Alan is taking two weeks off of work, so I have been hammering away at my list of appointments to get myself back in order.
I went to a new eye doc. I asked him, just out of curiosity, what my vision is exactly. He said it’s about 20/1000. HAAA! The good news is I got new contacts and ordered new glasses. I don’t remember this doc’s name, but he gave me a prescription for an antihistamine eye drop that I can even take with contacts in. What a great idea.
The glasses shopping didn’t go as well. I found three pair I liked, but I couldn’t decide. The sales people weighed in, and one guy actually said, “The second pair, if any of them.” LOL. So basically he thought they all looked bad. Oh well, I liked the second pair, so I bought them anyway.
I visited the dermatologist. They removed a cyst that I had on my leg, and now I’m back to not being allowed to walk or run. Great. (But the good news is that it’s gone, and they did not think it was cancerous at all, just a little problem I got from the pregnancy).
The nurse asked me if I’d had any history with skin cancer. I told her I’d had an “advanced stage of pre-melanoma that required them to completely remove the mole-turned bad as well as all of the surrounding skin.”
She mumbled under her breath, “Ok, so technically it was a melanoma.”
Huh? No, PRE melanoma. pre, pre, pre!
So I came home and did some research. This all happened back when I was 27, and lived in Alabama. At the time I was not too concerned about it, but I do remember the doctor, who biopsied three moles and found that only one was pre-melanoma, looked at me, shook her head and mumbled, “You’re so young.” ?
The day I went back to her office after the procedure, the nurse there said, “It sure was a good thing you caught that because it was a stage *I don’t remember what stage she said* already. Very aggressive. Make sure you come back every year for check-ups.”
I had no idea what she was talking about, really.
So yesterday, after leaving the dermatologist with a clean bill of health and three new stitches, I came home and researched melanoma. I read all about it, and I read all about the stages of it.
This is what I learned:
- It used to be more common in men, but thanks to tanning beds, there is a huge surge of it among women my age, in their late 20s/ early 30s.
- It is the most deadly form of skin cancer. I knew that. That’s why I had it checked out back then. I saw pictures of melanomas in Glamour magazine (thank you soooo much, Glamour), and thought, “hmmm. I think I have two of those.”
My early melanoma looked something like this:
What to check for:
a. irregular borders/ asymmetrical
b. any change to the mole
c. multi-colored (Mine was brown and black.)
d. the size of a pencil eraser or larger
Early Melanoma stages:
|•||Stage Tis. The tumor is in situ and remains non-invasive in the epidermis.|
|•||Stage T1a. The tumor is invasive but less than or equal to 1.0 mm in Breslow’s thickness, without ulceration and with a mitotic rate of less than
|•||Stage T1b. The tumor is less than or equal to 1 mm thick. It is ulcerated and/or the mitotic rate is equal to or greater than 1/mm2.|
|•||Stage T2a. The tumor is 1.01-2.0 mm thick without ulceration.|
|•||Stage T2b. The tumor is 1.01-2.0 mm thick with ulceration.|
|•||Stage T3a. The melanoma is 2.01-4.0 mm thick without ulceration.|
|•||Stage T3b. The melanoma is 2.01-4.0 mm thick with ulceration.|
|•||Stage T4a. The tumor is thicker than than 4.0 mm without ulceration|
|•||Stage T4b. The tumor is thicker than 4.0 mm with ulceration.
When it gets past these, it’s considered a stage III or IV melanoma–a later stage– and that’s when you’re in serious bad news. Thankfully, whatever mine was, it was not past one of these. I remember only that it was an “advanced stage of pre melanoma.” I’ve thought about having them mail me my records.
****Lesson learned: Tanning beds are evil. Wear sunscreen. If you have any moles that look like that, you’d better have them checked.***
The boys seem to be enjoying their vacation, even if we haven’t really done much. Today Alan and I even took every single electronic device (except the t.v.) and put them away (again). These boys needed an attitude adjustment, and so far it’s working. They have had so much fun today, just playing at home, that Joshua’s blessing at lunch was something like this:
” Thank you so much for today and for this lunch. This has been such a lucky day. And please let Daddy have a good time at work. Amen.”
I guess they didn’t miss the video games too much! (Alan went to work for the afternoon because it was necessary. Alan’s been helping me so much around here this week. I’m glad he got to get out of the house for a while, even if it was just to go to work.)
Quote of the week:
Daniel climbed up into my lap, laid down on the boppy (still in my lap from having fed the baby), and said, “Feed me.”
……Yikes. Sorry, Dan, not happening. That ship has sailed for you, little buddy.