In June 2007, while getting out of my car, the corner edge of the door caught my right leg by the shin, leaving a small cut. It was no big deal,
just a little 1/4" cut. When it healed, it developed into a sore "nipple" looking lump. I went to see my Dermatologist Dr. Robins for a biopsy and
received the results within a week or so, that is was a Squamous Cell Cancer.
I went through the MOHS procedure with Dr. Shvartzman in the same office and the spot that was originally the size of a dime was now larger
than a silver dollar. I was told all the cancerous cells were removed and there is a 95% rate of success with the MOHS surgery. I was not suppose
to walk, stand, climb stairs, drive, cook etc, so everything was pretty much off limits. I had to keep my leg elevated, wear a compression stocking
and do nothing !! My bedroom is upstairs so I slept on the sofa for a week and getting to my bathroom about 10 feet away became an ordeal.
On (March 3rd) I had to have the third surgery which consisted of removal of the tissue, a skin graft/flap from my abdomen and
attaching it to my leg. I was watching the entire time. This has been the most painful experience of my life and I'm praying this will be
the last procedure on my leg.
I've had several people who have asked me why I would post such graphic pictures on a web page. Plain and simple....who would have thought a
1/4" little cut would cause all this. If you have a problem with this, I'm sorry. But keep an eye on all cuts or trauma to the skin as well as the
other signs of skin issues.
I didn't post this to gross anyone out, but instead I would like for it to be a learning experience for others. I feel the importance of sharing my
experience, might help someone else who is faced with a suspicious spot. If you have a family member or friend with something that won't heal or
looks suspicious, suggest that they contact a Dermatologist. A spot doesn't have to be ugly, dark or large.
|August - Sept 6th 1st surgery
|Click here to return to my web page
|The day after the
stitches and staples
|My Right Leg and more...
June 2007 - Present.... September 1, 2010
I made an appointment
with Dr. Robins and he
took a biopsy. I went
back on Sept 5th with a
|Sept 6th - MOHS Surgery
The results are in and I had the surgery. All the red spots around the wound are from the numbing
injections. The Dr. had to make a larger incision in order to close it. You can tell how much was
removed by the two freckles .
Pictures of before and after biopsy. My
Dr. was very surprised that it
returned. I've had no feeling on the
right hand side of my leg since the
original MOHS surgery. The left side
is extremely painful everyday (all day)
and I'm not a wuss. He told me he was
positive I would have to have the
MOHS again when the results come
|January 2008 - 2nd Surgery
|Jan 29th - Tuesday
Opened, stitched, stapled and super glued.
Because my skin was thin to begin with even before the first surgery and after
this, I hardly have anything left to pull together. It was a challenge. Maybe the
Super Glue will be just that super and do the job. You can't tell from the picture
but it looks like a double humped Camel's back after the surgery.
|Jan 30th - Wednesday
24 hours after the surgery and I've got swelling. I do not have fat legs but it sure
looks like it here. I was told to unwrap it and reapply a smaller bandage wrap and to
wear the compression stocking. Oh yeah...there's pain, pain and more pain. I've
always been afraid to take pain pills but I'm taking them now every 4-5 hours.
Unwrapped...Happy..happy...Still very swollen but
feels so much better. I can walk around the house
being careful not to bump into anything or Ripley
who is following me.
I can get it wet today and the super glue is working.
I am still wearing a bumper guard and a stocking
but that's just fine with me!
|Where it was
stitched, stapled and
super glued has
opened up. The two
white spots/lumps at
the top and bottom
have to be removed.
To the Dr. I go ..
|Healing from 2nd Surgery
|Mar 3rd was the worse day ever.
I went in thinking they would clean it out and put in a few stitches. That didn't happen.
The Dr. told me I needed more surgery and I said next week? He said "no..right now".
