Five years ago, I noticed my 'big mole', as I called her, looked different. I'd had her as long as I could remember so I made a note to mention this to my Dr. Next time I saw my Dr, she took a look at my mole, photographed it and ensured me it was nothing to worry about but we would could keep an eye on it. I took her advice and checked it every once in a while.
A few years later, I moved to a different town and therefore starting seeing a new Dr. By this time, the brown area of the mole had a small red lump in the middle of it. I mentioned this to my new Dr and he took a look and told me not to worry, it was a (I have no idea what he called it) and that it was not cancerous.
As you know, I recently moved again and at my check up with Dr number 3, she took a look at my mole (which was now a much bigger, red lump) and ensured me it was fine.
A few months back, my mole started to bleed. I presumed I had caught it on my clothing as it's located on my shoulder and does rub on my clothing. It healed up on its own and I remebered that the Dr said it was fine and didn't think much more about it. About two months ago, I woke up to find blood on my pillow, my mole was the source and when I took a look at it, it looked like it had changed colour too. I decided to go back to my doctor because I was really worried.
Drs appointments are difficult to book due to the Covid situation so I was seeing a different Dr again. She took a look and said it's probably just caught on your clothing and started bleeding. She said her husband has the same thing so it's probably nothing to worry about. She said she'd book me in for an appointment to remove it because it looked sore and send it away for testing just in case.
A week later, my mole was finally removed. 10 days later, the Dr who removed it phoned me and asked me if I was free for a chat. That was the moment I knew something was seriously wrong. He informed me I had melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer and I would need a wide incision surgery to remove more skin to remove the rest of the melanoma and probably a scan to see if it has spread. I don't remember much of the conversation after that. I was shocked, I have fair skin and burn easily so I always apply sunscreen, stay in the shade when possible and wear a hat if I am out and about in the summer. How could this have happened to me?
A couple of days ago, after 3 weeks of waiting because of cancellations due to staff being ill at the hospital, I met my surgeon. She is lovely and answered all my questions without sugar coating anything, which was great. She examined my lymph nodes in my neck and arm pits and checked my back. She took a biopsy of some skin I was concerned about too. I have a pre op check tomorrow to remove more skin around the area where my mole was to ensure all the melanoma has been removed.
That's my journey so far. I have experience a roller coaster of emotions, the first night, I was so scared I wrote a bucket list. I'm thankful for my husband who is wonderfully supportive and looking after me as he always does. A couple of friends have come forward with their melanoma stories which has been really helpful. I'm optimistic because now we have a plan, the waiting was doing my head in.
I'll keep you up to date