I've just returned from a trip to St. John's. For those of you unfamiliar with Newfoundland, St. John's is on the east side of the province and about an 8 hour drive away from me.
8 hours on a good day. But we left home in a blinding snowstorm. Couldn't see a thing is some areas and the wind was blowing so hard, we burned about a gajillion dollars in gas to get there!
And we had to go...HAD to! My mom, you see, had a recurrence of the skin cancer she had removed back in 2006. Unfortunately, the procedure did not remove the entire root of the cancer and it continued to grow. Basal cell carcinoma, luckily, is slow moving. But still, after 7 years, when she got out of the MOHs surgery,...well, if you can imagine what a nose looks like with no skin and only cartilage...then that's how she looked and that's how much skin they had to remove to ensure (with 98% accuracy) that they had finally gotten it all.
Not fun at all for her! I found it completely fascinating to see, however, because I'm rather morbid that way. She was not impressed and kept passing out when I changed her dressings! It's a good thing she wasn't the one looking at it.
The St. John's trip was for the plastic surgery required to reconstruct the nose. A skin graft was taken from the forehead, kept it tact only by the adjoining arteries, and then "tunnelled" under the skin at the bridge of her nose. Keeping the arteries in tact means the skin does not "die" and turn all nasty black like a burn. Despite the numerous stitches, it looks really good. I was quite impressed with Dr. Fitzpatrick. He did a fabulous job!
And Dr. Fitzpatrick, after years of mom complaining about that horrid bump on her nose, even chiselled away the offending bump, giving mom the added bonus of a rhinoplasty. She didn't expect or ask for that, but he said it was actually for the betterment of the skin placement from the forehead.
Skin cancer = bad! Free partial (forehead) face lift + rhinoplasty = good! Always gotta look at the bright side.
Now, I am back home on the west coast. (Also had to return in a blinding snowstorm!) My Dad has taken my place as the sitting-around-being-completely-bored bed-side companion. Mom will likely get her stitches out on Wednesday and get to come home too. Thank you all for following along with my FB statuses and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We so greatly appreciate it.
And, for those of you who asked about pictures...I have been absolutely forbidden! FORBIDDEN in all caps...to share! :)
P.S. Oh, and I had another root canal, just for kicks, while I was there too. In comparison to her ordeal, it was nothing.