Bump in the road with skin cancer post BC treatment

Cath62 Member Posts: 1,239
Hi everyone, 

I was diagnosed  BC 30th April, surgery 13th May, chemo 4th June and Radium through October. I finished radium on 28th October and have just started tamoxifen. 

I was just starting to feel good and I was recovering really well. On Thursday 26th November I went to my dermatologist and have now been diagnosed with a Basil cell carcinoma (bcc) where my ear lobe joins my face. Bcc isn't malignant and it is unrelated to BC but they can be disfiguring

I felt shattered and defeated. Surely this isn't possible after the big fight i have just completed but it is. I know it is not the end of the world but fxxk cancer.

After Thursday's news I picked myself up and pushed on but today I am a little flat again. I am resilient and i will bounce back. My husband said I was feeling sorry for myself but I said I feel cancer anxiety. He has been amazing to me while treatment for BC was happening anc he did acknowledge on Thursday it seems all and bit too much for me to take.

I am waiting on pathology to see if the BCC is a simple or more complicated one. 

I need surgery and my dermatologist is set to do that in January as they are booked up with melanoma and scc surgeries.

Bcc starts deep in skin so what is seen on the surface of the skin is small. The scary part is what's underneath. The surgeon flagged a surgical procedure called Mohs. Basically pathology is done during surgery to determine if all the cancer is gone with miminal skin removed due to it being on my face. Once tested they can close up or do more surgery.

I needed to vent. I am nervous about this and how much scarring I will have given its my face. I have previously had 3 melanoma and about 26 other moles removed which were abnormal but none on my face.  I never worried about the scars on my body but after BC this all seems too much. It's all a bit surreal.


  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    edited November 2020
    Sorry to hear that @Cath62 😕. A friend of mine just had a bcc removed from her nose, and it has healed quite well. I actually think I might have one on my nose too. 
    It is a bit of overload, for sure. Vent away, you need to. I do hope it ends up being simple and scarring is minimal. If it’s can, put it aside for now so you can enjoy the rest of the year in peace. That’s next year’s problem 🍀♥️  
  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 903
    Hi @Cath62
    What the hell with everything you have gone through!   I am sorry to hear this news. Sending you big hugs.  I hope they get onto this early in January and that there is very little scarring.   This really is a shitfest isnt it.   xxxx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,450
    Bugger bugger bugger ... not quite the Xmas pressie you were hoping for ..... you are in our thoughts ... a big cyber hug coming your way xx

    Try not to get too worked up about the scarring.. the surgeons these days are very good at minimising eventual scarring even tho it may look ugly immediately after. I had a bcc  removed from my nose that was right on the edge (where that line goes from the nose to the side of the mouth) and the surgeon cleverly did the cut and stitching so it became a part of that line. I don’t even notice it now. 

    Take care, get out there and have some Xmas fun .... try not to let this spoil your festivities xxx
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,239
    Thank you @FLClover, @Locksley and @arpie.  I  have had so many moles, melanoma so in a way logically I know it's ok. I think BC had increased my anxiety about cancer full stop. Not the clear run I hoped for but I am sure it will all be cut out. I think my anxiety is probably normal and maybe tamoxifen has impacted too as that is a side effect I believe.  I am working on practising mindfulness and meditation. I exercise too to help with the anxiety as well. Thanks for letting me vent and reading my post ❤
  • Kiki_Dances60
    Kiki_Dances60 Member Posts: 40
    Dear @Cath62, what a trial! Totally understandable you’re p*d off. Huge hugs from me!! 💗Agree with others, plastic surgery is astounding now, and your surgeon will want the best result for you. Otherwise... 2nd opinion!
    Try to enjoy the festive season, and if you can find a (literal) punching bag or pillow, give it a whack!
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    @Cath62 I’m glad you’re doing all those great things to help you feel more relaxed. Makes sense with all going on to have heightened anxiety. It will go eventually 😊
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    Ah yes @Cath62, the charming 'rodent ulcer'.
    I had one taken of my face a couple of months ago and I must say I desperately wish I had done better homework when it came to my choice of surgeons. This thing was under my eye and the surgical results --which have settled a bit--could best be described as unfortunate. I'll have to get someone with better carving skills to fix things up. Later. Probably much later. Possibly never because I am so thoroughly over being sliced and diced and it's not my only battle scar. Though I could do with out it being on my face.
    It's more than reasonable to be pissed off about this stuff. Particularly when its on your face. My advice is to make sure you pick the right person to do this. My butcher could probably have done a better job--even though the tosser with the scalpel had written a paper on facial surgery. Yet another indignity to be suffered but geez louise, when does a women get a break (and I don't mean a broken femur, thanks) MXX
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,239
    Oh dear @Zoffiel that's a bummer. My dermatologist surgeon is pretty good and with this mohs surgery there is the option to discuss how I am sewn up after pathology do their bit. If it is small maybe they can line up the scar where the ear lobe is but if it is a larger kind it could be a skin graph or skin flap and a plastic surgeon which would be 2 surgeries. Thanks for your advice
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,328
    Sometimes it’s extraordinarily hard to know who to go to. I have been very fortunate - for three ‘small things’ all deemed better to be gone, I have been attended, at his instruction, by my breast surgeon who has removed them painlessly and invisibly, and biopsied them. Left to my own devices, a breast surgeon wouldn’t be my first choice! But he holds no ill will for my refusal to do his real thing (reconstruction) so I intend to stay with him. Best wishes to you all for treatment and improvement! 
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,239
    Thanks  @Fraser
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Hi @Cath62 like you have had the works this year, then I had a BCC found on my chest , a chunk of my ear cut out for a solar keratosis
    ( ouch)and a root canal. 
    Gotta say, I keep rolling my eyes and laughing at 2020. I mean what else could happen right? 

    #2020is cursed

    Caz xx
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,239
    Wow @Caz1. What a mix of things you had. Yes 2020 can go get lost!!!