After my biopsy last week, I sported a pretty significant bandage as I went back to work for Habitat for Humanity that day. That may not have been the best thing for me to do, as after sweating in the heat and crawling around under cabinets installing a kitchen counter top, the bandage basically fell off. So afterwards I covered the wound with a small band aid. The affected area is about the size of a dime and it wasn't healing well over the next few days. The stitch actually pulled out by itself on Wednesday. I had planned to go back today to get the suture out and get my biopsy result. I called to see what to do, but the nurse said to just come in today and check it out.
I wasn't too surprised today when Dr. Pauline Reohr gave me the diagnosis of a squamous cell carcinoma. I have had these before, so I know the drill. Over 95% of these are treatable without mitastasizing as long as they are found in time. Since it is on my face, they will do what is known as Mohs Surgery (named after the doctor who pioneered it). This involves taking the minimum amount from the tumor and sending it to the lab in real time to see if any is left. If so, more is taken and the process is repeated until it is all gone.
Since my wound is rather large (in my opinion), I asked Pauline whether this might be an issue. She reassured me that it will be fine. There is a lot of spare skin on the face and scalp, so the surgery will pull things together reducing the wrinkles, and everything will heal up normally. As an optimist, I am thinking of this as a free face lift. I'm looking forward to looking ten years younger again! I'm scheduled to have this done on September 21. Don't be surprised if you don't recognize me after this.
I have been following some of the recent blogs and news feeds about MM therapy developments. It's really an exciting time for MM research. The biggest buzz these days is about the new immunization drugs that are coming along. The monoclonal antibodies, Daratumab and Elotuzumab, are both both showing great results in heavily pre-treated patients, and they will likely be approved as standard therapy options in the near future. Immunotherapy looks to be the future of MM therapies, as well as with many other cancers. I'm expecting to having multiple options when I finally have a relapse.
I'm really looking forward to having a wonderful Labor Day weekend here with family and friends. The weather is supposed to be great and we are having a cook out. I'm going to smoke my famous barbecued ribs. This is what life is all about.