|Livi and Rex, the Dino Joe gave to Livi before he passed from the beast Melanoma.|
Last Monday, November 25 we traveled back to Vanderbilt's Melanoma specialist for my 3 month check up. I was really hoping to be completely boring and sneak out of there without any stitches but my Dr. saw a new spot on my back that he thought he should biopsy. Aaron actually noticed the red bump had been on my back for about a month and that it was starting to grow larger. It wasn't causing me any pain or itching, like the other melanoma's I've had so I wasn't all that concerned. The resident shot my back up with some lidocaine and cut out the lesion, then stitched me up. It really was so easy that I told her I almost fell asleep.
Due to the Holiday my Dr said I should get my results back on Monday, Dec 2. They set me up for my next 3 month visit for Feb, even though I begged to graduate to 6 month visits, Dr. E said it's too risky since the last time I graduated to 6 month visits I developed an invasive melanoma. I agreed...
Well, Monday and Tuesday passed by and now it's Wed. I was starting to get anxious and my mind was thinking too much! Thankfully I just now received a call from Vandy with my results. The bad news is the new spot that had only been on my back for 1 month was a new Dysplastic Melanocytic Nevus. Dysplastic means disorganized cells, meaning the cells were starting to change within the melanocytes, meaning this was on its way to becoming another melanoma. Thank God this was caught early!!! The really good news is, it was completely excised and I don't require any further surgery! Praise the LORD!!! My Dr. says in some patients a Dysplastic Nevus isn't necessarily a big deal and in theory may never turn into a melanoma but in someone with Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome and those who have had multiple melanomas, like me (<5% of patients with melanoma), it is very imperative to excise these dysplastic nevi as soon as possible because my nevi have already proven they will behave in a malignant manner.
I'm very thankful this was caught early. I am however, kinda sad that there is no end in sight with these biopsies and Dr visits every three months. I'm hoping and praying my kids havent inherited my melanoma gene mutation. On the plus side, at least my Mel specialist and oncologist is in a cool city that I absolutely love. Friends, please go get your skin checked. This disease is so misleading and behaves so much differently than most "skin" cancers. If caught early, there's a 99 % cure rate, but once the melanoma is invasive at the stage 3 (lymph nodes) and stage 4 (brain, bones, internal organs) there's not good treatment options. Think of Joe (33), think of Jennifer (34), think of Addison(just a baby, maybe 3) they all died from melanoma. Think of Me and please Go get your skin checked! Share the love and spread the lotion!!!
Thanks for your unending support, all the love, and most of all Your prayers!