When I was diagnosed with melanoma in November 2012 it was the first time I had been to the dermatologist. Since then we have developed an intimate relationship. I know that may sound weird to you, but if you have ever been to a dermatologist, you will know what I mean. She has seen every inch of my body. Up close. With a magnifying glass.
(Read all about the melanoma adventure by clicking the blue link above)
She has requested to see me every three months, what with my white skin, freckles, and history of tanning bed use.
In May I had a spot removed on the back of my left leg in the hamstring area that came back “severely atypical”. The margins were removed, bandaids applied, stitches taken out 14 days later, we moved on.
At the next three month appointment, which was about 2 weeks ago, she biopsied another spot–this time on my right shin. Again, after second opinions, it came back “severely atypical”. The margins will be removed this Wednesday.
Moles can have atypical cells that are labeled mild, moderate, or severe. This is different than the two other types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Atypical cells can turn into malignant melanoma if they go unattended. Melanoma is deadly because it can spread to other organs. That is why I had to have lymph nodes removed and biopsied in January. The atypical cells are removed before it gets to that point. Thank you, Jesus that the past two have been caught early enough!
So, this post has a two goals.
One, to have you pray for me on Wednesday as I have my procedure. It is a little more of a mental thing that is discouraging because it seems every three months something new is there. Something that was not seen the last time. It’s frustrating to have chunks of skin cut out every three months, not to mention the scars and medical bills that are just great additions to the problems I just mentioned. The procedure isn’t bad. They remove the skin a certain distance around the mole-in hopes to remove all the bad cells-then gather the skin and stitch it together.
Two, to get you to wear sunscreen and go to a dermatologist. I know you may say that your skin and mine are totally different, but I promise you don’t want to let your atypical spots turn to melanoma. It’s not fun. You lose sleep over that stuff.
So, happy Monday, happy Labor day. I covet your prayers and this was on my heart this morning. Love you all!