Saturday, August 13, 2011

Scary face

My face is heavy on my mind these days. Today is Day 15 of a 21-day treatment plan with Fluorouracil on my face. It’s a scary drug! The doctor didn’t give me the whole truth about it, which is probably a good thing because I never would have agreed to this. I hate pictures of myself, but I will post one that I snapped off quickly at work the other day. My hair looks wretched because the heat and air from the hair dryer make my face hurt more, so I let it air dry and do whatever it wants. I can’t wear make-up. What my co-workers tell me is that my face seems to change from hour-to-hour; swelling some parts then unswelling, turning dark red then light red in some parts, bleeding off and on. Look how gross!!

I went to a dermatologist because I had a little place above my lip that came and went until finally it came and stayed. I had two other scaly patches on my face that have been coming and going. On the day of the appointment, the two patches were cleared up and normal. The doc took a quick look at my lip and said it was pre-cancerous. He could cut it or burn – both would leave a noticeable scar. OR…I could use Fluorouracil for 21 days and no scar. That seemed easy!  I liked the idea of no cutting or needles.  He told me about it and how it works, and how if I treated my whole face, it would be like getting new skin – undoing all the damage over the years. He said nothing would change for 14 days, then it would get red like a bad sunburn, scab up, peel, and heal. OK!! It’s only supposed to react with sun-damaged abnormal cells – sounded good.

I’ve never been one to lay in the sun for long and I’ve worn sunscreen since it was available. A few memorable burns, not as much on my face as on my back and shoulders. I’ve played a lot of golf, but since I was late 30s, I get migraines triggered by intense sun so I always wear a visor when I’m playing golf or tennis in the sun. Anyway, the place on my lip and one of the scaly patches reacted to the drug the first time I put it on. Based on pictures I’ve seen online, I’m at least a week ahead of schedule as far as gross appearance. The red and burning is way worse than any sunburn.  It’s getting worse every day. It burns and itches like a mother! I got permission to work from home starting next week. I don’t plan to be seen in public until it’s somewhat healed up…at least no worse looking than the photo of me.

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