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.

1 comment:

Pattie said...

OMG Cherie............. my prayers are so with you! What an ordeal for you. Keep your spirits up - I have a good feeling this is the end!