Public Service Announcement: Health Edition

photoSo I’ve got this huge bandage on my face now… kinda weird.

This is what happens within a few weeks of your wife finally putting her foot down and saying, “I want you to have that checked out!”

I had a brown spot show up on my cheek several months ago. It came along and I paid it very little attention. Fortunately, I was going to see my family doctor for a regular visit and so it was not a stretch to simply tell him of my additional concern. After having a look he referred me to a dermatologist.

The dermatologist and I decided the best and fastest course of action was to remove it at my first office visit and then work up the pathology and figure out with what we were dealing. That was just over a week and a half ago.

This past Thursday, I received the results. It was melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. Thankfully, the type I was diagnosed with, more specifically, was melanoma in situ. That means it was limited to the outermost layer of skin and not invasive. Upon my return to the dermatologist yesterday, the surgeon carefully removed a larger area of skin around the wound, hence the lovely deck-of-cards-sized bandage. Provided she was successful in removing all of it, I could walk away never having it bother me again. I will spend the rest of my life occasionally returning for checks just to make sure I’m clear.

I’m very blessed to have a wife who was persistent in her pleas for me to have it checked before it could turn into something much, much worse. If my putting this out for public consumption could help one person catch something early, well, that would be great.

PLEASE, take a few minutes to make sure you don’t have any strange, irregular, discolored spots on your body. Here’s a link to the WebMD.com information related to melanoma. Check your loved ones!

Grace and Peace.

5 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement: Health Edition

  1. Tiger, I am so thankful you had it check and removed. There is a concern about how deep the cancer was to begin with. My brother had a similar situation. It was on his arm. After having it removed with a deep cut as yours to get all of the cancer he saw the dermatologist for five years being told he was cancer free. The 5 year mark is the goal. Unfortunately, a year later her discovered a knot in his arm pit. Same arm. The cancer had metastasized, through the blood stream, to his lymph nodes. He had them removed and after throughly weighing his options concerning his treatment he decided to participate in a trial program at the National Cancer Institute. The top oncologist treating melanoma in the US heads this program. I am thankful to God to be able to say that he completed the program and doing well. He still has scans yearly. Your’s might not be as serious and I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers. I did want to share this info with you should you ever need it or meet someone that might benefit from it. NCI has been a God send answer to our prayers.

  2. Tiger, Glad to hear that you had it removed. “In situ” melamona is considered “cured” with fullthickness excision and negative surgical margins. My recommendations to my patients include six to twelve month followup visits with dermatologist or surgeon, sun avoidance measures including wide brim hats and sunblocks including titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

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