Friday, May 11, 2012

Just tell me like it is...

OK, a bit of a rant here.

You all know I have had melanoma back in March 2011 which had to be cut out which I now bear a 3 inch scar on my right lower shoulder as a badge of honor- haha! I did not like my dermatologist that removed the cancer. She didn't think it was even cancer and did not want to remove it in the first place. It looked like a small dark freckle and her exact words were, "Ill remove it because you want me to but 99.9% chance it is nothing." Well Miss Know it all Dermatologist, it came back melanoma and the margins were not clear so she did not get it all and we had no idea how far it had spread. So I go in to get it removed (the 3 inch scar) and I mention to her that she 99.9% thought it was not cancer and it was so can she do another skin check to see if anything that looked similar to the melanoma. Her response was, "NO!" She said that her trained eye saw the freckle and thought it could be cancer so she removed that and she didn't see anything else that concerned her. WHAT?? Were you in the same room as me??? Her trained eye saw nothing. She thought the freckle was nothing and I had to talk her into taking it. Her trained eye missed my melanoma and if I would have just agreed to leave it, the repercussions could have been deadly. Needless to say, I let her cut the cancer out but I did not go back to her. I didn't like her and I didn't think she was good.

I went to another derm and my impression was they did more botox and fillers than dealing with cancer but I stayed with them for about 6 months. My primary care Dr. retired this past January and I signed up with a younger woman doctor in a medical group I really liked. When I went to her she was awesome and started me on b12 injections and changed up my iron (I'm severely anemic) and ran every panel of blood tests that she could. I loved her!!! She also did not want to send me just to a regular Derm but wanted me to go to a Dermapathologist-- a Derm that specializes in cancer. I went to my first appointment in early March and I loved them!! Its about 30 miles from our house but it was worth the drive because they seemed good. A sure indicator that they were more cancer focused than botox focused was when you walk into the the waiting room it is full of old people-- not young beautiful woman. Shoot, I was the youngest in there many times-- haha!! Anyway, the first visit they did a VERY thorough body check-- between toes, fingers-- everywhere-- and based on her check, she wanted to take 9 biopsies and dependant on how some of them came back she may want to do more. 9 BIOPSIES!!!!!! WOW!!!! Even though that is scary it is GREAT!!! That means, in light of knowing my melanoma looked like a dark freckle, she found 9 suspicious freckles (really I have no moles- just freckles-- im very fair). Insurance only covers 3 biopsies at a time so I had to separate the biopsies into 3 appointments over a couple months.

The first set of biopsies came back as - one benign mole, one pre squamish cell cancer (no biggie) and one moderate pre melanoma (not good). The margins were cleared (they got it all on the biopsy) but if it comes back then they will cut it out.

The second set of biopsies I called to get the results after a week and was told everything was fine-- no melanoma. YAAAA!!! I was so happy!! I even texted my friends Laila and Laura (both Dr's) and told them all my biopsies were perfect-- yaaaa!! So I'm at my appointment last week to get the last 3 biopsies and I mentioned to the Dr. that all the last 3 biopsies came back clear and I was so happy. Before I left she said-- "well, the last 3 biopsies were ok but they were...." and she went on to explain that they were all 3 pre-melanoma!!! They were mild but none the less they were NOT ALL OK!!! They were all 3 pre-melanoma. I mentioned to the Dr. that I was told it was all ok and she said, well, it is ok in a sense, but yes, they are pre-melanoma. Needless to say-- I was ticked!?!?!

