Pigmented skin and a melanoma

Late last year I had a melanoma removed from my back. It was confronting, given that the first notice of it being identified, didn’t give any details (so we assumed the worst). I was fortunate, although it seemed big on the surface it wasn’t very deep. So all I needed was some surgery to have it removed, with the required safety margin (so two surgeries in the end to make sure).

I actually noticed it months before I saw the doctor about it but had forgotten to do anything! I had finished breast feeding and decided to get some new underclothes, so the mirror filled change rooms, normally loathed, potentially saved my life! I had an obvious mole on my back which has always been there, on this occasion it was noticeably bigger and darker than however long ago I took a look at it. When I did see the GP she managed to get me an appointment with the surgeon on the same day, so I was fortunate to get it all resolved pretty quickly.

At three months I have been for another checkup and the dermatologist identified a couple of other spots for removal, which I didn’t argue with. Quite honestly, I am happy to have stuff removed if it takes away any additional worry that a spot might be risky. I went in for the procedure last Wed and had a mole on my temple, a cyst from my neck and another mole from my back removed. It was all pretty simple really. The hospital the surgeon operates from is excellent, I am feeling pretty familiar with it and their processes now I have been in three times and Little D once to have her tonsils removed.

My sister has been scanning photos from the family albums and emailing them around. I think some of them should remain tucked away in a dark cupboard! The 80’s and 90’s were rather unkind to our hair!? Some of the photos are from the early 90’s when, after finishing year 10, I went with my parents to live in Cyprus for a bit over two years. Being my formative years, I was impressionable and it proved to be the experience of a lifetime and shaped my whole existence since that time.

What I noticed was how brown I was and noticed that I am not wearing a hat in any of the photos! I spent a lot of time outdoors when we lived there, taking a part time job as a lifeguard and just hanging around the pool during the long hot summer. It may well have been the catalyst for my sun damaged skin.

In the last five years have really noticed how pigmented my skin has become. Given that I don’t wear makeup day to day (rarely in fact) my spotted skin is out there for all to see and I don’t think any amount of makeup would even up my skin tone on my face anyway! I am not that fussed about it, I do wear hats more now and wear sunscreen everyday. I think my skin is beyond repair, but the good thing is I am ensuring my kids are taking precautions not to have skin like me when they get older.

We are a bit over a week on from my surgery, stitches are removed (except one dissolving one in my back) and I am ready to get back into exercise. But it feels like weeks and I am dreading the first session……send me positive strong thoughts!

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