Monday, February 13, 2012

Who Needs A Tattoo...

when you get a new scar every 3 months? These scars are my own version of body art...

I went in for my 3 month skin check with my favorite dermatologist today. If you haven't gone for your full body skin check yet, call today and schedule it. Let me give you a warning though. Be prepared to have no part of you unchecked. I mean, NO. PART. OF. YOU. I escaped the in-between-the-cheeks and lady bits only because I promised I check those areas myself. He knows that I am extremely paranoid about my moles, I believe he trusts me. So, yes, the exam is awkward. Yes, I have made the mistake of forgetting to wear full underwear and made the visit even more awkward. However, the awkwardness of it is so worth it.

Mr. Spots took off work today to attend this appointment with me today. I was grateful for him being there because going back to the place where I was first diagnosed is always a bit uncomfortable for me. Bad memories! Anyway, Mr. Spots mentioned my blog to the dermatologist today. The dermatologist made an interesting comment: "I hope I have been good to you." My immediate response: "You saved my life." Silence.

It is true though. He removed the mole because he was not 100% sure about it. It looked unusual, but none of us believed it was melanoma. Isn't that how most stories start out? "They told me it was nothing to worry about..." Had I continued on with life after the scab on my mole went away instead of visiting the dermatologist--thanks to the boyfriend I kept my appointment-- chances are the melanoma would already be in my organs. I mean, think about it, it had already spread to numerous lymph nodes on opposite sides of my body. Removing that mole really did save me. It allowed me to be diagnosed with Stage III melanoma, not stage IV, the last and final stage of melanoma.

I didn't escape the dermatologist this time. He removed another suspicious area:


My skin is not a fan of the adhesive on the bandages. As soon as we got home, Mr. Spots pulled off the bandage--it's on my lower back--and washed the area for me to try to prevent a repeat of past events. However, the rash is already forming...I must remember to tell them NO BANDAGES next time. (And we all know there will be a next time! Better to be safe than sorry!)

Oh, and good ol' "And.Them" is back to playing games with me. For some reason when my doctors call/look online to verify my insurance, my insurance company says I do not have coverage. When I call, or when the "And.Them" representative who works with our company calls, I have and have always had coverage. Needless to say, this makes my life difficult.

...which leads me to having one of these with lunch!





I am going to go enjoy the rest of my Monday off by trying to find a comfortable position on the couch and reading my book. 

OH, one last thing!! We stopped to get a movie at Redbox and Mr. Spots noticed that even Redbox has to wear sunscreen.




If Mr. Redbox needs to wear sunscreen than SO DO YOU.

Happy Monday! XO


8 comments:

Britney Adams said...

Adhesive breaks me out too!!!! cant wear bandaids or anything like it. tried the patch birth control once...big mistake. had that rash on my ass cheek for like a month lol really enjoy reading your blog. feel better!

Kisma said...

Hello- I just found your blog thru a fellow blogger also fighting skin cancer and I believe you and share alot in common. Thank you for sharing your story, pictures and making me and others like us NOT feel alone!!

Sarah said...

Howdy...I just wanted to say hello as I've been stalking your blog for awhile! I just wrote a post about my story, and I linked to your blog. I hope you don't mind! Your blog has such a GOOD modern young person perspective of melanoma that everyone should read. Thanks for making your story know to the world...people need to hear it!
Sarah at www.chattyredhead.com

Tim said...

In my 2 years I've only had one derm visit where they didn't hack something off of me "just to be safe". So far, they've all been benign, but compared to the surgeries and everything else, it's a minor (albeit, embarrassing) ordeal. I figure that even if one turns out to be melanoma, it can't be terribly bad if it's only had 3 months to get established.

I make sure to share my em-"bare-ass"-ment with my friends and co-workers after each appointment. It gives me a reason to badger them into getting their own skin checked. If I can deal with it every few months, they can certainly deal with it once a year... especially since it's such an easy way to minimize the chances of having to go through something far more unpleasant.

Take it from someone who's sitting around anxiously awaiting next week's scan results (and wishing he'd had someone convince him that he should get his skin checked regularly) - Just go. It's simple, quick, and yes, embarassing as hell... And it just might save your life.

---
Tim

Chelsea said...

Thank you for reading! You are right...it helps to know we are NOT alone!

Chelsea said...

Tim, I am hoping for great results from your upcoming scans. Please let me know!

Kris said...

I love this post (as all others) but this one speaks to me more for some reason. I have joked with my husband that I should get a tattoo for every scar. Yep, a number at each one. It's dark humor but helps me deal with my 3 month "skin removal appointments" as we call them. The joke now is what script would I love my for my double digit numbers..... Only a melanoma warrior can see the humor there.

Thanks again for your honesty and humor and humility.

erin. said...

When I first saw a RedBox with a sunscreen I was so excited because I thought it actually sold sunscreen (duh, silly me! And to think I was 27 at the time).

Thinking of you & hoping your doing well! :)