Wednesday, August 26, 2015

4 years later check in

4 years since my last post and I've been doing my 6 month skin checks which have been uneventful..yippee!  Everything has cleared up with the memory issues and nothing was found with the MRIs. 

I did go in for a 6 month check up on Wednesday August 19th.  Dr. Matzke took a punch biopsy off the top of my left shoulder.  He was confused as to why he hadn't been watching it earlier.  We looked back at pictures of my last visit and turns out it was new, so off it went.  He wanted to take one off the top of my left foot.  I told him it has been there my whole life without change so he left it, took pics of it and said we'd watch it for my next visit.  Now that I look back at my blog I found it is new, I already had the one on top of my left foot removed.  I will have to have him take that off sooner than my next visit.  He is also watching one on the back of my right upper leg.

I did get a call today the 26th that the punch biopsy came back severely atypical and he wants to treat it the same as melanoma in-situ.  So I go in 9/11/15 for a wide excision like I did on my right arm when diagnosed with melanoma in-situ.  Yikes, that is a lot of margins they take (or it feels like it to me anyways).

I told them they should probably take the one on my foot off as well.  Those freaking hurt.  So hopefully again just a report on catching my ever changing moles early. 

He did change my 6 month checkups back to 4 months again.

Pic of punch biopsy w/stitches on left shoulder before wide excision:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Referred to Internal Medicine

So at my derm appointment last Thursday, I mentioned the memory loss, dizzy spells, and vision issues with her.  She said it didn't sound like the normal post pregnancy issues.  She referred me to Internal Medicine to have them check me out further. 
I met with a Dr.  who ordered a brain MRI, which I will be getting this Monday 9/12 evening at 8:00, (weird time, o'well).  Also she did some blood/urine tests.  She called me back on Friday with those results.  She found my CRP levels slightly elevated at 1.0 (maybe because of the 14 excisions I had just encountered, in my opinion), also she found elevated levels of protein in the urine.
So I'm suppose to give another urine test before my MRI on Monday night for further testing, and supposedly her office is going to call me to set up a time for a cardiac test (not sure what kind of testing).

The Dr. also referred me to Neurology.  I received their 5 page questionnaire in the mail and just now sent it back.  I will await a call from their office to schedule an appointment with them too.

It is nice that I'm being watched, but I can't help but feel I may not need the tests and neurology referral.  Better safe than sorry.
I should talk with my Dr. about getting a colonoscopy as my dad died of colon cancer at 49.  Ugggh, doesn't sound like fun, blah!

Friday, September 9, 2011

14 more shave biopsies...

I went in on 9/7/11 to get some more of these atypical moles removed.  She did a shave biopsy on 14 of them. 
1-Right toe (closest to big toe)
1-Top of left foot
1-Top of left hand
1-Left wrist
1-Middle of right arm (right in the elbow crease)
1-Right forearm
1-Left Shoulder
1-Upper middle of back
2-Left booty cheek
1-Right booty cheek
2-Lower left abdominal area

Phew!  They put a "blocker" in the injection so the burning wasn't so intense.  Um, why don't they always do that?  I had to ask about it.  I guess they would've given me Adavant but I didn't have a driver.  It wasn't too bad, the worse was my toe and top of my foot.  Still nothing has been as bad as when I had one on the bottom of my foot taken off.

I did tell my derm (I don't have an oncologist as my melanoma was caught in-situ) about my vision, memory, and lightheadedness, is that even a word, ha!  She then referred me to internal medicine as it didn't seem normal to her.
They had made an 11:00 appt for me that same day.  Ugggh, I spent 2 hours there only to be assessed and still have to go in for a brain MRI on Monday night at 8:00.  Odd time for an MRI, but hey I don't have to miss work (again).  Also Internal Medicine referred me to neurology, so I'm going to get some 10 page packet in the mail and have to send it back in before they make my appointment.  I pray its just "getting old and post pregnancy" brain.  ***fingers crossed***

Good Lord, I have enough paperwork mumbo jumbo with my kids and their activities/daycare.  Blah.  O'well I'll do whatever they say.  I'll just await my biopsies and hope they are all just Atypical and be glad they are off.  I still have a bunch more, so we'll see if I get another "batch" of them off in the future.  It is now getting easier to monitor them at least.

