Tag: SKIN CANCER

KEEPING YOUR SKIN PROTECTED IN THE SUN

KEEPING YOUR SKIN PROTECTED IN THE SUN

Since I was diagnosed with Skin Cancer I now take extra care all year round. I apply a factor 50 cream 365 days of the year. Sounds extreme, but the winter sun is just as powerful as the summer sun. There are two different types […]

A LITTLE UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

A LITTLE UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

Its been a while since I last updated my you all about my melanoma journey. Its been a strange few months and I just haven’t wanted to blog about it. When things get on top of me I find it quite therapeutic releasing the thoughts […]

THE STORY BEHIND THE SCARS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

THE STORY BEHIND THE SCARS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

Its taken me quite sometime to get this post up. I am not sure what took me so long. I’ve been hanging out till I got the results but then I just couldn’t bring myself to type it up. Its so hard, even now a year and a half in I still struggle to adjust to all the hospital visits, surgeries and recovery.

The last month has been so intense. Its been a whirlwind if I am honest. Since the end of January, I have been in hospital twice to remove three rogue moles. Surgery for me is something I struggle with. The build up, the day itself and the recovery. I struggle immensely. I am sure anyone would. Its a 40-60 minute procedure but strangly its takes a lot out of you and I think the worry beforehand plays a huge part.

I still feel angry and I still feel betrayed by the sun. I’ve struggled to get my head round it and I still panic like mad. I’m constantly on mole watch and it seems to have taken over my life. I spend most of my time searching for new moles and meticulously looking over G and H. Every time I look in the mirror I see the effects that this horrid disease has had on me. Permanent signs I have battled against it.

This time I had 3 moles removed, two behind my ear and the third running along my collar bone. The two behind my ear were the worrying ones. They had appeared with the last year and it sparked alarm bells. 2 new moles appearing next to the original Melanoma site was never going to be good. It was an urgent referral. The placing of the moles were not in an ideal place and recovery took some time. I am still in some discomfort but the whole area is still very sensitive from my original operation. I finally received my results last week and I am so happy that both moles came back ok. Nothing sinister. It was a very long four weeks wait and receiving that letter was the news I needed to hear.

My third operation was pretty horrific. Not in the sense of it went wrong. The placing of the mole was not great, It meant I was in a lot of pain, more so than my previous operations and not only that I managed to pull the stitches whilst shopping. I actually yelped in pain, giving the cashier a bit of a fright and I returned to the car and cried. I called Mr B and sobbed down the phone. This was the one I struggled with, I think I had finally hit a brick wall and was quite frankly fed up with the poking around, the continuous looks and questions. But a week later, when the pain subsided I had forgotten about all of that!

I am still waiting on the results but I have been told by my consultant that are really doesn’t think its anything sinister, but placement of the mole I wanted it off. It wasn’t vanity, I was scared, scared that the sun would find its way and once again ruin my body.

5 surgeries and 6 moles I have had removed, It’s hard I won’t lie but I do think positively and with the support of my family and friends it’s a lot easier! I have so much support from a lovely bunch of people and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I have friends who rally round me and offer their help with G and H when needed and I am so very grateful.

In the above picture  you can just about see the faint scar line of my original Melanoma site. Its fading at long last, but along with it I have an extra 5 scars scattered over my body. 5 scars that tell a very important story. A story that I survived. It’s a lasting memory of what I’ve overcome and still overcoming.

THE WAIT BEGINS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

THE WAIT BEGINS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

So here I am again. Waiting, waiting for those all important words of “all clear.” This is the worst bit about my journey. I can just about cope with them telling me I need more surgery. Its a shock when they do but I come to terms […]

JUST WHEN I THINK EVERYTHING IS OK, THEY COME UP TRUMPS AND KNOCK ME BACK AGAIN

JUST WHEN I THINK EVERYTHING IS OK, THEY COME UP TRUMPS AND KNOCK ME BACK AGAIN

Its that time again where I made that fateful journey to the hospital. Friday was mole check day, and these are the appointments I hate. These are the appointments I stress over for weeks in advance. These are the appointments I wish I never had […]

A QUICK UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

A QUICK UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

I have been quite vocal about my Melanoma journey on the blog. I was diagnosed with Skin Cancer last year and although everything is going well its still an ongoing battle. Last month I was back in hospital having another mole removed {3 in total} It was quite a shock when I was told I had to have more surgery,.

One month post op and with the results in I am pleased to say it was a benign mole and thankfully nothing sinister. The relief that I felt when I received the results over the phone was quite understandably euphoria. No one likes waiting and waiting for results which can potentially change your life again is by no means easy.

