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.