I wound up spending 8 hours there and went through three procedures. The biggest area to date was
removed. A large skin flap was taken from my stomach and then attached to my leg. I decided not to attach
the pic of my donor site (my abdomen) .
|March 3, 2008 - 3rd Surgery
Biopsy results are in. I'll
have the surgery again on
Tuesday, Jan 29th.
|Mar 10th - followup visit
Had Dr's appt to take stitches out
but couldn't do it today so I have
to come back on March 28th. It's
been three weeks, there is pain on
both my leg and abdomen but...it
It's difficult for me to do anything
but I am decorating flip flops
when I can or...feel up to it.
Taken before my appointment this
morning as a followup and the
incision on my abdomen opened up
over the weekend. It's in the fold
of my groin and has been more
difficult to take care of compared
to my leg. Nurses Mary and
Bonnie assisted Dr. Shvartzman
and Dr. Espinoza. They were all
working on me at the same time
cleaning up both sites.
|Bonnie, Mary and Dr. Espinoza,
I went in at 9:00 yesterday (Monday) for the usual cleaning and
removal of dead tissue on both my leg and abdomen. I had a
four man crew working on me. Dr. Shvartzman on my leg, Dr.
Espinoza on my abdomen and two nurses assisting. After eight
months of this, I still have a great attitude but I am completely
worn out. My leg is improving and the open wound on my
abdomen is healing.
I told Dr. Shvartzman I had a little sore spot in the center of my
chest and partially on my left breast. He looked at it and
decided to remove it immediately. We went straight to the
MOHS procedure which I wasn't expecting, but thankfully, he
got it all with the first procedure.
Dr. Espinoza came in to close it up. Of course she had to make
the incision larger in order to close it. For such a tiny little
lady, she has the strength of Hercules. She was pulling on my
boob and I can only say that after she was finished, I felt like I
was hit by a baseball bat.
It's Tuesday, I tried sleeping today and the phone was ringing
like crazy. I am beginning to hate the phone...I need some rest
and recovery time. I've learned to deal with some of the pain,
but today....it's getting the best of me.
My leg after it was cleaned today. I did not want to go in at 9:30 for the usual cleaning of the
wounds but the entire, wonderful staff makes it as pleasant as possible. It's interesting how
they work as a team. Dr. Shvartzman performs all the MOHS procedures and Dr. Espinoza does
all the stitching up. He was cleaning my leg, she was cleaning my other wounds and the nurses
are keeping me amused while assisting the doctors.
The other reason I didn't want to go in was because of the crusty thing I now have had on my
left hand for several weeks. I made a promise to my son Scott, that I would have it taken care
I had the MOHS procedure and it isn't as painful as the others have been. The leg is healing
nicely, the abdomen is still open but healing, the breast incision was re-glued, my hand is OK
and I feel pretty good.
The Dr's office called me at 4:00 and told me I
have a uncommon infection called Klebsiella
Pneumoniae. They are calling in a prescription
for Cipro that I'll pick up tomorrow.
I had my appointment this morning and my leg is better, my abdomen is still open but better, my hand and breast are healing and I don't
have to go back for two weeks. The past eight months have taken my energy levels to zero but I've only been able to sleep an hour or two at
a time, but I'm getting better every day. It's a blessing not to have intense pain that comes and goes like a flickering light. Today I feel
renewed and refreshed. Thanks for the well wishes and kind thoughts.
I had my appointment and while there, became ill. I haven't been feeling well and had to lay down. I tole one of the nurses and they
immediately made me comfortable. Several minutes later Dr. Shvartzman came in and looked at my chest, abdomen and leg. He said I needed
immediate surgery on the leg and I almost broke down. Not because of the leg but because I felt so ill, I knew I couldn't endure it all at the
same time. He told me he wasn't letting me leave until we had a date and expressed his real concerns for immediate surgery. I agreed to
Monday, June 2nd and for the first time, I'm scared. I wouldn't be if I felt better but the normally super strong "me"
is wearing and slowing down. My son Scott is coming from San Antonio to be with me.
