Just Nosing Around

It seems like my nose is always at the forefront of my medical issues. Cushing’s disease? Let’s do a whole surgery through her nose.

Allergies? Let’s clog up her nose so she can’t breathe.

Kidney cancer? Let’s stick tubes up her nose so she can breathe.

None of that stuff did her in, so let’s try playing with the outside this time.

I hadn’t thought much about my nose lately unless I was adjusting a mask over it for COVID. Luckily, I was never tested for COVID because that would have been a swab…up my nose.

In January 2021, I was just keeping my nose out of other people’s business when I noticed weird stuff on my nose. I made the obligatory doctor appointment. He thought that part of my issue was allergies to paper masks and gave me cream – guess what!?!? – Kenalog, a steroid cream form of the stuff they inject into my knee. Part of the description for that reads “Do not use it on the face, groin, or underarms unless directed to do so by your doctor.” I was directed by my doctor so I guess it was ok but I sure hate using additional steroids.

In the middle of the nose-redness to be fixed by Kenalog was a really weird thing. The doctor thought it would be useful to use liquid nitrogen on it and I figured that was relatively easy so I went for it.

The morning before the liquid nitrogen

So, he sprayed the nitrogen on and said to use the Kenalog twice a day – the thing should fall off in a couple weeks. A couple weeks spread out to about 5 and it fell into my mask a day or so after I had a dream about it falling into the swimming pool and infecting everyone there. Fortunately, my dream didn’t come true!

Unfortunately, when it fell off, it left a hard red bump which stuck around and started looking weird again.

So, February 22, I called the doctor again and made an appointment for March 10. He said he could do the nitrogen thing again and go a bit deeper. I thought, maybe no. Let’s move on to the professionals. So, I got a referral to a dermatologist on April 16.

Even with my mask on, the dermatologist could see the top peeking out of my mask and proclaimed Squamous Cell Carcinoma! She did do a biopsy, so I had a few days of hope. I thought the biopsy would be a smaller amount, though.

So, I put Aquaphor and a bandage on my nose twice a day…and my nose got red under the bandaid. Allergy to the adhesive? I know I’m allergic to latex, so we have plastic bandaids. Whatever.

April 21 I got the official results. The dermatologist was right the first time. Monday, April 26 I will have Mohs surgery.

Of course, I set out to watch this surgery on YouTube.


I downloaded the handbook mentioned at the above video. Find it at https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/mohs-handbook.pdf.


Because I always “own” all my diseases, I bought a t-shirt which I will wear proudly. Of course, it has a butterfly and the words: “They whispered to her – you cannot withstand the storm. She whispered back – I am the storm.” and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Awareness.

I have so many t-shirts – not just for places but for causes, diseases, work, piano teaching… I hope this is the last non-fun one I get!

I am not anticipating any changes in this over the weekend so the next post will be sometime next week, after the surgery.

Thanks for any prayers, good wishes, whatever!

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