Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First time here?

You may find it easier reading about the treatment in chronological order from the beginning. There's a link to the right called "Treatment Journal from the Beginning".
(For some reason, I can't get Blogger to list entries in any order other than latest being first)


Follow-up - 3 months after treatment finished

I went for my follow-up appointment with the dermatologist yesterday.

Every time I see him (his clinic is at a hospital) he's with an intern or Doctor in training as I see the other person first and rehash history AGAIN (which is all written in the file in front of them) and then He comes in. It's always been a different Intern/student.

I told the intern to please listen to something I had to say... and to remember it:

"If you ever have to prescribe this stuff to a patient, please, I beg you... listen to their concerns and prescribe them something for pain in case they need it, as well as something to help them sleep, I feel like I was left out there hanging and ended up taking drugs that weren't specifically prescribed to me for this condition".

"Like Tylenol 3?" He asked.

"No - like oxies left over from a back injury". He seemed surprised.

I showed him a photo taken during treatment and all he could say was "wow".

"Now you know why I was taking oxies".

So then the Dr. came in and said that I'd hit a "home run", that he couldn't see any spots that needed further attention at the moment, and to come back in 4 months.

The red patches that deepen every morning when I put sunscreen on my face will apparently fade over time. He didn't give a timeframe.... it's been 3.5 months now but I've discovered a tinted moisturizer with SPF20 in it that helps blend everything together on days when I don't want to look quite as patchy.

If you've been following from the beginning, you probably know I'm not particularly pleased with this Dr, so I have an appointment with another one in May, where I'm hoping I'm not just someone in and out of the office like a revolving door. Where you can ask questions without being given the impression that you are taking up their time, which is of course, MUCH more valuable than your time. Or if you're going through treatment you can actually speak to a human over the phone.

I've got 4 months before I see my guy again. Perhaps I'll write a letter and just give it to him and ask him to read it. That way I can make sure that he knows exactly how he could improve his practice. It's not like he's going to be less busy than he is already.


  1. Glad to hear you're getting a new doc - and that the treatment was successful.


  2. Hi Dale!

    I have read your blog with great interest and I really hope your facial skin is back to its normal color. I finished an efudex treatment 3 months ago and I still have a pinkish skin. My dermatologist told me it will fade over time, but he also did not give me a time frame. I wondered how long your skin took to return to its normal color? I would really appreciate your answer, because I am afraid it will stay like this forever after reading some horrible stories on the internet.

    Kind regards, Arnold

  3. Hi Arnold and thanks for writing.
    My apologies for the delay. Yes, for the most part everything has returned to a normal color.

    I seem to recall it taking at least 3 months and as long as 6 months before all the pink subsided for the most part. It would look normal until I got hot, was out in the sun or put sunscreen on, and then would flare up a little bit for a few hours and then go back to normal.

    Give it time. It will return to normal. I understand your fear as it's sometimes hard to think that your skin will ever be normal but it does get better. I think the fairer you are, the longer it takes.

    Please make sure you use sunscreen though as your new skin will be very sensitive to sun exposure. Also be prepared to have to monitor your skin for new AKs for the rest of your life. I've had a few blasted off with liquid nitrogen and have done spot treatments with Efudex since my full-face treatment. This is because skin damage is cumulative and new things crop up. I'm currently seeing my Dr. every 3 or 4 months for follow-ups.

    Please let me know how you're doing!

    1. Hello Dale....
      I have recently Found and Completely Read your post on your Efudex experience. I Very Much Appreciate you sharing your story. I have several AK's on forehead & upper face only, though Not as extensively as your were. My Dermo has prescribed Efudex - but I have Not Yet begun.
      I know these posts are Very Old now, but wondering if you have any Other Developments I should know about ??

    2. Hi Harry,
      You don't really know how extensive things are until you start doing the treatment. I had only a few AK's that had been burnt off previously with LN and a few pre-cancerous spots we were watching.
      Anyway, I switched Dermos and like most of us that have gone through this I go to the Dr for followup visits and have nitrogening done of any suspicious spots. Sunscreen everyday. So far so good.
      Efudex doesn't appear to be a "one shot and forget it" deal.

      You don't say where you're located, but with summer coming, I'd try to get the treatment out of the way before summer arrives. I did mine in November and really glad I did.

  4. Hi Dale,

    Thank you for you swift reply. I am glad to hear that your skin has regain its normal color! I just have to be patient then. The pink is slowly (very slowly) fading. It will probably take a couple of months. Next week I have an appointment with my dermatologist and I will ask her if there is something that will speed up healing. I do use a facial cream with spf (I should have started with that years ago...)

    I do hope your Dr. has some more time for you and treat you like a person instead of a number.

    Kind regards from Holland {you seem to be counting your international followers :) }