|4th Surgery June 2, 2008
I went in for the one crusty lump but had four biopsies taken. I then went outside on the veranda with Scott and we waited two hours for the
results. Three of them were fine but the crusty one wasn't. Dr. Espinoza then took the circle and did her usual elongation of the wound and
removed scar tissue so she could sew it up. It could have been much worse if the skin flap would have been violated with extensive removal. After
laying on the table for re injection of "stuff" to deaden the area, I wanted to sit up and watch. I was clutching the metal plate while she was taking
care of the bleeding with the cauterization thing. Ralston, the Dr. and I were joking around and Scott was white as a sheet.
It was a little too much for him but we are thrilled that it wasn't an extensive surgery this time. Prayers are always answered.
I'm doing really well..!! The incision
is at the top right hand corner and
the three other spots are where
biopsies were taken. I'm going back
on June 31st
|Dr. Espinoza, Scott and Ralston
|Dr. Leonard Shvartzman, MD
He always says "Hi Honey" and sometimes
I've told him when he's hurting me that I
love him !
|Dr. Douglas N. Robins, MD
I go in tomorrow for a follow up
visit. There is a new inflamed
lump at the top of the previous
I went in for the follow up to my last
surgery. The red lump at the top of the scab
was actually where some stitches weren't
showing and had become infected. Dr.
Schvartzman lanced it with no numbing
injections and squeezed it until it was
"empty". I let out a few choice words.
Joshua, one of the nurses then deadened two
areas for biopsies. The white crusty lump at
the top left hand corner and one in the
center of the transplanted skin flap.
Dr. Schvartzman also injected some type of
steroid into my left breast scar tissue to help
eliminate the lumping that has occurred.
They let me go home today instead of
waiting hours for the biopsy to come back. I
have another appointment in two weeks for
|5th Surgery....I think ?
Usually the round wound is cut and elongated so it can be stitched up. Evidently, I'm having a problem
with stitches. The Dr. decided that we will leave the wounds open (without stitches) because I seem to
heal better. So, each time he removes a new absess, he digs deep, leaves it open and wraps it up. I look
like I have bullet holes.
I spent 9.5 hours at the Dr.s Office today.
My right leg was "cleaned" and it was very
painful. I was not going to tell the Dr. about
a small thing on my left leg. It was on the
back of my thigh and I really wanted to wait
until another day. I had lots of things I
needed to get done. Well, I told him anyway
and a biopsy was done.
They applied a compression bandage to both
legs but when I started to sit up, there was
something wet on my left leg. I felt it and
my hand was covered with blood. So were
my Capri's and the examining table. My
neighbor Karen who goes with me just to get
out of the house had blood on her as well.
Latoya, the nurse started cleaning my
clothes with peroxide and then rebandaged
my left thigh. Both legs were bandaged and
I decided I needed some lunch. The
numbing shots were still in effect and I
wanted to leave for a while.
When we returned about an hour later, I
took my seat with all the other people and
waited for my turn to be cleaned again and
stitched up. I don't have a picture of my
thigh, because I can't see it. I'm on super
antibotiocs and took a pain pill when I got
home. There's always a period that I don't
feel like doing anything but sleeping, if I can.
It got a lot larger than the last picture and I now have a hole in my chest the size of the red area above and it is still draining. I called the
office and told them and was advised that I should continue using a syringe with saline solution to clean the area 3 times a day. I was told they
are going to let it heal as is and we could do something for the scarring later. Actually, I'm not concerned with scars but instead the fact that is
appears to be infected. I have an appointment on May 27th for a followup on my leg, abdomen, hand and chest.
You know how anything that is healing itches? Well, last night the area on my chest was itching like crazy so I was rubbing it with the palm of my
hand. I remembered that Dr. Espinoza said I should massage the area to help with the lumps that had developed.
