The Nose Knows

by Bella Rum

We’re in H’s Mohs surgeon’s waiting room, waiting to see if she excised the entire basal cell carcinoma that we noticed on his nose a few weeks ago, or if there’s a little still lurking around in there. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve had to do this. This place reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode. Everyone goes in looking normal and comes out with huge, puffed up bandages on their faces. Then we all sit around together for a couple of hours while we wait to see if she sliced enough layers away to capture all the cancer. This is what you do when you’ve spent too much time in the sun when you were young. H lived on a farm in his youth and worked the fields in the broiling sun all summer long.

His big concern: When can he start lifting and moving and packing? Answer: Seven Days.

I have two doctor appointments the week before we move and H will have a followup with his MOHs surgeon. Who knew we’d be moving this month? Not us.

We have quite the collection of people in here. One lady in particular is a social butterfly. She cannot stop talking. She’s found at least two people with whom she has mutual acquaintances. I expect her to pull a tray of cheesy crackers with olives out of her purse any minute. She thinks for sure that she knows us. When we told her no, she could not accept that, and simply said that it would come to her. Now she’s quizzing people on whether they used sunscreen as children. I used to be more like her. Now I’m more like me… if you know what I mean. At least she’s entertaining herself, and some of us, too.

It’s a long wait, and if the surgeon doesn’t get all the affected tissue on the first try, she will remove more tissue. Then it will be at least another two-hour wait while the tissue is examined. This process is repeated until the tissue is comes away clean.

They just called H again. I hope they got all of it on the first try.

Ah! The nurse came out to tell me that they got all of it on the first try. The surgeon is closing the wound now, and we can go home after that.