Well I make the call the following Wednesday, my OH still doesn’t know anything s going on! The very first question dear Frank asks – Is OH home? Oops don’t like the sound of that. It’s suggested that I get him home and then continues – it’s malignant, appointment has been made to see plastic surgeon, Denis, wasn’t a first and only date either, on Friday also 2 CT scans Pelvis and Abdomen to see if it’s spread! So now I have a very difficult call to make to Africa, flights are arranged at very short notice to get him back, mugged in Amsterdam, wallet taken. God when things go wrong they surely go wrong don’t they? Anyway he eventually arrives home. In the meantime I’ve decided to go and have a massage, don’t ask me why, filling in time I guess, I was also in the process of organising the Boy’s First Communion, I really don’t have the best timing do I? Back into hospital this time a skin graft, kept in for a week, back for review, graft has taken, all tests clear and no further action as I’m 1mm inside the recommended follow-up. This scared the living daylights out of me as 1mm is nothing and looking at US sites I would have been under different guidelines.
This surgery upset me greatly, really hit a low and it was about 4 months before I got back to normal. Went for long walks by the sea and swam daily, froze, but really think it helped both mentally and physically.
So back to 3 month check-ups, eventually 6 months even a year but never get to the 5* year clear. No more mm but sq. c and bcc. Actually the bcc is on left eyebrow and is also a recurrence but away it goes. By this stage I can practically do my own biopsies and I do remove my own stitches once I can see them.
sq.c – Squamous Cell
bcc – Basal Cell Carcinoma
*Regarding 5 year clear – I’ve recently discovered that even if I’d actually got to 5 years it wouldn’t have made any difference as with malignant Melanoma you are viewed as living with cancer cells. These cells are tiny and the most you can hope for is that they don’t clump and form a tumour. God I could have saved myself some heartache if I known, as was always so desperately disappointed not to have made what I considered a milestone of 5 years!!