Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another reality check ..... we are all walking a fine line

Warning if medical pictures gross you out .. exit now :)

It's been a year since my journey began after my new lease on life after the hysterectomy.  I have worked out like never before,  for the most part vigilant in what I eat / don't eat.  So how did I end up staring at my Doctor and swearing at her?

Well, I am a pale skinned white South African, we grew up with coconut oil tans, except I would never tan, I would burn - peel and repeat, in search of that perfect tan.  The result of the body abuse is lots of moles.  I am very good about staying on top of my health, my blood disorder has taught me that or I would be 6 feet under.  I get those moles checked out every 6 months, sometimes she takes some, they always come back benign.

Back to me sitting staring at my Doc in disbelief and asking her is she was f"ing kidding me .... I had two removed, one came back benign, one came back as a malignant melanoma, what does that mean .. skin cancer ...  you kinda stop listening at that point.

But since then I have armed myself with stats and research, malignant melanoma's are very very treatable, if caught early .. read that again .. if caught early.  My dermatologist said if I had not kept my appointment and left it for 4 months we would be having a very different conversation.  Here is a great link to stages, treatment etc. Aim at Melanoma

Ready for ickiness? .......

Below is an icky picture taken of the site that the dermatologist removed to be tested, the mole in the middle above the scar site is exactly the same shape as the one removed.

Things then started to move very quickly, two days later I was talking to a surgeon who wanted to operate 3 days later, not possible as I am on coumadin and have to go through an anticoagulation process to make it safe.   One week later my surgeon is taking a chunk out to ensure they have all the cancer cells.  If they have a circumference they are medically happy with that is clear, this it, you go on about your life, getting those little suckers checked every 3 months.

Same site as above, this picture is the day after surgery, see the huge chunk they had to take out to ensure the area was clear, but I really don't care, the surgeon did a brilliant job, the scar is incredibly neat, but most importantly they got all the nasty cells out.  

Reason for post ... Get checked everyone!  If you have moles, especially ones on your back that you can't see, takes five minutes to ask Doc to look at them.  If left to grow, even in a few months, the cancer hits your blood stream and lymph nodes, and well, lets just say .... that is not a good thing..  I will be getting them checked every 3 months going forward, it is quite unnerving to know that those little black reminders of bad tanning days are very very deadly.

Footnote:  I got the all clear call this morning, two weeks of waiting is stressful, I am very lucky, others aren't and I send much love out to those coping with any form of this insideous disease

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