22 February, 2016

Melanoma

I'm an incredibly fair skinned and freckled person and I have been vigilant about keeping an eye on my skin over the years as an adult and protecting it with sunscreen, due to the fact that my mother has had melanoma twice. 

During my pregnancy with the boys, I had a skin spot/discoloration that changed in size and color, so I had it checked out by a dermatologist. It was fine, it was measured and looked at with a fancy little light thingy. All was well and he said to keep an eye on it. 

During my pregnancy with, Olivia, it changed again...

Josh, on several occasions mentioned that I should have it looked at, but because I was pregnant I didn't have the energy or mental focus to deal with anything else, if you know what I mean. 

I had it checked out on January the 25th... On the 27th the biopsy came back and I was told I had Melanoma.


Melanoma...

Those words hit me right in the gut, really hard...

Shit. 

What. the. actual. fuck.

I was at work with a million things going on with it being my first week back from maternity leave, and it really stopped my in my tracks. I fully expected it to be nothing at all... 

I was immediately scheduled with a plastic surgeon for surgery to have a WLE. The very next week I saw the plastic surgeon and by the end of that same week I was having surgery to remove it.

I have a pretty gnarly scar.


In the end I'm incredibly lucky to have a caught my melanoma in the earliest stage. The surgeon was able to get clear margins, and those are definitely the magic words you want to hear. So right now, all is good and no further treatment is needed. I will need to see my dermatologist every 3 months for the next 2 years, and every 6 months after that... Basically the dermatologist and I are going to become good friends. I'm fine with that.

I'm so grateful to be this lucky and that I didn't procrastinate, because if I'd waited another year this could be a completely different story to tell. 

With that being said... it's been a little bit of a mind fuck. Sorry about the language, but internally I was freaking out, while putting on my "cool" face. Now that I have children... it completely changes the way I feel about death and anything that could cause death. the word Cancer is freaking scary as hell. 

I feel nervous and paranoid about my skin now... like it's a ticking time bomb waiting to attack me. I'm only 32 and my body has allowed cancer to grow... even if it was the earliest stage, just the fact that my body could allow that to happen... scares me. You can best believe that I will not miss a single appointment with my dermatologist. EVER, and I don't care if I have a hundred biopsy scars to check silly little skin spots...I will not let me body betray me, again. 

One of my friends, and ex coworker, lost his mom to melanoma a few years ago... it was heartbreaking... it happened fast, and they never found the actual spot or site where the Melanoma originated from... that is what scare me most... not catching something. 

Obviously, I'm more than lucky in this entire situation, and can't live my life in fear... but I will be extra proactive, and be the best advocate I can be for skin cancer awareness. 

If you are reading this and you have a mole or skin spot you've been worried about, and have been putting it off... PLEASE, please, please go and get it checked out, because what you don't know can hurt you. 

5 comments:

  1. Glad that everything okay, since you had the surgery on the Melanoma! I can imagined it was scary time for you and your family! Take care!

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  2. Oh my goodness! I'm so happy that you got this taken care of. I have only dealt with Basal Cell Carcinomas removed from a few places on my legs and back. That last one I had removed left a pretty big ugly scar. I just made another appt with my dr to have two more places looked at. Unfortunately I was not very smart when I was in my 20's and pretty narcissistic. I used tanning beds and tried to force a tan. I did this every summer for years. I am absolutely paying the price now. My son has my red hair and skin and I slather him up with SPF 1000+ every 15 minutes when he's in the sun.

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  3. Wow!! I'm so glad that you got it checked out! I worry about it too since I have fair skin and reddish hair.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Sorry, my last comment posted twice. I did want to ask, though, if you wanted this post on LFCA now that it is back.

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