Skin Cancer Update

(The Fun Continues)

Here is an update on what’s been happening with my skin cancer battle.

As I stated in my last post, I didn’t want to pay over $900 for the Imiquimod, so I found a Canadian pharmacy online that had gotten positive reviews and was selling a generic brand for only $160.

I was supposed to start my chemotherapy back in the end of August, but it took almost three weeks for the drugs to arrive in the mail. It said on the website that due to customs and issues with sending prescription meds of national borders that it would likely take up to 15 working days.

So, I got my drugs a few days ago, but now I don’t want to start taking them because I’m about to start a month long west coast JAG Fitness tour and I don’t want to be on a fitness tour, giving talks, playshops and classes with a rash on my face.

So, I’m going to wait until I get back to start the treatment. Then, after I’ve been on the chemotherapy for a month, I go back to the dermatologist so she can check out what happened.

In the meantime, nothing has really changed. I had a little scare with there seemed to be a redness on the tip of my nose and it was tender to the touch. But it lasted for only a few days and then it went away. I don’t know if this is a behavior of actinic keratosis or if I just had another kind of issue.

In my original post, when I said i was going to find a cheaper alternative to the over $900 Imiquimod from Duane Reade, an anonymous comment was left by a pharmacist who cautioned that I may be getting counterfeit medications. The stuff I got is called Imiquad.

I googled it and it appears to be legit. At least I couldn’t find any sites that spoke of bad experiences with the stuff. If anyone knows anything about Imiquad, please comment here.

The only other thing I have to report is that I think I may have found another spot. It’s down on my neck near the collar line of a T shirt. It looks more mole-like than the spots on my nose and forehead. If it is something, it seems like it’s more akin to the ‘age spot’ that was removed and send to the lab and came back as
actinic keratosis.

Of course, it could just be a mole or an age spot. Nothing to panic about.

I’m sorry I don’t have more to report. I was sort of hoping that by this time, I’d have some gory pictures to post. But I will post them in November when I get back from the JAG Fitness tour and start my therapy.


Anonymous said…
Aldara (Imiquimod) 5% Sachets

Hi jason,

I was prescribed this cream by a dermatologist (NHS) to apply to 2 separate basal cell carcinoma lesions anterior shoulder and small of back (2 years apart) Neither lesion was excised i just applied the cream as directed and the lesion first became very red and inflamed then crusted over and slowly disappeared. No side effects at all and fingers crossed no more lesions. hope this helps.
all the best, lorraine (NIA & Facebook)
Anonymous said…
I have just finnished my work out and I was throwing an eye to Facebook, and then there it was your post about the new update to your Blog. I am impresed and I could not even imagine that a very active person like you could have it. My God, right now so many things get a round in my mind and ... I have no words to explain what I feel. I wish that I could help...I don't know you, you don't know me... I am just a new ID added tour facebook list...I hope that I'll write you sometimes and I don't boder. I don't like to upset or disturbe people... OK! To much bla, bla...Sorry!!! Now I must go and finnish my last task of the day. Take care! Elena
@Lorraine - Yes, Thanks for the encouragement. that's exactly what my doctor told me and what I hope happens on me, too. Or, better yet, if nothing happens that means that there was no cancerous or pre-cancerous cells.

@Elena, thank you for your thoughtful comment, and I'm so sorry to bring down your post workout high. ;)
This is what I get for refusing to ever wear sunscreen. I hated the stuff, never wore it. And when I was a teen and early twenties, I was all about being tan. Deep dark California tan.
When I escaped the sun and moved to Seattle, I tried to avoid the sun whenever possible and I still do, but I just don't like wearing sunscreen.
Just came to the blog for other reasons (is it possible I didn't know you had a blog? I don't recall ever reading it before), and I'm a little taken aback, because I know you're all about health. I'm not a doctor, but is it really wise to put off therapy just because you want to be attractive for a tour? Mightn't it be smarter to put off the tour, or if that's not possible, to just resort to the good humor you generally have about matters of appearance?

What exactly do your doctors have to say about this? You just seem awfully blase, considering you just found what might be another spot.

I'm not trying to lecture- just concerned.

BTW, I, too, have always hated sunscreen, but I basically don't tan- just burn- so it's become a necessity on those rare occasions I expect to be out in the sun. I find that the new aerosol sprays are at the very least less greasy and "icky" then the lotions are, and they're easier to apply- also, for those of us with thinning hair who don't like wearing baseball caps, they're a godsend.
@Christopher, thank you for your concern. I do appreciate you bringing this up. I spoke with my doctor about it originally and she didn't think it would make a big difference if I waited. This stuff grows very slowly and is nowhere near any kind of life-threatening stage.

And it's more than vanity that tells me to wait on the treatment. I'm also concerned that if something odd happens, that i won't be able to go visit the doctor if I'm on the road.

She agreed that waiting would be the best thing in my situation. If we were dealing with cancerous cells it might be a different degree of urgency, but at this point we have the luxury of dealing with actinic keratosis, which is only a pre-cursor to cancer.

Since I've been harvesting this condition for the past twenty years, I don't think another five weeks is significant in the big picture.
Fair enough- since I assume some people are going to be looking in on your blog specifically to see how you handle the issue, it's always a good thing to remind people never to make these sorts of decisions without the input and advice of their physician (which really applies to a lot of the other things you blog about, too, I suppose.) Stay in good health.

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