I started massaging it with a flat palm and got a call from a friend, so I stopped. After several minutes of talking to her I felt something wet on my
chest. The entire front of my Cami was soaked. I told her to hold on and went to the bathroom and I grabbed some Kleenex to clean up the area. I
had the MOHS surgery on April 8th to remove the small spot, the stitches healed, but it has developed a hole that is secreting a mucus and slightly
bloody discharge. I called the after hours Nurse and I have an appointment on Monday. I thought that they would perform another MOHS, but they
didn't. Instead, it was cleaned and bandaged. A swab sample was taken and it came back "OK".
Yesterday was my follow up to July
14th's appointment. I had two
different accidental hits on different
days to my leg while sitting at my
desk working. I swore, cried, and
thought I would pass out. I told the
nurse when she came in and pointed
out another crusty lump on my left
hand that was operated on April 14th.
Evidently I have a problem healing on
the inside. The surface will appear to
be OK, then the wound opens up.
That's what happened to my left thigh
last night. They cleaned it and
bandaged it up. Then, I had three
biopsies taken, two from my right leg
and one from my hand. After waiting
several hours, the results were in. I
went through two more MOHS
procedures on my leg and one was
squamous and another one on my
hand which was also squamous again.
My leg wound was left open to heal.
My hand wound had to be elongated so
it could be sewn up.
|August 19th healing...
This is the wound from the MOHS procedure on Aug 15th.
They decided not to make an elongated incision and stitch,
staple and glue it. Instead it was left open so it could heal
from the inside out. I clean it twice a day and have daily
bouts of pain everywhere except the actual site. I have an
appointment on Monday Sept 8th and hope they don't have
to do another MOHS surgery. Just cleaning it and opening
the little pimple like things with a razor blade is bad enough
My son Scott sent me 2 different styles of shin guards and
the one above is lightweight and comfortable. I'm in the
process of decorating it to look more feminine.
The beautiful nurse, Carlene applying the
bandage after the Dr. cleaned up the site and
put me on Cipro for two weeks.
|Sept 22nd Surgery...
I've lost count of how many MOHS procedures I've had. Looks like bullet wounds, doesn't it??
|LaToya, Josh and Mary are pictured below. Josh assisted the Dr. while LaToya, Mary, Bonnie and Ralston stopped in to say hello today. They
are the greatest staff and always check to see how I'm doing. I had three biopsies and waited for the results. Two came back as squamous.
I had the MOHS procedure and again it was decided not to make long incisions to stitch up the wounds, and I was so thankful!!!
The wounds are just on top of the skin flat and my worse fear is that I will need another skin flap at some time.
|Mary was taking pictures of herself and me. I think she was trying to divert my attention.
I love the staff and think they love me because of the bagels and donuts I've brought them.
|I arrived at the office at 9:15 and left at 1:45.
|December 29, 2008
I went in for the usual (every 2 week visit) and the sites are healing. The area on the back of my left thigh isn't doing as well.
|January 12. 2009
I went into the office, happy and thinking I was
well on my way to healing and the appointment
wouldn't take long.....?? I was there from 9:00 am
and left at 2:30 pm. There were two suspicious
areas that were biopsied.
I waited for the results and they were once again
Squamous Cell Cancer. Now they are appearing
as a boil like pimple or abscess that is very painful
to the touch. We don't know what's causing it.
My leg has been through so much, that my skin is
nothing but dry and flaky.
They performed another MOHS procedure and
instead of elongating and then stitching it up, it
was again decided to leave it alone and let it heal
This is a result of having problems healing when
stitches are involved. They also worked on the
back of my left thigh where there were 6 small
|December 16, 2008
First he draws the circles....then he does his thing. I really love Dr. Shvartzman and his dry sense of humor.
|January 26, 2009
Tough morning. 9:00 - 1:00
Had to have 3 areas bioposied and the hard lump on
my left hand had to be opened. About 6 months ago
I had a MOHS surgery on my hand and it has been
really bothering me. It always felt like there was a
needle in my hand and I thought maybe it was left
Injections were difficult because of all the scar
tissue. Mary was using both hands to try and inject
my leg but there isn't any soft tissue left. She
deadened it eventually and the Dr. removed the
suspicious spots and cleaned out the wounds that
were still healing from last time.
