PSA – unless you wanna get scalped wear sunscreen

*edited to say maybe i should have said wear a hat in the title… but you should wear sunscreen, too,*

where have i been?  occupied.  mostly with getting in the swing of back to school, but also dealing with my own little medical crisis.

about 6 months ago i found a what i thought was a suspicious spot on my head – like the very tippy top of my head.  but because i have a gigantic fear of anything that might be disfiguring on my head i ignored it.  until yesterday.  (the whole ignoring thing is completely stupid because when you ignore things they only get bigger and that can’t be helpful in the scarring arena.)  yesterday i went to see the dermatologist.  he looked at it and thought it looked highly suspicious and that it should probably be removed.  which totally played into my other fear – if it might be cancer get it off of me.  (i know, the whole putting off because it might be scarring and get it off of me fears sort of contradictory, right?)

that’s my head yesterday

but…  he wasn’t comfortable removing it himself.  so he sent me to see the surgeon.  who looked at it, said oh, yeah.  it definitely needs to come off and that he would need to shave a 4″ strip down the middle of my head to remove it.  he scheduled me for about noon.  when we met again, he did a little more feeling around of my scalp.  looked closer at the lesion, tried to see how much my scalp skin would move and declared he really couldn’t do it.  it was just too difficult to do scalps.  so he sent me to the plastic surgeon.

the plastic surgeon took one look at it and declared it a “very bad tumor”.  and that it needed to come off now.  or the next day – which was when he could fit me in.  which brings us to today.

surgery (but i wasn’t really thinking it would be actual surgery, i sort of saw myself in his office having a little “procedure” done) happened about noon today – in the actual operating room.  they knocked me out so i wouldn’t feel any pain.  for 15 minutes i was knocked out.  the pain he didn’t want me to feel was the pain of getting the local anesthetic.  so i came to to tugging sensations on my head and an explanation that he’d found another, but that it could be burned off, because it was small.  and within a few moments the tugging sensations became quite painful.  like i could describe to him what he was doing and where it was doing it and that it hurt like about 200 on a scale of 1 – 10.  so he gave me a little more local anesthetic.  minus the being knocked out.  and it hurt.  really, really bad.  and it never completely knocked out the pain.  he ended up removing a triangle that was about 4 cm on each side (that’s around one and a half inches to my fellow americans).  a scalp will not stretch to cover 4 cm.  but he, being a plastic surgeon and all, knew just how to fix it.  he made a 4 inch incision away from the “very bad tumor” (which he’d taken to calling the “dangerous tumor”) towards my right ear that would allow the skin to shift some.

closest i’ve got to an after pic.  the kids say it’s too gross to photograph.

and then he sowed me up.  and showed me the “dangerous tumor” (it looked like i’d been scalped. just a small part of me, but still…)  the nurses then gave me a hair washing to get out all the goo.  they used very cold water.  which was kind of them.  i headed to recovery for an hour and the doctor came to visit and with his very friendly face he said he didn’t think it would hurt after the local anesthetic wore off.  i found that hard to believe since it was already hurting.  but i’m a fairly optimistic person, so i believed him.  (i don’t anymore.  now i think he’s a big, fat liar, cuz it hurts a lot.)

one big bummer was that as i was coming out of the being under i kept thinking to myself i’ve got to remember to blog about this.  this is amazing.  i’ve got to share this.  but the only thing i remember now is that i wanted to remember that i had to blog about it.  but what it was?  i have no idea.

14 thoughts on “PSA – unless you wanna get scalped wear sunscreen

  1. Oh you poor thing, what a horrible experience 😦 Praying the pain subsides soon and you are able to rest well tonight and get some good healing started. When do you get results back? Remember, if you need anything I am just a phone call away!

  2. Wow, that’s an adventure…. so will your hair grow back into the scalped area? And… I do have to laugh a little… here I was thinking you were shaving your head cos you didn’t like the colour that you dyed it! 🙂 🙂 Hope you feel better really soon and hope it all is well… hope your better half is better now too 🙂

  3. Yikes, Monica! I am praying it will be a very not bad tumor when the report comes back. It sounds like an uncomfortable thing all the way around. Probably NOT very helpful in the not wanting to have anything disfiguring happen to your head category! ;)) Take care!

  4. Okay, I must have dreamed that I commented on this, because I thought for sure I had.

    Good luck with it. Scary stuff. My hair’s getting thinner and thinner and I am not good at wearing a hat. Something to think about.

    I’m glad the plastic surgeon did not need to shave your head. I hope the report comes back that they got it all and that you have nothing further to worry about.

  5. Oh my goodness, as if you haven’t been through enough recently! I hope the report comes back clean too!
    Thank you for not posting a picture, I was a little nervous to see it based on past things you’ve put up. I do love your blog though so I’m not trying to be offensive. I’m just a little weak minded when it comes to such things.

      • You could post the pic on photobucket or something like that and paste the link with a huge BEWARE sign, because we would really like to see it 🙂 Me, being me and the baby, he is quite curious.

  6. Geesh, you guys need a break from the doctors! I hope you pain subsides quickly and that the whateveritis is nothingatall. But, if you need to numb the pain, may I recommend a G&T? 😉

  7. Monica!! I am sad that you are having to go through so much, but happy that you are with it enough to still blog about wanting to blog even though you arent really sure what you wanted to blog about….still nice to see you around. I wish I was there to visit you! Praying for a quick and pain free recovery. xoxo Mikala

  8. I hope you and your head are doing OK? Nasty stuff.

    My Dad just had two suspect looking growths removed, the worst being right in the corner of his eye. After two ‘digging out’ sessions, rainbow bruising, skin graft from his forehead and stitches removed, he is finally on the mend. Take care.

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