Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Moley Monitor

I am only showing you this Frankinstein photograph to the left because I love you. This is what the dermatologist would call a "success story," once again proving that you cannot judge a photo by it's content.This is what skin cancer looks like when it is caught early and you live.

The men in Matt's family are moley. I nagged Matt enough last year this time, that he went in to have some moles looked at. He had three removed in Salt Lake years ago because I thought they looked weird. I read about melanoma signs in some chick magazine about the "ABCs" of skin cancer that I never forgot. I want to believe that I also was inspired to remember the specifics of what to look for and how it should be monitored.

And what a looky-looky mole monitor I have become.

I was standing in the kitchen, mixing my filling for burritos almost a year ago to the day, when Matt came in from work, walked up to me and calmly said, "I have cancer." Melanoma to be exact, and melanoma is deadly.

Of the seven moles removed last year, only one came back positive. The problem with melanoma is that every single mole is it's little capital, with it's own potential of mutation. There is no other way to test for melanoma unless portions of the mole are removed. Matt would look like a golf ball if they tested all of his.

Matt's mole was caught at the earliest, best-case sceneiro that it could be. It had not reached the blood stream yet, so it is was cut out. The mole size was like the size of my pinky finger nail. The reason it looked suspicious is that it had grown in diameter. Nothing else. It wasn't bleeding or bumpy. But I just had a feeling.

Matt's melanoma is a kind that usually hits older men in their 60's. Too much golf. It is usually found on their necks or heads. Matt's was on his leg. He hasn't had too much sun exposure. His is genetically driven. And no, there isn't a history of it in his family.

Matt has now had three moles removed a few days ago and we are waiting to find out the results. He is at high risk for a repeat experience because that is the kind of tricky cancer melanoma is, so we cautiously wait. :) I feel peace.

I have wanted to post the ABC's of Melanoma so that you can read about them.
Please be careful. Cancer sucks (sorry Snarky Mom). :)

One last note: the other day I was freezing in the bed, so I told Matt I wanted to go to the tanning place and asked him if he would like to join me. He just looked at me. Think about it. The guy is a SKIN cancer survivor and I am inviting him to the TANNING bed. I think he thinks I am after his life insurance! Nice one, Val.