by - bspratt on 10/10/2018 11:22:36
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anivoc

645 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2018 :  09:10:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey man...Holy smokes!

I am not sure I will have the courage to post the pictures like you have done here but thank you you have truly been through the hockey sticks...

Mine are much bigger and prolific. I went to City of Hope and have a full team looking at my sad situation. Not sure exactly how they chose who I saw first but I first met with a plastic surgeon who laid out what I am most likely in for and to say the least it was shockingly overwhelming. I next met with the dermatologist who said well these are really bad but lets not get ahead of ourselves on what needs to be done surgically...They Biopsied the 6 largest lesions and results came back 4 are for sure Basal one needs to be re biopsied and unfortunately the one that I was most worried about ( a small one that started getting big fast is squamous) ugh!...another note ...an important note..something I was not aware of is that though basal cell carcinomas are slow growing they can get into the bone and that is when it can get ugly...mine being so old may have done so...bigger ugh! so.... They had me take a PET scan Friday and will identify just how deep and how extensive my situation is...I get the news tomorrow and am sick about the potential prognosis but will know at least just how bad it is and then the fun begins..I am scheduled to meet with the dermatologist first then an oncologist..The PET scan will be analyzed by the team The plastic surgeon, dermatologist, oncologist and radiologist and a best course of action will be discussed and determined...Emotions run from shame, embarrassment and anger for allowing these to go so long without medical help to sadness on a dozen levels from being chopped and disfigured to maybe not being able to live as long as I might have if I stepped up my game on attacking these...That I will be hard to look at even for my family yet alone strangers...That I may / probably miss out on watching my amazing grandchildren grow up. That I can't "be there" for my wife and my two adult daughters when they need me...sad, angry...scared

I truly believed I could manage these and sought a softer less painful way than the bloodroot / zinc chloride paste..man I ran the gauntlet of alternative efforts and learned a lot on the way..

One application pain management method of using the paste that I was not aware of until a few days ago speaking with Greg Caton ( wish I'd spoken to him 12 years ago) of Alpha Omega labs was this. When I applied the bloodroot paste I applied it to several lesions at once...I was in a lot of pain for a few days and that made me dread using it again...but I did a few years later again on several and again a lot of pain...to be clear I did eradicate some of the smaller lesions but some came back and I didn't have the sense or guts to go at them again right away..
What Greg told me with regard to pain management was this... you should try not to treat more than 1 cm of lesions at a time... doooof! IF I had know that tip I very well may not have been in the terrible mess I am in as I would have not been so stubborn about finding a softer easier way.

Don't mean to hijack this thread...please keep us posted and I will start one of my own about my journey...I am not sure I can post pictures like you but I will tell my story and journey down this very dark and scary road ahead....hopeful that I can come out on the other side not to screwed up but unfortunately not real optimistic about that happening at this juncture...All the best to you in your journey my friend. God grant us the courage and strength to endure.

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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2018 :  15:51:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow Tom this "team" does seem a bit premature at this juncture; please update from PET scan results. Obviously, the question is has anything spread and if so to what extent? It is very rare for basal to get to the bone, my doctor recently had a patient like this but he said its was extreme neglect that triggers. Not sure you qualify even with the length of time. Pretty sure you are overall above average health and this will greatly help you with whatever path is chosen.

There are at least 2 other traditional treatment paths typically available photo-dynamic and biological (google if you are not familiar) that I have asked my doctor to explain to me on this weeks visit. He has experience with both but only chooses those when certain conditions are met. Will know more later on this.

During my 2nd Mohs procedure where he took 4 "scoops" behind the ear on the scalp SCC - it really can become kind of scary and mental at least for me. Honestly, I don't know what awaits my 8AM Weds SCC procedure but have already accepted the outcome no matter what it is! I know you are a man of faith and between this experience and some family struggles over the last couple of years my walk with my maker has only skyrocketed and I want to encourage you to focus on the big picture and enjoy every day to the fullest. Do not allow the enemy to steal your joy. John 10:10 Any of us might be going through a really tough time - and yet get run over by a bus tomorrow :) and none of this concern mattered. Start with a clean slate, get the best care available and get clean. I will pray for you and you can always call anytime 352.428.eightzerozeroeight. My number is actually on Facebook if you want to connect that way feel free will be praying for your results tomorrow - stay strong brother - nothing else matters - Bill Spratt PS there is a great site on facebook "Christians battling cancer" that has been an encouragement https://www.facebook.com/groups/372535069846782/



Edited by - bspratt on 10/14/2018 16:13:26
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bspratt

USA
48 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2018 :  10:53:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
6/6 Mohs procedures complete! Finish line! Hallelujah! Have a headache at the moment but so thankful these procedures are done. Today's SCC was a pleasant surprise in that the doctor only took one scoop! One side effect of lidocaine is commonly headaches; the worst headache to date was center forehead - the largest. Also he really had to pull hard on the skin bringing together for stitching saying things should relax after 2 or 3 days.

Going to summarize this experience: If I had seen these pictures before ever going to the first one - don't know if I would have had the courage. Want to encourage those contemplating that the pain overall is very manageable and not that bad, more mental than anything. Its all about size and getting regular checkups. Find a good doctor (not easy; ask around - you need to be comfortable with their bedside manner and skills) and let him do his/her job. I will continue to use bloodroot and/or try something new on lesions sized approx 1/4" or so. This is where I have experienced the most success. Non melanomas only. You must be proactive with melanoma it can get dangerous in as little as a couple of months according to my doctor. He said I am high risk for melanoma. (My Dad had it twice) If you are a believer give God the Glory and draw strength in your weakness. Blessings - Bill

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Edited by - bspratt on 10/17/2018 17:34:12
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Disclaimer: The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While melanoma is the most dangerous type, keep in mind that any cancer and potentially some cancer treatments can cause injury or death. The various views expressed in these public forums should not be considered as medical advice. See your qualified health-care professional for medical attention, advice, diagnosis, and treatments.