Melanoma removed

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
711
New York
Yikes. It's been a heluva year. My wife had a malignancy removed from a breast back in January and a basal cell carcinoma removed from under her lower eyelid a month ago. Today it was my turn. I had a melanoma removed from under my left eye. Melanoma can be dangerous but it looks like mine was caught before it became invasive. Unfortunately it was a centimeter or so on a side. The surgeon said he got it all but that's subject to review by a pathologist to confirm clear margins on the edges and beneath the skin. The scar will be more than an inch long. A plastic surgeon can repair it if it looks like more than a thin white line.

Post op instructions are to stay out of the gym. I've been pumping iron since I was released from cardiac rehab in May. Even my cardio workout days include weights. I can resume bicycling on Sunday but no intense workouts until the stitches have been removed. I'm 72. I retired last year. I thought about retirement as an endless vacation. I found out otherwise.

OK. That's life. I don't have to look very far to find folks with real problems. This thread isn't about me though. I'm posting it to encourage folks here to get that Cologuard test, have that complete physical, get checked by a dermatologist, visit the dentist, whatever you've been putting off. My career was in bioengineering designing laser imaging instruments. I thought I was smart. I’m not smart about everything. The melanoma was caught by my wife's dermatologist when I accompanied her to an appointment to look at what was growing under her eye. There's no way to know how long it would have taken for my cancer to become invasive but just in time is a lot better than a little too late.
 
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Pops

Gretschie
May 23, 2022
438
SC Midlands
Melanoma is nothing to take lightly. It’s probably the most insidious cancer there is. Glad you caught it in time.

My wife had one removed from the bottom of her heel three years ago. They got it all, but she’s still worried it will show up somewhere else.
 

Baba Joe

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2010
402
new jersey
I’ve been getting skin cancer checkups for over thirty years and can’t stress enough their importance. However, even with all of the checkups and never having melanoma, I developed an aggressive form of cancer that was attributed to squamous cell carcinoma a couple of years ago. It was not fun. I still see the doctors on a regular basis and limit time in the sun. Don’t take it lightly. It can alter your life.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,961
Where the action is!
I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my scalp about 10 years ago. Fortunately the first dig got it all so I wound up with a small scar not a noticeable bald spot. But basal cell carcinoma really isn't dangerous at all. It is technically malignant and can grow indefinitely, but has virtually no chance of going metastatic. When I was getting it removed I said to the nurse that I can still call myself a cancer survivor. She didn't see the humor in that remark.
 

AZBrahma

Synchromatic
Dec 18, 2020
730
Arizona
Very glad to hear you caught it in time. Positive mojo sent your way.

I just had my annual 55-point inspection, which included a dermatologist visit. I was clean, despite having a concern about an anomaly on my thigh. I am a sun worshipper and never wear sunscreen, but am very in tune to solar intensity, length of exposure, and covering up when needed. Now I need to convince the wife to visit the dermie. Life comes at you fast; just a few months ago my wife was diagnosed with a DCIS breast cancer tumor and had a double mastectomy performed. In the tissue biopsy they found another small tumor which was HER2 positive - a rare and aggressive breast cancer expression. Thank goodness she had the double mastectomy. Lymph nodes came up clean; she dodged a bullet by catching it very early. Now there are 3-times-per-week infusions, expensive supps, and a radical dietary change to try to prevent recurrence. And she only went for a checkup because I was harassing her about it and she promised me she would. 😐

All that to say...get checked out early and often. We need more success stories and fewer countdowns.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
711
New York
Next day. Yikes. I pulled the dressing off so I could clean and dress the wound and I have more stitches than I can count. The scar will be 2 1/2”, 63mm long. I’d post a pic but no one needs to see this. There’s no pain past what Advil mitigates.

What’s this aging gracefully about? Anyone doing that? How do you do it?
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 20, 2010
2,006
Michigan
@Emergence,

Thank You for the great reminders, you and your wife are in our prayers.

I do sympathize with you, I had a similar issue except on my eyelid, I had to have this done twice, the first surgery required 17 stitches, because of the concern for scaring. Since they did not get it all, I told them not be concerned with scars, I am more concerned with getting it all. The second surgery took 52 stitches, I am more thankful that they got all of it. That was six years ago, and it has not returned, I pray that they got all of it. There is nothing graceful or easy about this, thanks for sharing your story, we are behind you!
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
711
New York
@Emergence,

Thank You for the great reminders, you and your wife are in our prayers.

I do sympathize with you, I had a similar issue except on my eyelid, I had to have this done twice, the first surgery required 17 stitches, because of the concern for scaring. Since they did not get it all, I told them not be concerned with scars, I am more concerned with getting it all. The second surgery took 52 stitches, I am more thankful that they got all of it. That was six years ago, and it has not returned, I pray that they got all of it. There is nothing graceful or easy about this, thanks for sharing your story, we are behind you!
I get it. I look around me and see folks facing far greater challenges than I’m facing. I hope the surgeon got it all. I can’t imagine what could be left.

I’m at that stage of life where a year doesn’t go by without some unanticipated health issue arising. But the years still go by. I’m trying to decide on my next vacation. How bad is that? Materially, I have no problems. I wonder sometimes where my good karma came from. I don’t remember what I could have done to deserve it. But still….
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 20, 2010
2,006
Michigan
@Emergence

Thanks for your positive attitude., I know it is hard, but we are pulling and praying for you.
I had gotten blown up in the service, and I was receiving all the doom and gloom and judgement from others. I wasted my time on worrying about what I was not able to do, and focusing on the negative. When I was learning how to walk again, learn how to give myself insulin shots, and taking on a life that I did not want anymore, an elderly vet gave me a lecture that I did not want to hear.
He said quit worrying about what you can't do, focus on what you want to do. He said Struggling through the journey is the tough part, but keeping your eyes on the destination and getting there is the prize, keep up the fight, the enemy is inside you. Don't worry about the timeline, or if it curves, it is all about the end goals. That stuck with me forever, I did to learn how to walk again, went back to school several times, raised a family, and have tried to help others. Yes, sometimes life will turn, and not turnout, but when you get back on the path, there is nothing better.
Good Luck my friend, there is still plenty to enjoy, and the reason is you deserve it!
 


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