Cancer removal reveals silver linings

Bad news . . . My left eye is stitched shut for a month and both eyes are swollen, black and purple.
    Good news . . . I walked into the hospital with cancer and walked out cancer free. Once my eye is exposed again, I’ll have vision in both eyes. Not everyone is that lucky.
    I encourage everyone to take heed. If you have a mole or spot of any kind that gradually changes, see a dermatologist. If anyone in your family has had skin cancer, take an even closer look.
    My dad was the best at finding a silver lining in most grim situations. Although the surgery process created an extensively grueling day, it is over and I’ve been blessed with many silver linings.
    First of all, we are fortunate to have specialists who visit our local hospitals and I’m thankful for my dermatologist. Although I have skipped over a bump on my under eyelid while putting on eyeliner for some time, he instantly recognized it as needing more attention. A biopsy report showed cancer and surgery was necessary. It’s not my first and tendencies show it probably won’t be my last.
    A medical advancement I’m thankful for is the Mohs method to remove skin cancer thanks to Dr. Frederic Mohs’ wisdom. The surgeon takes as little tissue as possible around the cancer biopsy. It’s tested to determine if there’s any remaining cancer and more is taken in phases until the microscopic tests show no more cancer.
    It avoids destroying healthy tissue and minimizes scarring. Due to cancer having spread more than expected, mine took four phases in a five-hour process.                
    Once tests showed no more cancer, I transferred to the plastic surgeon who deals only with eyes. She had to replace my lower eyelid with grafting from my healthy eyelids. A stent was placed to recreate my tear duct.
    I’m lucky to have had a cream-of-the-crop surgeon for the two-hour reconstruction. On the other hand, there shouldn’t be any mediocre specialists.
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