And they did. The malignant melanoma on the back of my thigh was excised yesterday afternoon.
It was no bigger than a nickel. Discovered three weeks ago during my first-ever total body scan, I received a few shots of Lidocaine, then a shaved sample was removed for biopsy.
The results came back the following Friday – cancerous. The spot that never scabbed over and continued to weep had to come out. My appointment was scheduled for Wednesday the 23rd, just shy of three weeks from the initial assessment.
I don’t know why, but I always thought of skin cancer as a ‘lesser’ cancer. Breast cancer is bad. Colon, pancreatic, ovarian, liver, lung – all really bad. Very scary. Why did I think of skin cancer differently? Is it because I could see it? (Well, not this one, on the back of my thigh). Would a nickel-size spot on my mammogram have me as calm? On my lung? I know in my heart I’d have been panicked.
And that’s not to say I wasn’t worried. Two Valium an hour beforehand did little to allay my anxiety. The procedure was over in about an hour. The lidocaine lasted into the evening. I slept last night without any sleep aids.
Today it hurts. I’m taking Tylenol, extra-strength, and resting at home. I’m very much aware that there was trauma. And I am leaving the bandage on for now.
Is all of this TMI? I’m a relatively private person (and here I am, showing you a picture of my thigh!). I guess I just want you to get your checkups. I don’t think this is the last of my skin issues. But I plan to be diligent. Be like Martha, at least in this. ❤️❤️❤️
I’d put off the ‘body scan’ by a dermatologist for a while. But when someone my husband and I both knew died as a result of a malignant melanoma, we knew we needed to make the appointment. He’s 60, I’m 59, and like many people our age, we’ve had more than a couple of blistering sunburns.
I could never tan, but it didn’t stop me from trying. And the result for me was a melanoma on the back of my thigh, where I’d never see it.
It will be removed in ten days, the earliest available date. Thankfully, it’s still in an early stage, and hasn’t affected my lymph nodes. Numb me up good and take the damned thing out, I say.
No one I know likes these preventive procedures. Colonoscopy prep is inconvenient. Mammograms hurt. And having someone inspect every inch of your skin, well, it just underscores the fact that loss of elasticity and gravity are cruel reminders of aging. But that’s how you find out. I’m glad I found out.