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Tim’s personal story

Tim Toms
Did I have cancer? Sometimes I felt yes I did. Sometimes I felt, no I did not.

The truth was, yes I did. I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in November 2010.

It was an area near my left eye, the bridge of my nose, and my left cheek that I had been in denial about for some time. It was a large enough area that the doctors I saw were quite concerned but they assured me that my life was not at risk.

The hows and how-comes were something I wondered about but did not let myself dwell on. I was told that any number of things could have brought this on—sun exposure, heredity, etc.

The one thing I did let run through my mind was regret that I had not been more educated about cancer and how much of a difference early detection would have made. The surgery to remove the affected cells left a large area of my face missing and I was quite distressed about how they would possibly be able to repair the damage. But I was determined to do whatever it took to be well and free of cancer.

Although it has taken five surgeries to date, I feel lucky. I did not need chemotherapy or radiation or the other treatments usually associated with cancer. I will be honest, I have had some good days and I have had some pretty bad days during this whole journey.

A journey I am still on. This has changed the way my face looks, so how can it not have changed my life? But if there is even a chance that my story may help someone get more educated about cancer or seek medical care for something they are concerned about, then there was something positive that came from my experience.