It’s a new year and time for renewed energy! First let me start with the good news, no the great news. I had my surgery on December 22 and my results all came back clean. No more Melanoma…wohoo! I had three wide excisions. One of my right forearm where the melanoma was, one on my left bicep and one on my right shoulder for severely dysplastic moles. Dr M was great. I chose to be wide awake and as such got to chat with him for the two hours it took for him to do the procedures. As my husband would probably tell you I have a need to be stoic. I actually take pride in it BUT let me tell you this, if I ever have to have any more wide excisions I am going to ask for the Michael Jackson special. No more of this being wide awake. Phew. That was tough but it is all behind me now. The recovery included some pain, a reaction to the Percocet and an allergy to the glue they used under the steri strips but that is all starting to feel like a distant memory. I am the proud new owner of three new scars that definitely have a personality all their own. My right forearm lost a large piece of tissue 4 inches long, two inches wide and ½ inch deep. Let’s just say it makes for an interesting battle scar. I am hopeful that once the three layers of sutures dissolve that it will flatten out a bit more. My next dermatology is appointment is in February.
In the mean time I had to have some non-Melanoma related appointments. You see when I turned 40 in the fall that meant that I had to start having mammograms…fun right? I decided it was best to postpone my mammogram to January since I had enough going on with my skin. Well, this week started out with me going for my routine mammogram. Twenty-four hours later I got a call telling me that they had “seen something” and that I needed to go to the Breast Cancer Center for further imaging. No problem. The next day I went over to the breast cancer center and after three rounds of mammograms (yeah you know that was fun!) they told me that the Dr wanted to do an ultrasound. During the ultrasound they identified several benign cysts but what caught their attention was an area of change in the tissue. When compared to the other side she said that she was concerned enough to order a breast biopsy. Within thirty minutes I was laying on a procedure bed getting a core breast biopsy. Let me start off by saying that this is now added to my list of procedures that are NO FUN AT ALL. Wowza. After they numb you and make a small incision they inert this gun looking device that takes tissue samples. The first few were painless but the last two caused me to squeak out loud and tears filled my eyes. As you can imagine I have developed a pretty high tolerance for pain but this was pushing the limits for me. I quickly discovered that the ice packs that they give you to put in your bra are marvelous! Wow.
I often tell my boys that I am made of steel. They giggle and I do some silly muscle flexing and we all laugh. Well after the biopsy they inserted a titanium clip in the area of concern so that if I do need to have surgery they will be able to identify the area. Now I am proud to say that I am officially made of titanium!!
Less then 48 hours later, I got the call today with the good news that the samples they biopsied are benign. Phew! The pathology findings were abnormal though and I am now scheduled to see a breast surgical oncologist on Tuesday. They said that the surgeon will discuss with me whether they will remove the area of concern or whether we will follow it closely. Apparently there is a 15-20% chance that this abnormality could be associated with malignancies of the breast. I am choosing not to worry until I need to and I look forward to meeting Dr G to see what the next step is.
I was hoping 2015 with start out a little bit more boring then this. You see, my goal for 2015 was to be boring and to stay off of my doctor’s radar. Even though this year did not quite start out the way I intended it to I realize that all that I have been through over the last year or so has taught me to be strong and to take things in stride. Two years ago I may have freaked out over what happened over the past few days but strangely I am very calm and not worrying until I have to. That is a true gift for which I am grateful. The night after my biopsy I found this fortune in my cookie: “You love life very much”. This couldn’t be more true or more perfect. I do love life and I am happy to be alive and well. As crazy as it may sound I feel the healthiest I have ever felt. I am strong both physically and mentally and my biggest disappointment after the biopsy was that I wouldn’t be able to exercise for a few days.
My goal for 2015 is to take life “one step at a time”. I intend to follow that mantra. I intend to remember that I am made of “titanium”.
I wish everyone a very happy, healthy new year with much love, laughter and good cheer. Thank you to all of my amazing supporters both near and far. It is amazing how powerful a one sentence text, email or facebook message can be. I cannot thank you all enough for your love and support. It means a lot!!