“Can I write about it on my blog?”
She told me sure, anything that raises awareness. Get checked.
My oldest was 27 when her melanoma was diagnosed. It was a highly aggressive type. She had had to go to the doctor twice in two weeks for something utterly unrelated when he surprised her by saying he thought that that mole had changed since her earlier appointment and he wanted to check it.
Mole? Who was talking about the mole?
He had actually biopsied it several years earlier but he didn’t let that stop him from doing so again–it just felt to him that something was wrong there.
They took out four inches to quite some depth from her arm. She didn’t have to do chemo and she didn’t have to do radiation because he’d caught it so very early, possibly in its first two weeks. She did have to have frequent checks thereafter; melanoma can recur anywhere.
Her experience got me to stop ignoring the spot my husband had been saying he saw on the top of my head. Mine was basal cell and at least eight months old by that point, and I’d just shrugged and written it off as another manifestation of lupus. Which it was not. By that point they had to take out over an inch of hair permanently from the center of my scalp, leaving a thumbprint indentation in my head and a cowlick that are there still. I was lucky.
She is past the five year mark and heading towards six. No return of her cancer. It just dawned on me, writing this, that wait–so so am I. Although, basal-cell, paid attention to, is not a big deal. Melanoma is very much a big deal.
A doctor had a bad feeling about it, trusted his instincts, and insisted on checking again.
And so my daughter is alive.
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