I thought was going to the plastic surgeon today to get my moles re-excised since they came back atypical. I figured it would be a quick in & out deal and this would all be behind me. I was wrong, today was only a consult with the plastic surgeon. Dr B. was a nice older man who came in and reviewed my chart and pathology report. He was very thorough and explained that the mole on my stomach was moderately atypical (which I knew), but then he went more in-depth about the mole on my lower back, which he said was “melanoma in situ.”
Just hearing the word melanoma made me want to puke. He reassured me that melanoma in situ has a 100% cure rate if excised properly. According to melanomacenter.org:
Melanoma in situ (Latin for in place) – Very early stage melanoma where the tumor is limited to the epidermis with no invasion of surrounding tissues, lymph nodes, or distant sites. When melanoma is found and treated early, the chances for long-term, disease-free survival are excellent. With treatment, patients with melanoma in situ have a 5- and 10- year survival rate of 100%.
I scheduled the surgery for 3 weeks from now at the local hospital where he operates. He said the scar on my back will be bad but the one on my stomach should heal well. I told him I didn’t care if my body was covered in horrible scars as long as I was alive– he said that was a great attitude.
I’m so thankful that I saw my primary care physician when one of my moles changed and that she got me into a new dermatologist who immediately removed the suspicious moles for biopsy and scheduled me with a plastic surgeon. I’m not going to even go down the rabbit hole of thinking about the “what-ifs.” Today, I’m grateful for fantastic doctors, health insurance and my health.
Do me a favor though, don’t ever use a tanning bed and please put on sunscreen every day!