I'll update with the findings on my 14 biopsies as soon as I hear.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Year Has Passed

Baby Brynn!

It has been a little over a year since my last post and over 2 years since my Melanoma diagnosis.  I have been moved from checkups every 4 months to every 6 months now.
Nothing new has been detected!  I have been living life "as usual" and has been wonderful.  I have had another baby since my last post, so life has been exciting as we've added a new baby girl...Brynn Leigh to our family dynamics.
I've also been promoted at work to an Assistant Director position, and that has kept me very busy.  In addition I'm training for the FULL MARATHON in May 2012.  A lot going on that's for sure.

I had went in for my 6 month check up this July and we were looking at a couple of moles that I've been questioning.  In the end we decided to watch them and revisit on my next 6 month check.  After I got home, I had a change of heart and scheduled the removal of them September 8th.  I'm really dreading it as one of them is pretty big and on my TOE.  Ugggh, I had one removed on the bottom of my foot and that was a big Ouch! I hope to have quite a few taken off while I'm there.

I have one on my right toe, the one next to the big toe.  It appears as if some of the color is bleeding out, like the circle is starting to resemble a triangle.  Very odd.  One on the top of my left foot.  This one has part of it disappearing.  I have multiple areas on my abdomen, with multiple colors in them, and actually some on my inner thigh area, that I'm dying if anyone has to get in there and check it out.  I have one on the top of my hand with multiple colors and part of it disappearing.  I'm a mess!

I have A-typical mole syndrome, so we've left most of the odd looking ones there as I have so many that its hard to remove all of them.  Its been a while, so I'm ready to get send in some more biospsies.

I don't know if its because I just had a baby, but I have moderate to severe memory loss.  Mostly with words.  I have to really concentrate, and for instance, I had to search for the word biopsy on the Internet because I forgot it!  I have called my kids different names, the other day I called Brynn the name of her cousin. I forgot the name of our daycare provider, completely.  I forget most people's names at work. Almost every sentence is a challenge for me, blah!
I also get extreme fatigue/dizziness in waves.  My baby sleeps through the night, yah lucky I know, so I'm not sleep deprived.  I'm 3 months postpartem, but I still get this weird feeling.  Also I was typing the other day and when I'd look off to the right I'd see this half circle on the left side of the screen.  So weird things that are adding up, to make me go in and get these different moles off.  Uggh, hopefully nothing is messing with my brain! 
I hadn't mentioned the memory loss and dizziness to my derm, because I thought it was from being a new mommy and I couldn't explain the dizziness symptoms so I felt silly saying anything.  Now that its still happening, I'll have to inform her.  Hope its just new mommy syndrome!

I'll update on my new biopsies.  Hopefully she agrees to taking quite a few of them off.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It was my what???

Ok, sorry for the 1 YEAR DELAY in my posting.  Funny how if good news comes about, one is not as eager to post to the world (even though I thought that would be the case).  It appears only fear fills me with the emergent need to yell out to the Melanoma world.
So as you can guess, my surgery went well!  Yay!  A bit worrysome in the fact that my surgeon removed this "mystery mass", felt more and then more, and then REALIZED that he removed part of my RIB.  Yep, was a floating rib afterall.  Wow, maybe it was out of embarrasement that I didn't post.
I am 150% thankful I have an embarrasing post and not a bad news post.
So I'm glad to look upon my journey one year later, and find a bunch of scars and hospital bills, but NO MORE MELANOMA so far.
I slather on that sunscreen and keep the long sleeves/pants on as much as I can. 

