Squamous cell carcinoma in situ

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Scent of Cedar *, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    The offending bit of tissue has been excised.

    I will be fine.

    The little thing was on my back. I knew there was something there, but could never get a close look at it. I saw the dermatologist for something else entirely and asked her to take a look at "this little thing on my back."

    It was biopsied (oh oh), and came back as noted. The little spot and the tissue surrounding it have been removed, and she believes she got all of it.

    I had my dermatologist go over my skin with that little light about a year and a half ago. There was nothing there, then.

    Because of my coloring, age (62) and history of sun exposure, I should have been examined every six months.

    But somehow, we never believe all those warnings could become true things about us.

    For each of us here, and for those we love, here are the symptoms that made this different than a skin eruption or a wart or a mole.


    Crustiness ~ not even crustiness. There was no drainage. It was like, little, tiny, flakes of dry skin. I was not concerned enough about it to have seen the dermatologist just for that.
    I have potentially pre-cancerous little things on my face that I go in for periodically. She freezes the tissue, and that's that.

    This was different. It seemed like an innocuous little thing, like an irritation...but it was an early, localized form of cancer.

    When they say a sore that doesn't heal, this is what they mean. Just something not right.

    I am blue eyed, and was a strawberry blond redhead. Pretty much, lived in a bikini whenever the sun was out.

    Take good care of yourselves. Have these things checked. It was horrifying to actually read that word in connection to myself.

    It was so sad, to see the excised tissue.

    Brought up all kinds of things relative to mortality, and to aging, and to whether to fight it or let go, when we receive such a diagnosis. (Not over something little like this, but if and when the diagnosis is something worse.)

    About that time?

    MWM did her thread about "Elective Mastectomy ~ That's Me!"


    Very helpful, to me.

  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So glad you caught it early. And you're right, all growths and lesions are not textbook examples.
    {{HUGS}} :cheerful::encouragement::love_heart:
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Very, very good to hear that you are okay. Take good, kind care of YOU. You are very precious to all of us........
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Ditto what everyone else said! I'm sorry you've been thru this but so very glad that you are done and alright! I'm admittedly terrible about my own health...but worry much about others. :hugs:
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Ditto to what has been said. So glad you found this and took care of it. And a big thank you for sharing...it very well might help one of us here.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    So glad you caught this early. That is so important.

    Take better care of yourself. We value you here very much.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Another very happy to hear it was caught early. I really need to start heeding the sun advice everyone gives. I do wear sunscreen but I love being out in the sun and soaking up the rays. I keep telling myself everyone is allowed to have one vice. I don't drink much and don't smoke so I have sort of talked myself into the sun being okay even though I know it isn't. Thanks for the reminder. I will try next summer not to be out so much.

    (by the way, I am sure I have lots of other vices and just don't recognize them as such:friendly_wink:.)
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It is a true thing that sharing our stories, even about things like this, defuses the scariness of these kinds of nasty little surprises.

    Thanks, guys.


    I was wondering how someone without insurance might handle this.

    What would someone without insurance, or someone who was homeless, as so many of our kids here are...how would they go about finding treatment, does anyone know?

    I have been thinking and thinking about that.


    Here is another way to see it:

    There is a 92 year old in my Tai Chi class who has had these kinds of issues for twenty years. His take on things was the same ~ don't be afraid, be aware.

    Nothing to be afraid of if we find and take care of these things when they first appear.

  9. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    "Because of my .. .. .. history .. .. .. I should have been examined every six months .. .. .. But somehow, we never believe all those warnings could become true things about us"

    The importance of follow thru should be shouted from the hill topps
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am glad that you had it found early, Cedar.

    As far as your question about people without insurance . . . they wouldn't get it checked and it would spread. Eventually, it would get so bad that they would go to the ER only to be sent away and told to see a dermatologist which again they can't afford. Oh, and they would get a bill for thousands of dollars for that ER visit.

    I know because my difficult child has lived it (luckily not cancer but other serious health issues). Yeah, the greatest healthcare system in the world . . . if you can afford it.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I cannot imagine the fear in it; in knowing something is very wrong, and having to wait....


    It is easy to victimize, once we have dehumanized a certain segment of the population.

    I don't know what the answer could be.

    But I do know that there must be an answer. There must be a way to do this.

