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Skin Cancer And Mohs Surgery On My Nose | What You Need To Know

Written by Erin Porter

Just when you think you have paid your dues with illness in this lifetime, life always has something else to throw at you doesn’t it?  I was shocked to find out the tiny pinprick looking mark on my face was cancer and that I required mohs surgery on my nose.

Warning – If you are squeamish I think you should still be okay because I HAVE blurred the most graphic photo.  I will continue to update this page as it heals, but this post is being released 6 weeks after surgery for skin cancer.  I have been asked if I have a “before” picture of the spot (basal cell carcinoma) but I do not.  You can kind of see it in my video “what my teenage son eats in a day”.   I made this video right before Mohs surgery, see the left side of my nose near the tip.  If you want to view this video click here.

I have to admit, for most of my life my nose was my arch nemesis, the thorn in my side.  As a teenager all I ever wanted for my birthday was a nose job.  Then at 19 I came down with a sinus infection that lasted decades. Now my nose was bringing me this?  But after taking that bandage off after 48 hours I had formed a new love and appreciation for my nose and all I wanted was for it to go back to the imperfect nose I always thought it was.  But in reality it really was an almost perfect nose.  I see that now.

mohs surgery on nose

Mohs Surgery Was Not Was I Was Expecting

The mohs surgery on my nose was done on good Friday. I was excited about Easter and told the family to pick where they wanted to eat that Friday night.  After all, it was a tiny spot and I’d probably leave with a little band aid on my nose.  That’s not what the cancer had agreed to and the cancer calls the shots.  Mohs surgery is when they remove a minimal amount of area where they believe the cancer is and then test it and make sure it’s out and that the surrounding margins are clear as well.  If there is no cancer left on the first round you are done.  If they still see cancer, you repeat this as many times as it takes until there is no sign left of it.

On the 4th round they got it all, the cancer was out.  Now it was time to reconstruct and I never saw this coming.  I should have, the surgeon told me it was a possibility, but the spot was so tiny I didn’t believe the doctor would REALLY need to take skin flaps from my forehead and nose to cover the hole..pfft!  But that is exactly what happened.  See my television interview below where I share my story of Mohs surgery.

Reconstructing The Nose Once Mohs Surgery Is Complete

I decided after the reconstruction that I did not want to look in a mirror, but the surgeon said he would rather me see while he was there.  When I looked and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I didn’t recognize myself and although I was relieved the cancer was out, I also couldn’t believe the new Miss Piggy nose I was left with.  You could see straight up my nostrils.  He assured me it was just temporary but in my mind the doctor stitched my nose and pulled it up and I worried this could be permanent, so yes, I shed a tear like a baby right there in front of the doctor.

They bandaged me up (see ridiculous looking bandage below) and I stayed stuck in my head behind that bandage with that vision of myself in the mirror from the doctors office for 2 days until I was allowed to remove it.  I flip flopped from feeling gratitude, to feeling sad, to feeling guilt that I cared this much about how my nose may look when after all I WAS ALIVE and “it” was now out.  So then shame, not wanting to be left out, also joined the party.  Yes, it was fun 48 hours behind that mask.  After the pity party was over, and since I was homebound for at least the next 7 days, I watched all 6 seasons of I love Lucy which always seems to make everything okay.

Below – cancer is gone, now it’s time to reconstruct.

healing after mohs surgery

Photo: Scary 48 hour mask.

My Television Interview Discussing My Skin Cancer

Is Mohs Surgery On The Nose Painful?

Most people will feel at least minimal pain.  I felt throbbing face pain for the first 24 hours following surgery.  Mohs surgery on the face can be emotionally traumatizing so I hope my experience assures you that you will indeed look normal again in time.

This picture below has to be my favorite, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  My entire face is swollen, not just my nose.  I let my husband unwrap my face and I let him look first.  I was embarrassed by what I knew I must look like so I made a joke  “don’t hate me because I am beautiful” and he quickly retorted “that is not why I hate you” and I burst into laughter for the first time in days.

face after mohs surgery for skin cancer

Photo: Mohs surgery on nose.

mohs surgery on nose

after photo of mohs surgery on the nose

Below: Watch My Television Interview On Know The Cause Discussing My Skin Cancer & Mohs Surgery 

Photo below – starting to look so much better…

How Long Does Mohs Surgery Take To Heal?

Of course we all heal differently, but this is my progress at 6 weeks after Mohs surgery.  My bandage has been off for about one week now and it feels so good.  My nose is not exactly how it was before, and I am self conscious of my profile from one side, but overall I am very happy and grateful because I am aware it could have been so much worse if it continued to grow undetected.

I did form this lump on the left side of my nose that the doctor said may not come down without a steroid shot into the bump.  I was reluctant but glad I did, a few days letter it dissolved by 80%.

BEFORE steroid shot….

aftermath of mohs surgery


About 6 days after steroid shot….

Below – 4 months since Mohs surgery…..

How To Prevent Skin Cancer From Returning

Stop doing what you have always done.  Do you bake in the sun?  Do you wear toxic make up and toxic sunscreen on your face?  I have completely changed out my makeup, face wash, and sunscreen.   I switched them out for products that are NON Toxic and NON carcinogenic!

Nature’s Brand tinted SPF 30 sunscreen is my favorite makeup/sunscreen right now.  It also covers my Mohs surgery scars perfectly!  It is super clean.  It contains no nano particles, no petroleum based ingredients, free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, preservatives and the list goes on!  It is also incredibly affordable.

Non Toxic Make Up and Sunscreen – Below is the exact product I use now by Nature’s Brands.

I currently also use Color Science Sunforgettable Brush-on Shield SPF 50.  Wow, it could not be any easier.  I am in Florida so I HAVE to carry sun protection so I use this brush on powder when I’m out playing pickelball or on the beach and need something small, fast, and not greasy.  It’s the only powder sunscreen recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for Active use.

powder sunscreen brush

Active Ingredients:
Titanium Dioxide 22.5%; Zinc Oxide 22.5%









Check out my 2nd edition book: Eat Pray Get Well – A Journey From Chronic Illness & Brokenness to Wholeness & Healing.  As seen on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS American Health Journal and more.  Exclusive interviews with cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, supermodel Carol Alt, Joe Cross of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and more.

Update: Photodynamic Therapy 2.5 Years Post Mohs Surgery – Read Full Story below

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Erin Porter
Erin Porter
I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed.

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About Erin

I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed. My book Eat Pray Get Well is about overcoming a tumultuous childhood, decades of chronic illness, and finding God in the process. Includes exclusive interviews with renowned Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Supermodel Carol Alt, Doug Kaufmann, and many more. Plus 55 gluten free recipes woven throughout. 

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