My third skin check since having melanoma removed from my leg last December didn’t go as well as I had hoped. My dermatologist biopsied two more places; on my arm and another just under my rib on my right side. The good news is that I received my first benign biopsy report, but I also had pre-melanoma on torso, which resulted in having my 4th excision.
When the dermatologist came into the office to remove the rest of the tissue, I had her remove and biopsy another mole on the opposite side that looked almost identical to the one removed. Both moles were very small, but dark in color with irregular edges and some redness. I wanted to head things off and get it out of the way. There was no doubt in my mind that this mole was going to show more precancerous cells.
These excisions are hard for me to keep bandaged up because I am allergic to bandage adhesives. I do the best I can with paper tape. When I had the excision done on my shoulder last time, I had good results using Tegaderm bandages. They are waterproof and didn’t seem to cause my skin to become as irritated. I tried them again this time, but the bandage left horrible marks on my skin where the adhesive was. After a couple of bandages, I had to switch to paper tape and gauze.
I use a 3M paper tape specifically for sensitive skin by Nexcare. This tape did not leave any red areas on my skin for the adhesive and this time I’ve been more diligent in using liquid Vitamin E on the wounds. I also started taking Vitamin B3. The wounds seem to be healing faster this time. Like with anything else I guess you learn as you go and perfect treatment with trial and error.
Last week, (one week after) the results came back from the excision. It was now clear and I was told the other biopsy taken so some atypical cells, but not enough to warrant another excision. Being proactive paid off and saved me from additional cutting. Hallelujah!
Yesterday, I went back to the dermatologist to have stitches removed and I was more than ready to get those things out. My incision has been itching. A good thing; a sign of healing! It’s amazing how your epidermis is the largest organ of the human body and it’s ability to heal itself is pretty fast. Once the skin is wounded it begins to repair itself immediately.
Healing can take anywhere from a few days, to even years, depending on the injury. Once the skin is cut, it’s never the same again, whether it is noticeable or not. The scars last forever and I thank my lucky stars and count my blessings every day that almost all of mine can be hidden. These scars serve as a reminder to be smarter and wiser than I was before. With each one I get, I reminded to make better choices. I can’t turn back the clock to stop the damage that happened from years of abuse to my skin. This is my life now and I’m ok with that.
Melanoma isn’t just Skin Cancer. Please protect yourself from the sun. A fading tan is not worth the lifetime of scars it can leave behind. If you’re lucky, scars will be all that you have from this awful disease.
Please protect yourself and the ones you love. There is no safe tan and no it isn’t “just a sunburn”.
Here is a Prevention Guideline Handout from SkinCancer.org
Read it. Learn from me. PREVENT IT!
Thanks for reading this and allowing me to share my journey with you.
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