From Mole to Scar in One Short Year
It was exactly one year ago today that we soft-launched SkinCancer.net - hard to believe but it's true! Our team had spent the previous months researching and learning and generally obsessing over every mark and mole over our entire bodies due to all of the newfound information. It'll come as no surprise that nearly all of Health Union has also been to the dermatologist in the last year - and I am no different.
Motivated to get a skin check
Not long after the launch of our site, I made my own appointment and got my very own skin check (thoroughly with between the toes and naughty bits) that resulted in a handful of shave biopsies and a six-month re-visit scheduled. My six month re-visit resulted in yet another round of scrapes and, this time, an excision. Even with all of my knowledge, I have to admit that this one had me scared. Even though it's an out-patient procedure, I was nervous about getting the excision. Would it hurt? Would the scar be terrible? What would the results be? I put on a brave face but my insides were in turmoil.
Excision in a tricky spot
The mole in question turned out to be pre-cancerous so thankfully the excision was mostly preventative but it was still not my most favorite activity for a Tuesday afternoon - and insult was added to injury because of the placement of the mole: right under my bra strap. I was not looking forward to the stitches and itching under my bra for the next two weeks - and even asked the community for tips!
Feeling like a piece of meat
Fast forward to the day of the excision and, like I said, I was bundle of nerves. My husband (who has had 3 excisions himself) was kind enough to come along but the anticipation was killing me. It was a quick procedure but really makes you feel like a piece of flesh. The dermatologist really had to manhandle my flesh to put the stitches in but it was over in all of 10 minutes and then I was on my way.
Recovery after an excision
Though the excision itself was a speedy process, the recovery was a bit more intensive than I expected. Because of the placement of the mole, the excision was fairly painful and often snuck up on me - twinges of pain surprising me when I reached for things or turned over in bed. The stitches stayed in for 10 days but after 5 days or so they began to itch pretty intensely and though the bandages kept the wound clean and safe from my bra, the adhesive left small blisters around the edges. All of this is better than cancer of course, but not ideal.
The scar itself is pretty minimal and looking better everyday and I'm on the docket to go back in another six months, when I am fully prepared to repeat the entire process. I'm thankful that I have enough information to know that I should go and that I have the resources to be able to go but oh do I wish I didn't have to.
Happy anniversary SkinCancer.net!
How well was your skin cancer diagnosis explained to you?