skin check at 6 months pregnant (1 year after melanoma removal)

A year ago I had stage 1 melanoma. You can read the post about the removal here. At the time, I really couldn’t have *dreamed* that in a short year I’d be nearly 25 weeks pregnant. God placed it on my heart to have more kids last year, but I had a long road to mentally & emotionally recover from my skin cancer diagnosis before feeling ready.  Physically, my 5mm “freckle” left a relatively big scar (4 inches wide) on my leg but over the last year it has tightened up and faded.

Yesterday at my 3-month skin check, I told the medical assistant “I forget the scar is there sometimes… then the other day we were at the rec center pool and I got a couple intense stares.  At first I thought I had a wedgy or something – but then I realized: Oh yeah, my scar!

She smiled and said “you have a great attitude about it.”

“Well, I get to live.  This scar is like a tattoo only with a better story.”

She commented on how some people are SO upset about their scars and left to tell the doctor I was ready for my exam.

While I waited, I thought about how my scar IS a conversation piece.  I don’t just use it as an ice-breaker to melanoma awareness (which IS very important to me) but I get to use it as a way to tell other about how God has worked in my life. He is my healer!

My dermatologist popped in and asked how I was doing – immediately commenting on my baby bump and asking how much longer I have to go.

“I’ll be 25 weeks tomorrow… due October 30th.”

As usual, she asked if there are any itchy or painful spots I have noticed on my own…

Why, yes: this time there was.

I have been a little on-edge about a very itchy rash I developed on my arms/armpit area.  As you imagine what that might look like, it is basically on the lymph-node area.

While I tried to stay away from Google & WebMD, I don’t take anything to do with lymph nodes lightly.  If melanoma spreads to lymph nodes, it can spread to your body’s organs, too – and be passed on to an unborn baby.

So I felt concerned – but she quickly investigated and diagnosed it as two different rashes.  Uncomfortable but very treatable! Nothing to do with melanoma being back!  Praise God!

Next I had her check a small freckle on my lower back that felt sensitive when I scratched it… she said it looked fine but noted it in my chart.

Lastly, I told her I was pretty sure I had a plantar’s wart on my foot.  Being a gymnast for several years growing up, I am no stranger to them and wanted her to zap it.  Annoying little stinkers.

Anyways, she did a head-to-toe exam, which fell out of routine slightly (compared to previous examines) not being able to lay flat on my back, then on my tummy… she adjusted the table to seat like a recliner to examine my front and then had me stand to examine my back.

By the way, to people (mainly ladies) getting in for their first skin check, note that they check your scalp and face, so there’s no need to do your hair & makeup until after your appointment.  Or if you have to go in the middle of your work-day, remember to bring your hair & makeup stuff for afterwards. 😉

Happily, my dermatologist did not find any suspicious spots this time and she will see me back in early October!

As I reflect on another 3-month skin check, I wonder if I will EVER not worry.  Each appointment can have something to be anxious over – IF I let it. Worrying will never change the outcome.  God has a plan.  Whether or not I know His plan doesn’t change His plan from happening.  Additionally, it doesn’t change the fact that He wants me to talk to Him about EVERYTHING (big & small), my worry and fears are no exception.  I felt SO covered in prayer – close friends, family, Bible study friends, MOPS friends, church friends were ALL praying for peace and healing.  I woke up yesterday feeling in agreement with what God had planned for the day – regardless of not knowing the outcome.  It’s a wonderful feeling!

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

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Kayree - November 12, 2014 - 7:28 pm

I just went through the whirlwind of being diagnosed with melanoma and having it removed all in the last month. I’m very blessed and happy to say they removed it all. I find myself looking at moles wondering if that is melanoma too. It’s tiresome and emotionally exhausting. I continue to pray for peace. I’m a week out from stitches getting removed. What do you recommended putting on my scar? It’s on my arm. I’m a teacher and today a student made a comment and it crushed me. I’m not to the point where I’m proud of my scar. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s been inspiring.

Heather - November 13, 2014 - 2:23 pm

Kayree,

Thanks for commenting and I’m so glad you found my blog.

I’ve gotten a lot of “looks” and comments about my scar over the past couple of years. They are hurtful. So sorry you’ve also been a victim of those. 🙁

I keep reminding myself that my scar is an opportunity to share my faith in Jesus.

I do, however, LOVE Immortelle by dōTERRA. Its pricy but a little goes a long way and I feel it’s money well spent.

When my scar was “new” and healing, I used a bottle of dōTERRA Helichrysum: a drop added to some body butter and rubbed it in. I used it on my c-section scar, also.

You can order these at: http://www.mydoterra.com/heatherlilly

I tried some scar oil from Vitamin Cottage and some other over-the-counter lotions/creams and wasn’t too impressed. Once I finally made the plunge on these essential oils, I noticed a difference right away. 🙂

Hope this helps.

Heather

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