So, this morning I call to get the results of the last 3 biopsies. Well, I get told ONCE AGAIN--- "All 3 came back fine!" FINE??? REALLY?? So I pushed a little and it didnt take long till the secretary transferred my call to the nurse tech girl. She tried to explain to me that it was not pre-melanoma, just the abnormal cells (ummmm... inst that cancer??) I pushed her even harder explaining what had happened last time and if she is saying there was abnormal cells then isn't that more than "ITS FINE"? Well, it didn't take long for her to pass my call to the Dr. (I'm sure they were sick of me by then) and sure enough, when the Dr. came on the phone, ALL 3 WERE PRE-MELANOMA!!!! They were not "FINE" they were pre- cancer!!! Now, I'm not a super dramatic person and I am not a worrier and I frequently do not overreact-- I'm a realist and deal with the situation and move through it-- BUT, don't tell me everything is FINE when it is PRE-MELANOMA--- CANER-- That can kill people-- THE CANCER THAT DOES KILL PEOPLE ALL THE TIME!!!!! I just turned 40 years old and have 5 kids-- I want to know what is going on with my body and be proactive to protect it. Again, I'm not a freak about things but cancer is cancer and melanoma is the killer so hay, since I have had melanoma before and all my biopsies are coming out as pre-melanoma, I need to know that and take care of it!!!!!!!

So, the Dr. agreed that since I have so many freckles that look like the ones that were pre-melanoma that instead of biopsying all of them, she is just going to take a burning laser and burn them all off-- since they are all mild forms and laser should work for now. So, at the end of the month I will have probably about 40 cigarette type burns all over my body but at least the pre-cancer will be gone!!!

My issue is-- Just tell me like it is!! Give me the news because I want to know what is up with my body. PERIOD!!! Anyway, off my rant for now. Thanks for listening.


  1. Christy, good for you for pressing the nurses/doctor to give you the full info on your biopsies. It is so true that we have to be proactive with our own health! My SIL was just diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma. She is going to be ok, but it was scary when they were testing her lymph nodes. So glad that you are getting all of the pre cancerous freckles removed. By the time that is taken care of, you'll be so close to bringing baby home! I keep checking your blog for any TA news :)
    hugs, Ashley
    p.s. I may have another box of clothes ready to send your way :)

  2. It is great that you are sooo proactive and making sure it is all taken care of. I had a sister-in-law that passed away 11 years ago this coming August from radical melanoma/carcinoma. All from just one mole on her leg that quickly enlarged. She was fine when we visited the middle of June and then 8 weeks later, we were back for her funeral. Such a nasty cancer if not treated and taken care of. I have very fair skin and am also 43 so it reminds me to get to the DR.!!

  3. So good that you are being proactive and PUSH because that is a scary cancer if it is left alone! Lots of sunscreen for you girl and a hat! Can't wait to hear that you have news that you can get on a plane for your little one. Blessings

  4. You are so right to be so proactive and as much as you like that doctor, she REALLY needs to work with her staff and give them more guidance in what those results mean and how to deliver their "true" meaning to the patient. I've been under the care of many specialists for 6 years now for a multitude of issues that are still being figured out, and it is SO frustrating. They do a test, come see me to get the results. Um, no. You can call me. I can't drive and my husband has to take off work to bring me! Plus, another co-pay AND before or after-school care for my these mindless appointsments REALLY add up. We've had a lot of cooperation from our PCP and our main specialists and it is refreshing. My issues are truly complex and they are fascinated so they are willing to make things easier for me. Obviously, when major events happen, we realize the seriousness and we are knocking on their door in a heartbeat and they make me a priority. We went through a lot of really bad subpar doctors before we ended up with our current "line-up" and had to fight with our insurance company, but we are finally making progress towards a diagnosis and better yet, treatment that helps me through each day because there is no cure...just treatment and patience.

  5. Good for YOU! Thank heavens you are a strong advocate for yourself!!! Keep up the great vigilence and I wish you all the best with your laser procedure and a speedy recovery.

  6. Christy, you are so right to be proactive! The doctors will never care as much about you as you and your family will.
    When you get back from China, I would like you to try something for your skin. It was originally formulated as a skin cancer treatment. We have been using it and if you look at my FB page you will find my before and after pictures. My husband has been using it on his face and his arms. His arms have the red, patchy spots that have to be burned off too. However, they are going down and his skin is healthier since using this cream. I would like you to try it after you get back and see if it works for you too. Would you be willing to try it? If after 30 days, you don't like it you can return it for a refund. Here's my website:
    Let me know!
    Teresa Horvet