Monkey (Gabriel's favorite)
and Malted Milk Balls (droooooooool)
and Men Without Hats (You can dance if you want to...)
It seems that my arch nemesis wants another go-around. Last Monday I had my twice-yearly checkup at the dermatologist's office. Actually, it is at the skin cancer clinic at the local kick-a** cancer hospital, but you get the idea. I screen myself regularly, and I let others screen me twice a year. Shortly after I had Gabriel, I also added to the diagnostic tool of full-body digital photography. Thankfully I did, because the docs at the clinic use those pictures every time I come in to compare mole size, colors, and existence. Well, one of my moles had decided to change just a bit. And the doctor debated on whether to biopsy because the new tissue appeared to be benign. But, given my history (confirmed melanoma in 2002), she went ahead with the biopsy. The results are that the mole is a displastic nevus with severe atypical features and the very beginnings of melanoma. Essentially, had I waited another couple of months, it probably would have made the cut for diagnosis. As it was, I essentially missed the diagnosis by the smallest fraction and the pathologists' report is that it should be treated as though the diagnosis did come back positive for melanoma. And my doctor agrees.
I go back on Monday for a surgical re-excision of the site with 5mm margins (the new standard- in 2002 it was 1cm margins). Given the fact that it was caught in the extremely early stage, I should need no additional follow-up treatment (outside of my screenings). And they can use a local anesthetic (lidocane without epinephrine for the curious) to do the procedure. The mole came from the back of my left calf, so I suspect walking around will become even more difficult. Lovely.
On a good note, my FIL was sent home today from the hospital (probably because he is giving them a headache). I will hear from Mr. D again tonight with an update on the transition. I hope that my FIL cooperates with the post-op discharge instructions and doesn't end up back in the hospital. If he does I'll have to kick his butt (with my right leg, of course).