Wear your sunscreen kiddies

Varmintmist

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abbynormal.jpg

Thats what it looks like when you have a malignant melanoma removed and 2 lymph nodes. Its been a while but so far it looks like I am going to be visiting the oinkologist and dermatologist 4 times a year for a while and not looking at the bottom of the grass. All that is left to look at is a PET scan.
I have to say that the health care once it popped positive and the cancer deep, has been fast and pretty efficient. I made my full deductible by 3 Jan. Cut out, tested. Surgical oinkologist. Nuke injection. Surgery, tested. Med oinkologist. Stitches out. Brain MRI. Have appt with radiation doc and a PET scan to go.
For the folks who complain about the price in the US, with insurance, my out of pocket looks like it will be well under 10K including my mileage and snacks for finding, and it looks like removing cancer in 6 weeks.

Being correctly coifed and working outside since 12 and playing outside before that, it wasnt a surprise. Learning that option A is being dead in less than a year and option Z is visiting the dermatologist, coming in on the long side of the alphabet is a good thing.

Headed for VT to ski week after next
 

Jim Kenney

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God bless. Stay strong. You're an inspiration. I have significant skin cancer history too for decades. Couple dozen Basel cells removed. Now multiple squamous cells. Melanomas probably in my future. My father had two malignant melanomas removed and kept going until other natural causes got him at age 94. We should all be so lucky.
 

Scruffy

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Good luck to you and your health going forward. Lucky they caught it in time.
I visit my dermatologist once a year for a checkup.
 

AmyPJ

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Oh wow, that's quite the cut they made! You have the added bonus of being a redhead. Those annual skin checks become much more eventful the older we get. Glad you are on the mend and caught it. Melanoma is no joke.
 
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Varmintmist

Varmintmist

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Skin checks will be quarterly for a while (years) with a year of checks with the Surgical oncologist.

Like I said, being a properly coifed specimen and working outside can have its downside. Its a price to pay for being more beautiful.
 

doc

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Good reminder for everyone. Just had a melanoma excised from my calf (backside, which sees much less sun than front). Fortunately, it was stage zero, or in situ, affecting only the surface layer of the skin.
Now, my skin doctor checkups will be quarterly, rather than twice a year.
 

Paul Lutes

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Yeah, if you've got a family history or already popped with a Basel cell or 2, I'd recommend every 6 months to the dermatologist, quarterly if that history includes melanomas.

Please tell me that calling oncologists "oinkcologists" was a spellcheck screw up and not a weak attempt at humor.
 

Fuller

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View attachment 189767
Thats what it looks like when you have a malignant melanoma removed and 2 lymph nodes. Its been a while but so far it looks like I am going to be visiting the oinkologist and dermatologist 4 times a year for a while and not looking at the bottom of the grass. All that is left to look at is a PET scan.
I have to say that the health care once it popped positive and the cancer deep, has been fast and pretty efficient. I made my full deductible by 3 Jan. Cut out, tested. Surgical oinkologist. Nuke injection. Surgery, tested. Med oinkologist. Stitches out. Brain MRI. Have appt with radiation doc and a PET scan to go.
For the folks who complain about the price in the US, with insurance, my out of pocket looks like it will be well under 10K including my mileage and snacks for finding, and it looks like removing cancer in 6 weeks.

Being correctly coifed and working outside since 12 and playing outside before that, it wasnt a surprise. Learning that option A is being dead in less than a year and option Z is visiting the dermatologist, coming in on the long side of the alphabet is a good thing.

Headed for VT to ski week after next
Were the lymph nodes taken out as part of the sentinel lymph node biopsy (with the nuclear tracer)? Or removed as a known metastasized melanoma?

Or were
 
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Varmintmist

Varmintmist

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Were the lymph nodes taken out as part of the sentinel lymph node biopsy (with the nuclear tracer)? Or removed as a known metastasized melanoma?

Or were
Biopsy from trace.
 
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Varmintmist

Varmintmist

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Yeah, if you've got a family history or already popped with a Basel cell or 2, I'd recommend every 6 months to the dermatologist, quarterly if that history includes melanomas.

Please tell me that calling oncologists "oinkcologists" was a spellcheck screw up and not a weak attempt at humor.
It is humor. Feel free to not read if you cant understand it or roll with it. My concern for butt hurt has never been great and sweating other peoples need to whine since I found out I have cancer has cut that amount way down.
 
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Fuller

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Biopsy from trace.
I had that done back in 1999, the biopsy came back negative. Two big ol' incisions done under general anesthesia left me gimping around for a while. Since then I've had a few more insitu and Stage 1 lesions taken off. More incisions and scars and inconvenience but felt lucky they were caught in time. I was mostly on the every 6 months appointment schedule and it would be a rare event if my doc didn't want to take a bite out of me somewhere and send it off for a biopsy.

In November 2021 I had a stage 1 melanoma on my cheek, while they were scheduling the sentinel node biopsy I noticed a lump in my groin. I thought it was a hernia at first but it turned out to be a metastasized melanoma. That's a whole different category of the disease because now it could show up anywhere. I had the primary lesion and the groin tumor removed and I just finished up a year's treatment of Keytruda, which is an immunotherapy drug that as I understand it, changes the protein cover of the melanoma cells and allows your natural immunity workers, the T cells, to do their thing.

So yeah, use your sunscreen kiddos and see your friendly scalpel wielding dermatologist on a regular schedule. That little mole that's always been there and looks normal to you? You don't know shit about those things, just stay on the program and get a whole body check. Make your doctor look at everything including where the sun don't shine.

@Varmintmist I hope it all works out for you, I've not encountered the radiation part of this before, I assume it's a "just in case" sort of thing. A little scary to be sure, but after the absolute panic of the original diagnosis it will be easy to deal with by comparison.

Perhaps this thread can serve as an official skin cancer collection point and we can all post our gruesome excision photos to scare the crap out of those folks who still think they're immortal? I'd like that!
 
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Varmintmist

Varmintmist

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One of the reasons that they went deep and are going after all possibilities is that apparently the cancer was receded. That means my body was fighting it off, which is good. It also means that it was at one time larger with no way to tell how much larger which is bad.
Headed in for the PET scan tomorrow AM.
Looks like the brain scan cam back positive for brain (who da thunk it?) and negative for tumors.
From what I gather I will be in a quarterly derm appt from here on. Which kind of sucks because if I am getting naked in front of PA's I will have to keep working out so that I dont become a lunch room example of how bad the job is. Fortunately for me, this county has the highest obesity rate in the state so I dont have to work out real hard....... That will happen for at least for a few years as long as the PET comes back neg. If there is anything left after tomorrow, the Doc will zap it. So I will refer to her as Princess Leia.
I have a bunch of scars already, a few more that keep me alive I am OK with.
 
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Varmintmist

Varmintmist

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PET scan and Rad doc visit done. From her reading she says it looks clear. Waiting on radiologist to finish but if I hear nothing from the rad doc in a few days, looks like 3 follow ups to the surgical oncologist and quarterly visits to the derm.
Had the rad nurse almost fall off her chair. She told me that I would be doing the derm visits and I said that it means I have to work out for real now. She looked at me funny and I said that I have to work out because if I'm getting naked in front of PA's I dont want to be the lunchroom conversation on "why I hate my job"
 
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