They removed a hard cyst that was under the scar
tissue on my hand. He really took me to new
heights, because of the depth. It bothers me to hear
the crunching sounds as he's cleaning but I can
watch him doing his thing with no problems. Left
thigh is finally healing...WooHoo!!
Contains graphic pictures
I've been going to appointments every 2 - 2 1/2 weeks for a
long time now. We keep having issues with new absesses that
appear in areas surrounding all the wounds. The Dr. cuts and
cleans the new spots and the thing that bothers me the
most....are the injections.
I've never had an issue with needles but because of all the scar
tissue, the Nurses can't inject the numbing medication. Mary
was using both thumbs on the syringe to try and force it in. I
don't have any soft tissue on my shin to use.
I have an appointment tomorrow, March 10th and I'm sure I
will have three areas sliced, diced and cleaned. I am physically
very tired.....and hopeful that soon....I can say so long to the
staff that I've grown close to.
|March - May 2009
March 10th, and March 24th. Every two weeks, the same thing. I
refer to it as "slice and dice" and my leg is really ugly. I'm not
ashamed of my right leg nor am I vain. I just want the pain to end
so I can get on with life.
My son wants me to visit him in Texas but I'm afraid of the
swelling etc., that can occur when flying. Tuesday at the clinic,
everyone stopped in to say hello and we shared hugs. The staff is
so wonderful and my Dr. is awesome.
I've made monthly visits and in May, was declared cancer free of
the right leg.
|September 2nd, 2009 Update
In May I was so happy that my right leg was cancer free, because it was a 1-1/2 year battle, I put off several health issues to
concentrate on my leg. So I finally got around to cataract surgery on my left eye in May and surgery on my right eye in August and
have to wait for it to heal.
On Wednesday September 2nd, I called the Derma Dr. yesterday and told them I needed the first available appointment which is
tomorrow (Sept 4th) at noon. I have a raised "thing" just like I had on my right let, only this one.........is on my left leg, just above
the ankle. I'm not worried about it however, I'm ready to get these issues behind me so I can just look forward to simple everyday
|Sept. 3, 2009 - 11:30 am
My best friend, Audree went with me, so we could entertain ourselves with less than serious discussions. Ralston numbed my leg, gave me some antibiotics
and we waited for Dr. S. A biopsy was taken, then we waited about 1 1/2 hours on the wrap-around porch until they paged me. We went back upstairs to
have the MOHS procedure and again went back to the serene, outside seating area. Carlene the nurse came out to get me around 3:30 and said we were
|This was the biopsy
|I'm very lucky to have this best friend (Audree) of 20+ years. I met her when I was dating her brother in the
80's. We each had career paths that led us in different directions and her phone # was unlisted. We lost
touch and re-connected when we ran into each other at the post office. My son lives in Texas and Audree has
been my tower of strength, taking me for Dr's appointments for eye surgeries, sharing laughs, lunch and
acting absolutely silly. Friends are a good thing...!
|December 9, 2009
It was doing pretty good but past 1 1/2 weeks after cleaning with vinegar and water, applying antibotic cream etc, it's infected .
Going in today for scraping and cleaning of my left ankle....OUCH
|November 18, 2009|
Well, I thought I was pretty much through with the "things" that keep popping up. The site on my left ankle has been trying to heal for
3 months. It formed a very painful lumpy thing and I couldn't sleep at night because of it. I have always slept on my left side and if it
touched anything I was instantly awake. The site on the back of my left thigh was also "not right" but it didn't bother me as much.
Today, the beautiful and pregnant Carlene was my nurse. Dr. Shvartz