    I am disgusted that medical care has been made a political issue. Costs have skyrocketed, and people with no money and no health care ~ it's a truly shameful situation, whatever party is in control.

    It should never have come to this.

  12. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Checking to see how you're doing Scent of Cedar*?
  13. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    My heart skipped a beat or two when I read the title. I have had this twice but mine was linked to smoking (I think they were right about that; it came back after I picked up cigarettes again) and in a very unpleasant place - ladies, be warned, you can get this "down there" too so make sure you check yourselves down there monthly just as you do your breasts. I had laser surgery both times. I quit smoking again immediately after the second time and have been clear for a few years now. I'll never touch another cigarette again.

    I spent TOO much time in the sun during my life - I know I will probably deal with this, too, at some point...

    So glad yours was caught early, too!!
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  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is what I will do next time. This surgery while a person is awake thing is too scary. They cover everything ~ including a person's face ~ leaving only the surgical site exposed. I mean, I know they do that to help concentrate the surgeon's attention, but still.

    It was like, the second they put that covering over my face I could not stop talking.

    Plus, I was lying on my stomach which meant I could see the surgical instruments tray. One of the instruments looked like a miniature turkey carving device. (This happened right after Thanksgiving, remember.) I assumed they would be doing the cutting with that, and spent most of my time trying to keep an eye on it from under the corner of my head covering.

    After surviving the surgery, I asked about the implement. Turned out it was a lavage device. It had nothing at all to do with cutting persons open.

    It had to do with sucking their blood out of the way.


    Definitely laser for me next time.


    I smoke.

    I never even thought of that.

    I am fine now, I think. I will need to see a derma every three months for one year. No chemo, no radiation. The pathology report indicates they got it all the first time.

    How kind of you both to ask about me.


  15. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Me neither until I was diagnosed! I went for a routine pap and left dumbfounded!!

    Quit smoking. Seriously. Smoking causes SO much damage. It is really, really not worth it.

    Because of where it was, there was no way I could have been awake through that. First surgery I was laid up for a week but the second one was a breeze. I wasn't laid up at all. But I am very diligent now about checking.
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  16. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you are doing well SC:) And PG that was an important post and I'm glad you are ok too.
    Well....guess what....????
    At least partially because of this thread.....
    I had a strange bump show up on my chest two weeks ago, maybe slightly more. It was pink, some days...more red. It itched most days. At first I thought it was a weird insect bite.
    I went to the derm yesterday. She looked at it with a loop. Within ten seconds she said she was sure it was cancer. Unsure of what kind..likely basal cell.
    She did the biopsy. It will be back in one to two weeks.
    Fingers crossed it's basal cell... Which I understand is the easiest to treat. I had a precancerous thing on my face 9-12 months ago. This is different. I'm glad I took care of it right away...but it was a shock to me that she is so sure. Very glad for this thread.
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  17. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I had the squamous cell CA, too . It was on my forehead. I have red hair, so I knew that was a risk factor, but I didn't realize that smoking was also! Although I don't know if it applies since I quit thirty years ago.
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  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I have red hair, too. Very much whitening now, but red hair and blue eyes. It's funny how I thought I was prepared to hear the term "cancer", but it really scared me to know that word had become part of my story. It has taken a number of months for me to accept it. I wasn't consciously thinking about it and when I was, I rationalized myself into stability. But when I was asleep, I would awaken knowing I had been very frightened in my dreams.

    That part is gone away, now.

    So, if that is happening to others of us, it does pass.

    Cancer is such a scary word.

    That is the thing I was needing to process. Not so much the sore or the biopsy or the surgery, but the application of the word "cancer" to myself.

    Early detection, awareness, and follow up.

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  19. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi Cedar
    I have red hair and grey eyes. I've been very aware of the risks since my late teens and try and avoid the sun. One of my daughters has red hair and I try and tell her to stay out of the sun and use a high-protection cream, but youngsters tend to think they are immortal don't they? I remember as a child spending many summers in Spain (my mother is Spanish) and getting terrible sunburn. It worries me now. Years ago the risks weren't really understood. I'm so glad you're fine :). One of my friends had a breast cancer diagnosis a few weeks ago and has all this treatment ahead of her. The change of a life in an instant. I'm keeping positive. x