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Waking Up to Basal Cell Cancer: My Personal Voyage

Updated on December 27, 2017

After my biopsy the lesion reappeared within two weeks--see photo below:

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I received a vaccine for Chicken Pox last year due to the fact I had never contacted it as a child. I developed flu-like symptoms plus I broke out in several unsightly lesions. One was on my forehead, blissfully hidden by thick bangs. My Doctor gave me some medication for shingles, informing me that I had contacted a mild case due to the vaccine.

Life went on and my itching stopped. The lesions faded away, except for an annoying little patch on my forehead that bled and looked ugly. I kept it covered up with a band-aid, and counted it as another side effect of the vaccine I had received for Chicken Pox. I had no idea what was going on, until a few months ago I showed it to my doctor again, complaining that it was getting blackish and looked like it was getting bigger.

"Probably skin cancer," he said in a monotone, as though talking about the weather, and he wrote me a referral to a local Dermatology Clinic for a biopsy. I was somewhat stunned, as he had assured me last year that it was part and parcel of the shingles virus which my vaccine had activated.

Luckily I had insurance (Premera) through Amazon, and after the surprise wore off I was able to make an appointment. The clinic was in a very poor part of town, and smelled heavily of stale urine as I walked through the parking lot. Once inside, it was modern, clean and even glamorous, staffed almost totally by women who looked compassionate and very feminine.

The biopsy was painless and done with efficient care. I developed an infection afterwards--a mild one--that responded well to antibiotics. Two weeks rolled by and no notification arrived. I kept calling. This in itself was a lesson in frustration. Every time I called I was told the biopsy was lost, or that my Doctor was reviewing it and would text or call me. Three weeks of endless inquiry followed and I was finally told I had basal cell carcinoma on my forehead and would need surgery. "January 9th we have a surgeon availableā€, the receptionist informed me.

I am scheduled to have this thing taken off my forehead on my birthday; perhaps it will bring me luck. My message to all reading this hub is, if you have a sore that does not heal and your Doctor tells you its related to some other condition, always have it checked out by a specialist. Although not as dangerous as Melanoma, Basal Cell Cancer can spread to the lymph nodes eventually if left untreated.

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