Saturday, June 09, 2007

A small view into the life of melanoma

Guest post, Bobby here.

Holy Crap!!! I have a little story for any of you cancer survivors out there, heck even those of you that are loved ones, friends, family, pizza delivery guy, whatever.

I have a little story for you and it goes something like this. It may wander, but it has a point, trust me.

When I was but a little lad my dad took me on a fishing trip. On said fishing trip, I, being the manly type (not really) took my shirt off for the day. If you don't know me, I'm a freckly type kid, now freckly type adult. Yes, I got a sunburn, a BAD one on that fishing trip. My shoulders and back were especially toasted. I got home and my mom freaked. She was screaming about skin cancer and how you don't want that. I thought, eh, no big deal.

Flash forward to a couple of months ago when Lori and I were checking each other for moles, let's keep it clean people. Anyway, she said there was a couple I should have checked. So, I made an appointment with her dermatologist, the aforementioned Dr. Beautiful in a previous post.

I rescheduled a handful of times and I know why. I was scared. "What if's" were running through my head. So, I finally made an appointment and kept it. I told Dr. B. the story and he said take off my shirt, unlike Dr. Gomez who can have your pants off in under 2 seconds...I digress.

He takes a look and says "Oh yeah, we've got a couple of winners here. They need to come off." Now, if we compared pain tolerances, mine would be in the wimpy section while Lori's is in the tough as nails section. Anyway, I didn't know he was going to do it right then and there. But he did. He froze one off that's a rather large area on my shoulder, said it was fine and it will fall off. Still hasn't, but I think it's getting there.

But the other one on my lower back was suspect and he wanted to cut it off and send it out for diagnosis.

Now, this is where this blog will tie together. They said in about a week I would know the results and I'll be honest, I tried not to think about it. So, a week later I get a phone call from a number I don't recognize which I don't answer, standard procedure. But as it's going to voicemail I get this nervous sensation and I thought it was the Dr.'s office calling. It was.

Here's what the nurse said on my voicemail: "Hello Mr. Frrrriiissskkeee, this is the nurse from Dr. Beautiful's office. I need to talk to you about your results from the mole we sent off for testing."

AAAAGGGHH!!! My anxiety went through the roof. The last time I had to wait for results like that, I of course didn't answer and on my voicemail they said everything was fine.

This was crazy anxiety. I don't think I've experienced it before like this. So, I quickly call back and the nurse is at lunch. So, now I have to wait until she gets back.

Heart pounding, check.
Nervous sweats, check.
Freaking out...priceless

When she calls I'm practically shaking. She tells me it's mild dysplastic nevus (spelling?) and everything was fine, but to keep an eye on it. whew.

What I'm trying to get across to people who don't have cancer is, I cannot believe the amount of anxiety something like this produces. It was enough to make me a nervous wreck for one tiny mole. And you people here that are fighting cancer, waiting for diagnosis, updates, pet scans, MRI's, doctors reports or even just waiting after treatment... Well, it takes a special person to take all of this in stride and us people need to realize how much of a toll it can take on our loved ones fighting this crappy disease.

Lori's getting ready to go in for surgery and I'm still dumbfounded by how she can take this in stride. I would be a nervous wreck, instead I'm in denial, that's supposed to be funny, but true.

I have (another) whole new take on how things are.
I hope that makes sense.

A quick Lori update... She'll probably be in 3-5 days depending on how things go. The wonderful Mandy, best friend of Lori's and all around good person is coming in from Cali to help out.

After Lori recovers she's heading to Cali with Mandy and hopefully we're all going to meet up in Vegas sometime before school starts back up.

Lori sends her love. To all of the people out there who cancer has affected, I say this,




Anonymous said...

Hey Bobby. Boy can I relate. My husband has stage iv melanoma. I got two moles removed while he was in for IL-2. I couldn't wait for the results. I went in to get the stiches removed and they left me in the room with the path report while I waited for the doctor to come in. All I could see were the words "melanocytic activity" or something to that effect. Everything else on the page went all "swimmie" for lack of a better word. I've seen path reports in the past, but for some reason, my brain checked out. The doctor came in and told me the real story. One was mildly atypical and the other was mildly to moderately atypical. What a relief. They sent me the results in the mail and my husband and I discussed putting them on the fridge as if I got an A on a test. I could tell he had been worried too. I understood much better what he deals with waiting for each scan and test. Thanks for sharing. I'll be thinking of your lovely Lori.


Carver said...

Hi Bobby,

I think knowing someone you love who has cancer is about as hard as it gets and it's certainly makes sense that it would make you more anxious when you have a biopsy. Funny story here (at least to me), before I was dx'd with stage III melanoma a close family member had cervical cancer that spread (no that's not the funny part). So I dutifully told my GYNO about it thinking it might be pertinent to my medical history. He said that it might expect for the fact that I had already had a radical hysterectomy for endometriosis. Well duh. So there I was all worried about cervical cancer not remembering that I didn't have a cervix.

I'm so glad Lori has you and also her close friend coming in from CA and that vacations will be had after recovering.

Sending out good vibes for Lori and deadly ones for melanoma.

Cheers, Carver

kim said...

I am so sorry that you had such a scare. It is good that you caught it early though!
Ya know, being squeamish aroung needles and doctors with sharp things was commom for me too. (I locked myself in my mom's car when I was 8 to avoid my tetanus booster.) But the human spirit is resilient and now I have no problem when something is bothersome at a skin check. I just profer up the offending area and say 'go ahead'. To the tune of 25 biopsies since my melanoma diagnosis.
I hope you never get to this point, but I am much more afraid of melanoma that I am of a needle.
Thanks for looking out for our girl. And I am so glad that you two are looking out for each other.
Sending you both all my best!
Love, Kim
PS What a handsome photo of a dashing young man on Lori's blog!

mlittle said...

Well, I think I've got this whole biopsy racket thing pinned down... Call back message left by nurse or office staff... benign or atypical. Call back message left by the DOCTOR... um, not so good.

Thank you Bobby, for posting for our Miss Melly. I have been wondering when she was having the surgery. It's nice to know that she is being taken care of so well by you and Mandy. How lucky she is to have such love and support.

Hoping that silly iliac node of yours is boring and benign.

Hugs to all of you,



I'm Too Young For This!