My world was turned upside down when I heard those 3 words. The three words everyone dreads, Sorry Its Cancer but determination and strength has got me through it. Its been both physically and mentally draining and I have been left with physical scars that show me what I have overcome. Its been hard, but the support from family and friends has been truly amazing. They pick me up when needed and I couldn’t ask for anything more. They ground me and make me see sense and show me how far I have come.

In a few short weeks, I have another plastics appointment where they will check over the existing scars I have been left with. I am currently having treatment on one as the operation left me with nerve pain. It was quite a deep incision and it was inevitable that due to the place of the melanoma they were going to cut through a nerve. I will also be in talks about tidying up the ends of the scar as I currently have some ugly bumps which to be honest didn’t bother me, it again shows me what I have been through, but I actually hate it, it makes the scar look ugly and although people say it looks fine, to me its like a flashing red beacon on my neck. I can cope with the scar, I have accepted it as part of me now but the big bobble on the end is not. I notice it every time I look in the mirror or more vainly when I am in photos. My plastic surgeon has told me its an easy fix.

My next big appointment is just before Christmas and those appointments are the ones I get most anxious about. Its nerve wracking sitting, waiting, having someone check you over fully with a magnify glass, umming, ahhing then telling you what needs to be done. I have my fingers, toes, arms, legs crossed that this appointment goes to plan. I am hoping that unlike last time, its an ok appointment, but until then all I can do is put it to the back of my mind and try not to worry about the what-ifs

THE ENEMY

THE ENEMY

Most people love the sun, I rather like it, but I don’t love it. The sun is my Enemy, it isn’t my friend anymore and it won’t be for a very long time. Its been a whole year since I first found that suspicious looking […]

MY LIFE IN LIMBO

MY LIFE IN LIMBO

I didn’t think I would ever be in a situation where I would need more surgery but last week I was told it was needed… Again… I could literally scream with anger, shout from the roof how frustrated and scared I am. It’s an overwhelming […]

Life Lately | Health

Life Lately | Health

This week I had my second plastic surgery appointment post operation and I really was not looking forward to. I had so many questions floating around my head and was worried I would get verbal diarrhoea when speaking to the consultant!

Its been a long painful six months since my operation and I still have a whole bunch of emotions I go through. I still feel quite resentful that someone who doesn’t really sit in the sun, never used a sun-bed, never really been a sun worshipper, still managed to get skin cancer. I Still find it really frustrating and I do get myself into a grumpy mood about it. I get really cross when I read about people using sun-beds, its entirely up to them what they do but hearing so many stories of cases of skin cancer because people started using sunbeams at the age of 13 really upsets me and makes me really angry.

Since my operation I have been on mole watch and i have to be careful. I actually had a scare last month, finding a mole which had appeared best to one of my scars. I called up my nurse and she got me in the following day to see the consultant. I actually felt like a complete fraud as I couldn’t find the mole that I thought had appeared. I find it really stressful, and any new mark or blemish sends my mind into overtime. Luckily I didn’t make it up and the consultant could see what I was talking about but he thinks it is just pigment changes so he sent me away feeling a lot better and he told me off for feeling guilty about taking up his time, thats what I am here for he said.

So this week I was worked up and heading off to another appointment yet again. I actually don’t mind the appointment, its the waiting and the NHS are under so much strain at the moment it puts pressure on everyone. The plastics clinic is normally really good with their timings and with just over a 5 minute wait we were seen by a lovely consultant who works along side mine.

Since the operation I have suffered terrible pain in me neck. Shooting, stabbing and general aching. I have had the feeling that it was tight and the sensation of pulling was quite uncomfortable. Mr B would tend to forget and cuddle me and it would mostly end in tears as he would knock it. The redness has gone down a lot and its just pink now. I didn’t actually think it would ever get to that stage. The “dog ears” as the plastic surgeons call it have decreased considerably and they do not protrude out as far as they did. {dog ears, if you don’t know are what they call the end of the scar which are tied. It leaves a horrible looking bump!} I always worry about seeing consultants or doctors as they always pull a funny face in horror when they see my scar, but thankfully it didn’t happen this time and the consultant was really lovely.

The pain is being caused by nerve damage which happened whilst having the operation. Its common in people that have face lifts {made me feel heaps better!!} As the scar is basically where a face lift would happen it was inevitable that it could happen, I just wish I was told and warned about it beforehand if I am honest. I am being referred to have some electrode therapy and I have to massage it daily to get the nerves back to how they were. Other than that the consultant was really happy and so am I. I was worried I would have to have a skin graph but it isn’t tight like I thought, its just extra painful.

My next appointment is in June with the Cancer doctors and then I am back seeing the plastic surgeons in October. Its nice to have a break in between, but all these hospital visits are taking its toll.