Already have been out to the lake!  Yes~ we are all doused with the sunscreen!
I hope to keep those cancer free updates coming!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"And Then I Found a Lump"

Ok, so last Thursday August 27th, I noticed a lump under my rib cage while getting ready that morning. Something odd caught my eye, almost like a shadow or something and made me immediatly feel for it. What the??? it felt like a golf ball floating around under my rib cage.
I then made Chad feel and at first he agreed and then he thought he was just feeling my rib.
Well, because every Melanoma horror story I read starts out with...I had a mole removed, found out Melanoma, Dr. said everything is fine, AND THEN I FOUND A LUMP. Then off to the heavenly world they went.
So when I got to work I called my derm to ask his opinion on who should check this thing out. They said I should come in right away and they'd take a look (even though it was his surgery day). So I high tailed it out of the office and off to the derm I went, to find was my RIB. Gosh, I was so embarasssed! I couldn't shake his opinion though because he kept saying "I think", with a very puzzled look. So after some coaxing from my mother, I went to the walk in clinic for a 2nd opinion. I had a blood test, ultrasound, and CT scan (so no it wasn't my rib).
Come to find out it is just some floating mass hanging out there that we need to check out. The Dr. referred me to a surgeon the next day who also agreed that it needs to be removed. They all look at me puzzled and say it doesn't seem to be concerning, but given my melanoma diagnosis, nobody can assume anything at this point.
So I go in for surgery Wednesday Sept. 2nd, to get this thing plucked out. My mother is coming up to help us with Kade for a little bit, so we are excited about that. It is an outpatient surgery but they will be putting me under. I could care less what they do to me, I just pray this bugger is negative for Melanoma!!
I will update with the results.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The beginning & hopefully the end of story!

Well I didn't think I'd ever be joining the cancer blog crowd...but here I am. My story started in June of 2009. I went to my annual dermatologist for a normal check up. I have atypical mole syndrome, so I dutifully go in annually and get checked.
I had a PA at the time who took 3 suspicious shave biopsies, two off my abdomen and one off my lower back. I went about my business and was never suspicious as this has become routine for me. So shortly thereafter, I get a call that the two on my abdomen came back more atypical then they liked, so I was to get a further excision on those two sites to be cautious. Well since my derm was a PA, he referred me to a surgeon who specialized in dermatology to have that procedure done.
So fast forward to June 29th. I was lying on the table all covered in a gown and paper, with just my abdominal excision sites exposed. They did their slicing and dicing and was ready to send me on my way. I then had the bright idea to ask for a second opinion on my remaining moles, since I was in the presence of a derm who was a Dr. and a different PA assisting him. (Can't have too many eyeballs on my moles) So I asked them to take another peek at my back. When I pulled my arm out to pull the coverings off of me, he immediately grabbed my arm and took a closer look at this mole (the obvious one closest to my elbow)...
He checked me all over and did a punch biopsy on the elbow. I got to leave with these wonderful two excisions on my abdomen too-ha!
Well on July 2nd, I had a missed call from the derm department and again on July 5th. I had a gut feeling something was bad but it was over the 4th Holiday so I couldn't call the office back and a message was never left. That Monday the 6th, I got the diagnoses that the mole on my arm was stage 1A melanoma.
THANK GOD that it was caught early. Had I not had to get further excision on my abdomen, this would have gone uncaught for a minimum of 1 year, until my next check. So July 10th, I went in and had further excision of the melanoma site, and 5 more susipcious moles shaved on my back and 1 off the bottom of my foot-ouch! Of those, 2 were atyipcal (not in need of further tissue removal), 3 were benign, and the one on the foot was sent to Mayo in Rochester to verify it was atypical.
Here is my arm, not even 3 weeks after the excision...
So as of today, I sit with a 1-3% chance of reoccurance on my arm and they claim that they have removed all of the cancer. I will update every 4 months with results of my checkups. I'm hoping this is the end of my melanoma experience.
I worry as most people are told it is all removed, only to have it come back with a vengence. I just thank God for Dr. Matske, who literally SAVED MY LIFE.