Friday, May 1, 2009

Not Izzy Stephens

I haven't seen the new Grey's yet (though since I have the office to myself today (assuming no one from next door comes in) I might crank it up on my second monitor when I get lunch, shh!), but Princess Charming called me last night and said it was super awkward to watch with my parents. Who don't know.

Don't know what you ask? Oh, don't tell me you're not in suspense from Tuesday's post!

I have melanoma. Princess Charming pointed out a weird mole on my back sometime after the wedding (I really don't recall when). I blew it off till I noticed it in the changing room at M.acy's. Clearly too dark, too misshapen, just wrong. So I called the dermatologist, and 6 weeks later, was seen.

I had the second appointment of the day, and was there under 20 minutes from check in to car. She looked, deemed it weird, told me to lay down, shot it up with anesthetic, took a biopsy, and burned off the remainder. I think anyway. She didn't really explain - I mentioned this to my boss this AM when I told him what was going on and he said its probably standard procedure so as not to worry people. I didn't really even question this till I got in the car, since I'm reasonably well educated about my body and knew what to expect going in - what if I hadn't? how much weirder of an experience would that have been? When I left, I got a "call in 10-14 days" card and no lollypop.

Monday 10 am. Phone call from the dermatologist. Now, it is obviously a bad sign when a doctor you've seen three times ever who gave you a 10-14 days directive calls you two business days after a procedure. Then asks "Is this a good time?"

Well, Dr. F., now it is, because I'm 100% sure you didn't call me 8-12 days ahead of when I was to call you to wish me a happy work week.

So melanoma it is. 0.38 mm thick and just a bit bigger than a pencil eraser, well within Stage I criteria. With full excision of a larger area around it (happening this coming Monday at a different derm who specializes in surgical-ly stuff and is better suited to minimize scarring, and includes testing of said area) I am most likely going to be cured by Tuesday. But melanoma is aggressive and has a pretty high recurrence rate, so I had a baseline(/checking for metastasis, but she didn't say exactly that either) chest x-ray today (which I think is clean, but really, I don't know how to read these things except to ID my heart and some bones, like my Massive rib cage!).

And assuming there's no problems in the excision or the CXR, I'll just be back at the derm for a check every 3-6 months for a couple of years and every 12 thereafter. And can no longer pass over the "previous conditions" page at new doctors' offices. Boo.


  1. Emily - I am so glad it was caught early and you will be FINE after the removal. I'll be thinking about you!!

  2. My thoughts exactly. Just a minor annoyance!

    (But please let me know if you need anything.)

  3. I am so glad you caught it early. Good thoughts being sent your way. Sam

  4. I'm glad this was caught early, Emily. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.

  5. oh no emily! i will keep you in my thoughts. i hope your derm does a great job getting it all out and minimizing the scars. get a good story ready for bathing suit season if people see the scars..... i chose rescuing a small child from a bear for the ones on my arm.