Yesterday, feeling desperate, I rummaged thru my bathroom cabinets trying to find something to relieve my burned skin and found a bottle of aloe lotion that hadn’t been opened. PURE ALOE & TEA TREE RECOVERY GEL
Last year I had been given this bottle, as a freebie gift, using spa services at a Caribbean resort. Upon applying the lotion the burning and stinging was relieved, almost immediately. Cool ,soothing,wet comfort! Tree tea oil and Eucalyptus are listed as ingredients. Hmmm, maybe that is what is helping along with the aloe?
This lotion is going to become my new best friend for the next few days!
My eyes slowly opened in the darkened room. Is it morning? No sense of time with the room being so dark from all the window shades down but looking at my clock it is 6:48am. I managed to sleep for 8 hours! Non interrupted sleep!!! A Miracle has taken place!!!!
Last night, feeling very tired, I decided to medicate myself so I would sleep or at possible get some sleep. I figured Motrin 800mg,Tylenol w/ Codeine and a Lunesta (going to chase the butterfly) would make a good combination helping with the pain, inflammation and insomnia.
Feeling so much better today! Looking in the mirror I see the large red area on my chest is a lot smaller than yesterday. The red blisters still intact. Trying my best not to disturb the skin over the blisters. Loose clothing that drapes my body helps not to aggravate the blisters
Pre treatment, incubation and post treatment pictures. Not pretty but me, red, burned and swollen. Unedited pictures.
Time for the lights. The nurse removes all the plastic wrap from my body. Some red areas are redder than others. She tells me my body will be done in sections using the light. I remain in the recliner sitting upright close to the front edge of the chair.The light machine is placed 2 inches directly in front of my chest She hands me eye goggles and helps me fit them to my face. She asks if I am ready? I want to ask, ready for what, but stay silent. The machine is turned on….she says she will be back in 10 minutes. I immediately think, 10 minutes and I am not comfortable! Right away I start to feel stinging to my chest. It feels like a rubber band stinging me but the sting does not stop! I try to visualize cancer cells dying with each sharp sting! 10 minutes is a long time to sit in one position especially when it’s not comfortable. I survive the first round! 5 more rounds ending with my left leg concentrating behind my knee. This time it hurts like a hell! I am either tired pr this really hurts! The nurse applies sun screen to each area, gives me my aftercare instructions and sets up next apt. for 6 weeks.
I redress….long sleeve workout jacket zippered up to the neck and long pants. I can’t chance the sun on my skin. I am now photo sensitive and will burn within minutes. Time to head home to my already darkened house. Living like a vampire for 72 hrs.
Today, I start my PDT ( photodynamic therapy) for my many actinic keratosis, pre basal cell and superficial basal cells. I goggled ( yes, I am the queen of googling) treatments for skin cancer I kept seeing the words, light therapy and photo therapy. I continued goggling and reading trying to learn as much information as I could to help make an informed decision.
A few dermatology visits ago, I spoke with my dermatologist regarding my being a candidate for this treatment. He and I spoke of the pros and cons. Biggest con…I must hibernate indoors with minimal light for 72 hrs. Biggest pro….no cutting! I can live with both!!!! So appointment scheduled!!
I arrive at 8am sharp! Bag of goodies, entertainment( iPhone, iPad, charger) and wide brimmed hat & extra clothing in hand. I feel more relaxed then nervous. The nervousness is because, I never having this treatment, am not sure what my healing time will entail. Relaxed because today is another step and another day towards treatment & recovery.
The nurse and I decide which areas of my body will be treated today. At first I was going to treat just my chest and treat other areas in future. But further thoughts made me decide to treat chest, arms, and legs in one visit.
The cream Metvixia, is applied to all the many red spots. Laughing I tell the nurse, that isn’t the cream I had read about, but will goggle later to learn about it. Next Glad Wrap is placed over each area to help with the incubation period.
2 1/2 hrs to incubate! That’s why I came prepared with my bag of stuff! I am in a plain room. No windows! One large recliner placed in the middle of floor. Too far from the electric outlet for my charger to reach. So here I am in my flimsy hospital gown, plastic wrap clinging to my skin pushing the heavy chair closer to the wall.
Sitting and waiting isn’t easy to do! Even though I have my entertainment I am antsy! Been to the bathroom already. Walking the long hallway, plastic wrap crinkling, gown flapping and me trying to stay covered!
Nurse has come to room 3 times already to see how I am coping. All plastic intact covering the appropriate skin areas. Small tingling on some of the red areas but hardly noticeable. The red areas are becoming redder which is to be expected.
One more hour to incubate then ” It’s Light Time”!!!!
“It’s basal cell carcinoma”. Not the words I expected or wanted to hear this morning! This is from the 2nd biopsy?, I ask the nurse. Yes it is, she answers. You will be scheduled for MOHS surgery for your cancer as soon as possible, she tells me.
My mind is racing! So many thoughts! How can this be? This past week has all been for nothing! Being so diligent and careful taking care of my leg incision. Working and walking on a leg that screams with every step!
I am tired, so very tired! Tired of being cut piece by piece! Tired of this hurt and pain!
One incision approx. 4″ long. Internal sutures and external running suture.
After an exhausting day, I went to bed hoping for a good nights sleep. I thought if I just kept my leg flat with no movement I would be able to doze off. Boy, was I wrong! Leg flat, turned to the side, bent at the knee, knee on pillow…nothing worked. The incision would start to pull, then the pain would increase. A lot of tossing and turning for many hours. The more tired I became the more my leg hurt. When morning finally came and I decided to give up on sleeping. Walking slowly across my bedroom looking at Randy, first words out of my mouth, ” I am going to complain!”.
Today, dressing removed and wound cleaned. blood is still oozing from the center of the cut. I applied another pressure dressing and will reevaluate later today!