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Melanoma

someone to talk to

  • By tokyo4

    Hi, I am hoping there is someone I can talk with as I am trying not to show my worries to my family. I go to the bathroom to cry which is pretty often.
    I blame myself that I got into this mess. About one month after I gave birth (I was 41 years old) a tiny mole appeared on the side of my knee about 2-3mm, I noticed it because I virtually have no moles, maybe a handfull of what you might call freckles here and there. I thought it was just post pregnancy moles, because I also got skin tags and lots of cherry angiomas as well. Three years on, this mole never went away, I never found it suspicious because I am quite uneducated with regards to moles and melanomas since I never had any moles to begin with.
    About a month ago I read up on mole melanoma and looked closer at my one mole. I became concerned because I had spent most of my youth in the sun unprotected. I am a dark haired but have light coloured mediterranean skin that does not burn so easily. I can probably sit in the sun for a good 30-40mins before I start to burn and even then, by the evening it will just turn to a tan colour. But as a young adult I have to admit I pushed my boundaries and have burnt myself several times.
    I blame my stupidity and ignorance now and hate myself for it. So a few days ago I visited the dermatologist, while the mole never grew or bothered me, it caused serious visual concerns to the dr, who had it immediately removed and sent for a biopsy. She told me she doesn’t think its melanoma but really, how does she know this? I have to wait 12 days for the biopsy results and I don’t know how I can last until then. I am an emotional mess, I don’t know how to cope. Every research I have done points to the fact that most likely its cancer and probably spread since I allowed it for years to sit on my legs it had a good chance to spread in my body.
    I don’t except anyone to diagnose me on this forum, just someone to talk to because I can’t do it with my family. I just feel that while most people have regular moles removed my situation is different because I never had moles, but because of sun damage and this unique one popping up after the age of 40, so it must be cancer.

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  • By NinaHU Keymaster

    Dear @tokyo4, first of all I want to applaud you for reaching out – that’s not an easy step, because it involves acknowledging your fears, which is scary in itself. Hiding your worry from your family must also be really hard. I wonder if they are also struggling with concerns about the results. Are they aware of the biopsy?

    My first thought for you was, please know that you’re not alone in having pushed those boundaries of sun safety in your past. So many of our advocates have written about this. One of the things they often say is that we can only move forward knowing what we know now. A couple of articles on that common but harmful blame game: https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/blame-game/ and https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/wondering-what-you-did-deserve-skin-cancer/.

    It’s so easy to think about the worst case, especially with the internet sharing really frightening stories (we’re probably sometimes guilty of this!). April talks here about the danger of Google: https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/fear-safety-google-images/. I know this will be impossible, but as much as you can, try to take each day at a time and remember that the worst case scenario is possible, but so is the best. Once you hear the news, IF it is cancerous, you’ll be able to form an action plan. Until then, many advocate mention distractions or exercises for staying mindful: https://skincancer.net/q-and-a/anxious-exams/. For example, these breathing exercises: https://skincancer.net/video/breathing-exercises/ and https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/mindful-meditation/.

    We are thinking of you and always here to be a listening ear. I hope you’ll find that just expressing your fears will lift off a little bit of the burden. And I hope these 12 days will fly by <3 - Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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  • By NinaHU Keymaster

    Hi @tokyo4, I wanted to share a couple of comments we got on Facebook:

    “I wish I would have someone to talk to about my Melanoma. I live by myself and my family does not care about what I have or not have. They just worry about their own health problems. It really is a shame since they are my own flesh and blood family. The Melanoma I have on my head is still there. It looks like a scab and will not heal. I guess I just have to wait till my next MD appointment to find out what the MD has in store for me.”

    “I was mad at myself for letting it go so long and at other doctors who told me “hmmm, we will watch that” when it was really Melanoma. However, once I got yo the other side, I realized that blame does no good. The only thing that counts is today and moving forward.
    I shared my fears and anxiety with my best friends and family. I think that was the right thing to do, for me.
    You are carrying a lot on your shoulders that your friends and family could help with. If you don’t think you can talk to them then talk to your doctor or his/her nurse. Call a leader in your faith community. Go to a cancer clinic and ask for someone to talk to.
    Please don’t try to do this alone. We are with you. Healing thoughts and prayers are coming your way. Please let us know what your diagnosis is.”

    We’re thinking of you and I hope you’ll let us know when you hear back!
    – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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