Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Big C

Those of you who know me and look upon my fizzog on a regular basis, whether in real life or the many pictures of me on t’internet, will know that I have a lump on my face. No, I’m not talking about my nose, I’m talking about the lump on my nose. I don’t recall when it first appeared, but it seems like it’s been there for ages. I’ve always taken the attitude that if it doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother it.

At Christmas, it bothered me. It changed colour to a delicate shade of blue. This sent me hurtling to my doctor. And by hurtling, I mean waiting until the doctor’s surgery was open again after New Year’s. My GP looked at it and said “probably benign, but best to get it checked out anyway”, and referred me to a plastic surgeon.

Surgeons, as you probably know, spend 90% of their time on golf courses, so it wasn’t until this Friday that I got an appointment. He took one look at it and said “that’s a basal-cell carcinoma”. Or BCC, as there’s a TLA for everything these days. He explained that whilst it wasn’t in danger of spreading quickly, it would increase in size and eventually eat away my nose (sorry if you’re eating breakfast whilst reading this). So, in the words of the elders of Krikkit:

It’ll have to go.

He then outlined for me what the procedure was for removal. Due to its size and location, this isn’t quite as easy as just chopping it off and sewing up the resultant hole. Firstly, the skin needs to be removed a minimum of 2 mm, and preferably 3mm, outside the visible edge of the carcinoma, to ensure that they get it all. As it’s 6mm across, we’re talking about a circle 12mm in diameter. That’s quite large, on a nose. He’ll then fill this hole with a piece of skin from further up my nose.

You’ve already spotted the flaw in this plan, haven’t you? Yes, this simply leaves another hole. Guess what? He’s going to fill this with a piece of skin from even further up my nose! But, fortunately, it’s not turtles all the way down, as further up my nose there’s a bit more give and take in the skin, and he’ll actually be able to stitch this wound shut.

He then explained options for anaesthesia for this op. It’ll take about an hour, and can be done under either general or local anaesthetic. Oddly (to my mind, at least), the general anaesthetic is the quicker option, so I’m booked in to have surgery on 15th February.

The surgery will leave me with a scar on my nose, which I’m inclined to attribute to a duelling injury, if asked.

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