Melanoma Removal Recovery

It has been a few days since I’ve posted… I’ve certainly thought about documenting each day but I’ve honestly been so tired.  Focusing my energy on recovering in the best thing for me right now.

Today is Saturday, so I’ve changed my bandage twice a day (after rinsing it with warm, soapy water) for a few days now.

Changing the bandage is very daunting the first couple of times.  I waited to change it the first time until Chris got home from work on Wednesday.  I didn’t pass out, but it was nice to have an extra pair of hands & moral support for that first time.

The bandage tape I got from Walgreens was pretty stiff, so I was happy to find the exact tape (Hypafix) they used at the doctor’s office on Amazon.

I also ordered 3×4 inches non-stick bandages from Amazon.

Besides the bandages, another key-ingredient to a post melanoma removal bandage change is Vaseline.  They instruct to keep the incision site covered and lubed up with Vaseline.  If the incision scabs over, they would have to RIP OFF the scab when they remove stitches.  No-thank-you!  I also like to make sure I get plenty on the ends of the stitches, so there is no chance they’d get caught on the non-stick bandage.

The pain comes & goes. When I had two pills of Vicodin left, my sister suggested breaking them in half to ease into switching to extra strength Tylenol. So that’s what I’m doing today.  I’m not sure I’m ready but I do want to get off the Vicodin. When the meds wear off, my incision feels like it is burning.  It’s pretty much constantly tight because of the skin they removed.  It is like a little “knee lift” because my knee cap is feeling constantly lifted. Maybe this built-in knee brace will help me get back into jogging once I’m cleared for exercise?

Keeping my leg straight is tricky. Especially with a 22 month-old.  But there isn’t a pleasant alternative, so I’m trying to take it as easy as possible.  I’ve scheduled play dates at our house for our son each morning this week so he could get his rowdies out… we are so used to going somewhere or at least me playing with him on the floor, so this is a big adjustment.

So, now for the gross picture.  Fair warning, it’s a 4 inch incision, so it’s going to be an impressive scar for such a “small” removal. I am sharing my journey because I want those reading to make a change:

1. stop using tanning beds

2. use sunscreen EVEN when you think you do NOT need it

3. *this one saved my life* see a dermatologist EVERY year for a full skin check & do not put if off until whenever

4. get enough Vitamin D (not enough vitamin D is connected to Melanoma)… I get vitamin D-3 & K-2

I took this morning after showering this morning.. so you can see a few drops of water.  It is starting to bruise today.  10 more days until the stitches come out!

This week we have been incredibly blessed by our church friends bringing us dinner ready to eat.  They did the same thing for us when our son was born – and I couldn’t appreciate these people more.

I am supposed to get the pathology results back within 5-10 business days… feeling pretty anxious about these.  With melanoma, they take an aggressive amount of skin & tissue to make sure they get it all – but they just don’t know until pathology looks under a microscope.

Focusing on this one-day-at-a-time is my preference, but sometimes my mind leaps around and thinks about the possibility of needing to go through this again.  It’s overwhelming.  I admit I need to be reading more scripture right now.  I certainly appreciate everyone’s prayers – there are times during the day that I feel really gross and am in pain, then I suddenly feel like I’m being lifted up in prayer.  It’s a wonderfully comforting feeling. 🙂

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