Friday, November 4, 2011

An Unlikely Brush with Cancer

A couple of weeks ago I had a "suspicious" mole removed. It was suspicious enough that they sent me to a specialist a week later to have it looked at.  The doctor had to take a larger biopsy from my leg and then he sent the scans to yet another specialist. I got the call on Tuesday that it was a melanoma. I made the first available appointment to go in and make sure that we got all of the cancer removed. I got to the doctors office around 9:00am. The doctor sat down with me (pulled his chair right next to me - never a good sign) and explained that I had stage 2A metastatic skin cancer.Cancer? Me? He said that only 1 in 100-200 of his patients who have suspicious moles removed end up with a dangerous diagnosis. I was the oddity. He began talking about survival statistics. The odds of survival are very good, but it still was very unsettling to be talking about odds at all. This time they had to take even more from my leg to make sure that all of the cancerous  cells were removed. I then waited in the special waiting room - stocked with candy, snacks, drinks, books, and videos for about an hour and a half. Thank you to my journal and Angry Birds for keeping me occupied! Anyway, after processing they informed me that everything looked great. (GREAT news!)  They brought me back to stitch up my leg and I was feeling pretty good - until I wasn't.

I may have a history of passing out when I get my blood drawn, and apparently stitches are no different.  I started feeling light headed and then asked the doctor if they would be ok (prepared) if I passed out. He assured me that he had never had anyone pass out when they were lying back on the procedures table and that I would be fine. Less than a minute later, I was gone. That prolonged the procedure, and the entire visit a bit. I am pretty good at making things adventurous. I spent the rest of the day in a nauseous, foggy haze. Things are ok, but it really gave me quite the scare. In fact, I am still not sure what to think about it. I have a lot of questions that I didn't get to ask cause I was a little loopy after passing out. I will ask them when I go back for my follow up.

For now, I am taking a lot of pain medication, avoiding the shower for two days, and have been expressly commanded that I am not to exercise until Monday. Boo. I am not thrilled about that, but it is certainly worth it.

Anyway, I think that this is the part where I urge you to make sure you are doing regular self-checks, and that if you notice ANYTHING irregular, GO GET IT CHECKED OUT. It may save your life. You are worth it. I have always been one of those "it will never happen to me" girls. Even when I went to get the mole removed, it was because it was bugging me, not because I thought it was a problem. As much as I wish we were invincible, we simply aren't. So do me a favor, and make sure you are taking care of yourself.

Thankful thought for the day

When I told my little sister about all if this, she asked why I hadn't said anything earlier. She said that she would have come with me and held my hand. I love that kid. I am so grateful for a loving family, especially my incredible, reliant, kind, and altogether fantastic baby sister.


  1. Wow! Glad you're ok! You have inspired me to go to the dermatologist for a checkup- it's something I used to do once a year but have been putting it off for a while.

  2. i hope they got it all and that you are truly ok! i hate that i spent my high school/college years trying to get a tan - now i have no desire to sun bathe, it's just not worth the risk! plus i honestly think that creamy pale skin is beautiful.

    glad you are ok!