Oh how I wish.
Unfortunately, the silly little mole that the doctor didn’t like on my hand turned out to be melanoma. Thankfully it was caught very early and is considered Melanoma In Situ-Clark level 1. In staging terms, that’s a zero. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so willing to be considered a zero!!
Having the mole looked at in the first place was somewhat of a fluke. When I was living in Michigan and the seasons would change, my hands would peel. Actually, the pointer finger on my right hand would peel for awhile and eventually it would clear up. After our trip to Michigan in February, I wasn’t shocked when my hand started peeling like it used to. But when it spread to my palm, other fingers and eventually my left hand, I thought it was worth getting looked at. I tried a quick trip to the MinuteClinic at CVS but they couldn’t help me. When I couldn’t get into a dermatologist for almost a month, I tried a doctor in family medicine but he wasn’t sure what to do about it either. However, he offered to see if he could get me an appointment with dermatology sooner. Imagine my relief when he came back to the exam room with the news that I could be seen in a few hours!!
In less than an hour, I was in an exam room in the Dermatology department. While I was there to have my peeling examined, Dr. Owens was much more fascniated by the mole on the back of my hand. He didn’t like the looks of it and encouraged me to let him remove it. That was fine with me and it was at that point I had a bad feeling that wasn’t the end of that mole.
About a week later Dr. Owens called to give me the news that the lab results showed melanoma. It had not spread deeper than the first layer of skin but I would still need to an excision to be 100% there was no melanoma remaining in my hand. He was going to show my pathology reports to a surgeon the next day. That surgeon referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon who in turn referred me to a general surgeon who specializes in Skin Cancer & Melanoma and is the Chief of Surgery at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. Being passed around from surgeon to surgeon only increased my anxiety about the whole thing…why didn’t anyone want to do the procedure on me? Was my case too serious or not serious enough for their time? I still haven’t figured out the answer to that…
Tomorrow I go in for a consultation with Dr. Jackson. It’s possible that he’ll be able to go ahead with the procedure then as well. I’m hopeful that is the case. If not, that means it is more complicated and will have to be done at the hospital on another day.