Never the Same
RATE

As far back as I can remember as a child I have had so many birthmarks/moles to count. My mom always told me they were, my “beauty marks.” I was quite beautiful, so I thought. I spent summer after summer at the ocean getting a great tan and even enjoyed letting my sister pull off sheets of skin after I burned. Before each prom, Junior and Senior I utilized tanning booths to help me achieve the perfect tan.
Fast forward to age 35 and working as an RN and teaching patients about skin checks…
My PCP told me flat out I did need a dermatologist to check my moles. They were not irregularly shaped or even “ugly”. I disagreed and began to see a dermatologist who did a shave biopsy of a suspicious mole on the back of my left arm. Two days later my sense of well-being was snatched from me when I was called with the news, ” Your mole was positive for melanoma. However, it was “only in situ”.
I scheduled my resection for the following day with a 7 and 3 year dragging behind, thinking that the procedure would be just like the biopsies previously done. The doctor performing the procedure would not allow my children into the room so as I lay there having my arm resected down through the skin, fascia and muscle, questioned about who I planned on using for my oncologist and then my rump roast-looking arm was dressed and wrapped and I was sent home to work through what had just happened.
I am alive because of my persistence to see a dermatologist and stay strong despite my sense of well-being, being stolen. Every 6 months I visit my dermatologist and feel a sense of gratitude that I am alive, however I gravely wait for those words again and search the waiting room for those heading in for a procedure, praying for them but also wanting to run from the office.

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