Updated: Apr 19, 2022
In some of my previous posts I mentioned that I hope I will be able to speak about my Black thing that is haunting me. I guess the time has come to share it.
I have a skin cancer that is called basocellular carcinoma. It is non-melanoma malignant carcinoma that is also the most common type of a skin cancer. The first time I was diagnosed with it when I was 28, even though I went to doctors earlier, but I wasn't lucky enough to find a good one. Anyway, there it was, and I must say that at first I wasn't afraid of it as I didn't have a clue about it and how it is treated. Also, this is not the aggressive type of a cancer and it very rarely spreads or metastases. The golden standard for this type of a cancer is almost always surgical excision which results in visible scars in many cases. And that would be easier if it appeared in other parts of a body, but when it's on your face, it can cause extensive scarring and that is probably the scariest thing about it.
When I had it removed for the first time, at my age of 28th, I was in a shock. After removing the stiches, the wound was so ugly, red and quite big, on the left side of my nose. It took more than 3 months to fade away, but it almost completely faded away after full year.
I had 7 careless years, during which I was really cautious with my skin. I was using sunscreen whenever I was exposed to sun, I was taking care. But then, in 2015. I was diagnosed with 3 new BCC's, all of them on my face. I was petrified, I was in shock again, as I was checking up my skin all the time. But the thing with this cancer is that it can grow for several years before it becomes visible. That gives a higher level of anxiety because you never know if you already have it, even if you went for regular check-ups. Anyway, I had 3 surgeries in 2016 to remove those 3. two of them were on my forehead and one on my eyelid. Everything went fine, scars visible for first couple of months, then faded away and now I have very white and flatten scars. You can notice them, but they are really not scarry. I must say, though, that I never felt quite a relief after it. There was a sense of feeling better, but there was something about my eyelid that never felt like before. It became so sensitive to light, cold, allergies... But somehow I learnt to live with it.
I would really love to tell you that this was the end and that my fight was over. but towards the end of 2021. I had some new concerns. New BCC was growing under and beside my nose. And the top of all, the old tumor got back to my eyelid. in the moment, everything looked and felt like a total disaster and like I really couldn't go through this hell anymore. It really felt like as if I can't have any control over it. And I really can't. But in all this chaos, something really deep inside of me changed. My response was different and I could really feel in control - not over the cancer but over my emotions. I had a choice to dwell on it, cry, get sucked up in drama and victim mode. But this time I had courage to react in other way, to choose different way. Yes, I will have a hard time with new procedures. Yes, I will be anxious and I will be scared. But deep inside, I really have a desire to get over with it and enjoy. I love this life so much. I want to dance, I want to sing, I want to read, I want to love, I want to travel, I want so many things that I already have in my life.
Well, there it is. I have my procedure scheduled for May 21st. I am scared but my desire to get over with it is this time stronger. I will have scars, but this is my path and this is my life. And although it sounds like a cliche, we really need to take control and responsibility over our lives. With that, we have a fair chance for a silver lining.