X marks the spot: Checking for melanoma
This morning at 9:30 I had an appointment with my skin doctor. I stood naked underneath the white gown with the blue diamond pattern, tied in the back. We looked at my skin for any moles that appeared to have changed since I was there 1 month and 26 days ago.
The skin doctor circled the moles I didn’t like with a purple washable felt pen. We circled seven moles. She removed three today.
“I don’t like this one Doctor.”
“Okay, we will take it off.”
I had melanoma cut off the back of my left leg last year. The melanoma was contained. It hadn’t spread.
The doctor sliced off three moles and put them in a jar labeled with my name, Pamela Hodges and the location of the mole; right lower tibia, superior to front, right anterior thigh, and right upper arm medial position.
The nurse put three band aids covered in vaseline on my skin. I got dressed and drove home. My life will be filled with eating, sleeping and living. I will wait to hear the phone ring next week. I will wait to hear what the nurse will say.
I will wait.
I am like a hunk of cheese that has gone moldy. Slice of the mold and the rest of the cheese is still edible. If you don’t cut the mold off the cheese, the mold will spread and you will have to throw away the entire chunk of cheese.
I left a piece of myself in three little clear white jars labeled with my name and A, B and C. I got dressed and drove home. This afternoon I will play ping-pong with my daughter and wash the dishes and eat and sleep.
While I wait for the phone call, I will live. I will live, one day at a time.
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Have you checked your skin lately?
Here is the Mayo Clinic ABCDE guide to checking for skin cancer. Early detection of skin cancer is the best way to have successful skin cancer treatment.
About Pamela Hodges
My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.