Successful Melanoma Removal!

Thursday night I set a reminder in my phone to call my dermatologist Friday morning to see if they had my pathology results in yet.  I wanted to know before the weekend, if at all possible. They said they would call within 5-10 business days, but that it was ok to call if I thought the results should already be there…

My heart RACED as I thumbed through my contacts and selected her name.  tap: CALL.

I was folding laundry on our bed and Little Dude was dive-bombing toys down the stairs for Coral & Summer to chase. (I let it go, it was keeping him occupied)

Once I got connected with the receptionist, I kindly said “I’m calling to see if my pathology results are in…”

They looked my name up in their computer and transferred me to the medical assistant.

I took a DEEP BREATH and waited for her to say it.  My thoughts split into two directions:

1. sorry, we need to schedule you for further removal

2. you are cancer-free!

She sounded so kind and happy for me as her words unfolded…

Maybe it is my journalism background, but I was hoping for the most important info to come first.

She worked her way into breaking the news, confirming it was my right thigh, then she said it: all of the melanoma was successfully removed!  

The cancer IS gone!

I smiled a mile-wide and replied “THANK YOU! Oh, I’m soooo happy!  See you Tuesday for my stitches removal.”

Within an instant, I started to tear up with PURE delight.

It’s been a LONG month of wondering & waiting.  In case you are curious, here is the timeline of my diagnosis, treatment & recovery:

  • June 26th: full skin check, Dr. notices very abnormal “freckle” and slices the top off, sends it into pathology
  • waiting
  • July 9th: get the call that I have stage 1 melanoma
  • more waiting
  • July 17th: melanoma removal surgery
  • waiting, again
  • July 27th: got the call: MELANOMA (CANCER) FREE!!

My thoughts today, the day after & now that it has sunk in more:

Jesus is my Healer!  He prompted me to make my 30 Before 30 List and include my full skin check.  Catching melanoma early SAVED MY LIFE!   Being diagnosed early meant I did not have to undergo chemo or further surgeries.  I am so glad I listened to that gentle Voice: you need to go to the dermatologist.

I feel good that my dermatologist provided a post-melanoma-removal plan:  skin check every 3 months the first year, every 6 months the second year and annually after that.  If they keep finding spots, they will ask me to come every 3 months.  I will do this as LONG as it takes to avoid cancer spreading to my lymph nodes and other parts of my body.

The people in our life have been supportive, warm, caring – going out of their way to pray for me, Chris & Little Dude… Going out of their way to bring us meals to enjoy… Taking time out of their day to bring their kids over so Little Dude could get some fun play time in, since mommy was out of commission.  I know this is God’s love, pouring through each & every one of these people.  It is SO very cool to see Him use so many people as a tool, regardless of them realizing it.

I realize people out there have gone through this and far worse without Jesus – and I do not know how they do it.  I don’t say this to be mean; I say it out of pure love for my Savior.  Another item on my 30 Before 30 List was to read the Bible cover to cover.  I am far from understanding the depths of His word, but I can at least say I read it with an open heart & open mind.  It BLEW my mind!  God is all-knowing, never-changing, all-powerful, and far bigger than I ever grasped (in almost 30 years of life).  When I was having a bad day, I would think back to people in the Bible who suffered.  They loved God but they were not promised a life of perfection or ease.  No one is… God wants to know we will follow Him in good, bad, easy, hard, fun and terribly uncomfortable situations.

I admit that I did not always immediately think “I need to pray” or “I need to read the Bible now” but I would find myself sitting (propping my leg up) and watching some mindless TV show or checking Facebook… then just not feeling REST or COMFORT.  The minute I turned on K-LOVE, opened my YouVersion Bible app or asked for someone to pray for me, I felt a difference.  Sometimes it was peace, sometimes it was a better understanding, but most of the time it was a swirled up mix of pleasant emotions I couldn’t obtain anywhere else.  Comfort. 🙂

As I digest this experience more, I promise to share.

I do not know whether or not I’ll face melanoma again.  I have a predisposition to it. I have had it.  By God’s grace, I survived it. 🙂

10 days after melanoma removal:

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