Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wear SUNSCREEN - My skin cancer surgery

Last Tuesday I had a Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) removed from my right ribcage. I noticed this BCC 6 months ago and thought it was a rash or irritation from my heart rate monitor. Well... it wasn't!!! While on vacation in Maui in May I noticed Jack (I named my skin cancer, Jack. Yes, humor. OMG, humor with cancer. Yea-so what.) got bigger and he changed color. Time for some action. However, I was side lined 3 days after my return from Maui with my 3 stress fractures and the pain in my back overtook Jack and his growing and constantly changing color.

After I got the stress fractures under control I realized this would be a good time to get Jack looked at by a professional. After a talk with my Sports Medicine Doctor and my Podiatrist (who knows all the Doctors in town) I found the best skin cancer guy in Las Vegas to handle the job. After a biopsy of Jack, it was confirmed. 30 years of running in the sun had got me! I had an infiltrated BCC. Surgery was planned for September 16th.

The surgery is called a MOHS. They will cut Jack out, freeze him, stain him and look at him under a microscope. If all of the edges are clean-cancer free, I'm done! If not, they cut more and repeat until the all of the cancers cells are gone. He cut a hole in my rib area. I thought how come the hole is so big, Jack is so small. That is why they call it and infiltrated BCC it is deep and wide!

Thirty stitches later I was BCC free. In and out in around 3 hours. Sore, some pain around the stitches and super glad Jack is all gone!

Yes, I did run that night. The next day I rode 45 on my bike and ran 11 miles in the evening. The next day I did the loop at Red Rock Canyon in the morning and 7 more miles in the evening. Today, I did the WOH loop at Bootleg Canyon with 30 stitches!

In summery- Wear sunscreen all of the time. You don't have to miss a workout even when you get your skin cancer removed. You should enter the WOH - If I can do it with 30 stitches in my side you can do it healthy and normal. And if you get a skin cancer give it a clever name... it did help deal with such a serious issue and made it so I will never forget how dangerous the sun is.

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