September 25, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
Today’s the day.
I am returning to the dermatologist to have my nose looked at. This shouldn’t be difficult, as it is a pretty spooky honker and hard to miss. Not that I’d ever do it, but if I were chosen for Extreme Makeover (now defunct, except for the Home Edition) I would TOTALLY get the nose done. I’ve always felt it is too big. Blame my Dad, I think I got it from him. My mom’s nose (or at least the one from her side of the family) is longer, less beak-like but the tip is very bulbous and hangs down. My lucky youngest brother has that one. I have no idea which one my sisters ended up with. One has a sorta-mom nose and the other two have a sorta-dad nose but not really. Where was I again? Oh…dermatologist.
Back in the spring I went for my yearly mole check. I’ve done this every year since I was a teenager since I am fair (in other words, I blind people with my skin at the beach) and have many freckles (thanks mom and dad for slathering me in BABY OIL as a kid). I had two questionable moles removed from my back. I had a teeny weird pore-looking thing on my nose. My ears were peeling and I had a weird growth there. The ears were treated (fine now) but she wanted to see me back in eight weeks to look at that thing on my nose. I went back over the summer and she checked the nose and ears and spots where the moles were removed (right on the bra strap, they were a tad painful, mmkay?). Most of it was fine. But the ones on my nose were bigger and more plentiful. We decided to try a skin treatment to see if they were acne related (I have been treated for rosacea for a few years) or if they were possibly pre-cancerous. We decided to try to shrink them for two months, first with a liquid nitrogen treatment (aka freeze your nose off) and then with a skin lotion that I had to apply each evening. After two months we were going to come back, do a biopsy on the much-smaller growths just to be safe and then come back in six months. Except they never got smaller. They now number three (started as one) and have grown to be as big as the entire side of my nose.
Now, those of you that know me in real life are probably thinking, “I didn’t see anything amiss! I didn’t notice a growth!” Ah, see, this type of growth (the doctor is calling it a basal cell) is flat, waxy in appearance and skin colored. It is difficult to see (unless you are looking in the mirror very closely, like when I pluck my eyebrows). But the doc picked it up right away. I do not think I would have seen it. I kinda brought it to her attention, expected her to say, “Old age!” and move on. But that’s not what happened.
So today? Today I get a giant hole dug out of my nose. There may be a stitch or two involved. I will have to wear a bandage on my face for a week. They will biopsy all three areas and call me with results in 48 hours. I hope. You know, because although I’d not mind having my nose worked on, this is not exactly what I had in mind. I don’t need my nose to be smaller horizontally, I was going for vertical. Be careful what you wish for…