Well my friends, a lot of the people have followed my last update this last week on Facebook, but since many of you are my cyber friends, I thought I would give you an update since I last posted.
I had my Mohs surgery on Thursday, two weeks ago, and found some more difficult steps had to be taken. Mohs surgery is when they remove a layer of skin one at a time until they get a clean margin. After three rounds of removal from the right side of my nose, they finally got all the cancer. However, it has left me with a large crater looking spot on my nose; deep and quite large. My options are not such that I could close the site with stitches, or stretch skin over that spot. So this means a cosmetic surgeon will be needed for repairing the spot. As most would know, it isn’t so great to think about the procedure or how this may look on my face. After this news, and seeing it, my emotions were all over the place and I could come up with all kinds of scenarios regarding its outcome.
- I will now have areas of healing spots, where the flap was taken from (incision) my cheek, and the area of the repair of the top of the nose, and they took cartilage from my ear in order to support a nostril that was almost gone now.
- I have to look like this with a flap on the side of my nose for three weeks.
- I’m not a great healer and tend to get scar tissue easily, so how will this heal?
- How long will the healing process take where I feel like I want to go out in public? So far, not even…
- How will the outcome actually look?
- How will I feel about “being seen” afterwards. I had a hard time with the little patch that started this whole thing.
- I had to do what I did under local anesthetic and will have to do the next procedure of cosmetic repair in the same way. Not. Fun.
I had all kinds of thoughts going through my mind. Not withstanding was, the very things I was praying WOULD NOT happen, actually happened. Thanks for that God. But as soon as that thought came to mind, the Holy Spirit seemed to speak God’s message to my spirit…”So…do you really trust me? In this too?? You say you do, so…” Ok…Yep. Buck it up buttercup. It is a scary thing. My surgeon said this isn’t life threatening. Ok. That’s something to be thankful for. So I said, “Ok Doc coming from you who has never had to have this done. For me, however, it IS life altering. This kind of experience makes you rethink a lot of things. I believe there is a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. It can teach, correct, bring us back if we have taken some detours, allow us to share our story to help another, and many other blessings if we allow ourselves to see it. So, if I believe that, then I have to trust His purpose for me in this also. It’s an all or nothing thing. I either believe Him in all circumstances, or I don’t believe. I believe God’s promises are bigger than anything I face. For this reason, I have decided to share my experience in words and pictures. There is always someone else that needs to hear that they too, can make it through a challeging time. I want to make it count for something. It has also brought me to a place of examining my priorities, asking God what He has next for me, getting myself into a position of pouring into my own soul and spirit, so that, I can be ready to do the same for others that God places in my path.
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that there are times when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, but I realize I have to trust God with what I see and its outcome. It’s all or nothing for me. I either believe in Him, or I don’t. I do… so I trust. He has a plan which is certainly not mine, but He knows the end of this from the beginning in this also. So a new JoAnn emerges with a stronger countenance and purpose. I stand at the edge of a huge ocean ready to put my foot in the water in faith, my spear in hand ready for the darts of enemy, and the Word is in my mouth to speak out boldly.
The week of October 21st, will be the second part of the surgical cosmetic repair, and I would ask if you think of it, remember me that day. I really don’t want to go back in that chair again, but I have to. I also will look forward to have this extra off my face. Please pray for skilled hands, and good healing for me. This upcoming Tuesday, I have a one week follow up appointment and I hope the skin tape comes off and that will be another step to feeling better. It’s a journey for me dealing with something so public as my face… not in a vain way, but just because of what it looks like. See??? God still has some work to do in me. 🙂 I leave you with this vulnerable photo of today, six days post surgery. I can’t wear makeup, have my hair around my face or ear, so hair pins and a hat work. My cauliflower ear is still visible but much better then even two days ago.
I am thankful for each of you who visit the blog. Always a joy to hear that it encourages others. My hope is that being transparent about my struggles will bring hope to you.
Until next time,