Saturday, June 6, 2015

5 Years NED - The Emotional Side

I'm a little emotional today.  I've been in a funk all week.  I don't know why, but if you have ever been in a funk, you understand how the little things tend to become bigger than they should be.  Things bother you more, and that sometimes just letting it out can help you feel better. Please bear with me, because I'm resurrecting my blog as an outlet.

I feel very alone in my personal life when it comes to my melanoma journey.  I am so thankful for the people I have met online, my melahomies.  Even though my early stage journey is nothing compared to what some of them have been through, with multiple surgeries, treatments and even loss, they have never once made me feel like I don't belong.  I am so thankful for each and every one of them/you.

This week I celebrated 5 years NED.  I made a quick post about it on Facebook, but knowing the nature of the beast, in my mind, I compared it to a birthday.  Oh, this big birthday is coming up, and you wake up feeling no different the morning of.  Even so, I was very disappointed that my family didn't seem to care.  I know it was Facebook, but any other cancer and they would care about 5 years, right?  It was disappointing, it hurt.

So I ended the week with a trip to the dermatologist.  I have one mole on my arm, that I subconsciously pick at, and don't realize I've done it until it is blistered or scabbed over.  I asked her to remove it.  She said she wasn't concerned about it, it was flesh colored, had an ugly black hair, and had not changed in size since she first measured it years ago.  It is being tested, but was really just a cosmetic thing.

As she checked me out though, she asked about another spot on my forehead.  I have mentioned it once before.  I reminded her that she said it was an age spot.  She brought out her lighted microscope thing.  She said it looks more like a mole, but it is a purple/blue color.  You don't have any other ones like that.  I asked her if she thought it changed, and she said yes.  So on Thursday, I get to go back for a surgical appointment so that she can remove it in a way that will leave me with "a small line scar, not as big as the one on my arm, that will blend in with the lines on my forehead"  I came home and inspected what is still just fine lines, thanks partially to the mini-facelift I got with my scalp excision 2 years ago.  I'm not so thrilled, but as I'll say in a second, I prefer a scar to the alternative.  My family's response.  I haven't really gotten much of one yet.

So, there's the latest on what I like to call the roller coaster ride of my melanoma journey. Please don't get me wrong.  I am thankful, words cannot describe how thankful I am.  I was around a lot of friends and family last night.  I really just wanted someone I could physically touch or hear to give me a hug and say "I'm glad you are at 5 years NED" or "I hate that you have to have another excision, but everything will be okay no matter what"

On a good note, my family may not be checked in, but I did get one person to stop ignoring a spot that was bothering them.  Our neighbor found out she had to go back in for further excision on atypical cells.  I told her that I was glad she got checked and that my theory was that I'd rather a scar than cells that could grow into more being on my body.  I told my dermatologist about this conversation, that she had said she got checked because of me, and she, the dermatologist, said "I really hope you did say that to her"  "Of course I did, this isn't anything to play with"  She just smiled and said she was glad I got it.   Oh, I get it all right.

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