Just yesterday, (2/7/20) I received a call from the VA that my biopsy came back positive for melanoma. Mind you this is a mole that was deemed “normal” by two different dermatologists at the VA. Yes I know what you’re all thinking as am I, the VA has a long history of letting vets down.
About me. 34yr old white male, 6’2, 210lbs, fair skin, pinnacle of health. 120/65 BP all of the time, good cholesterol, always great blood results, not exactly the poster child for cancer. But as I am learning, this cancer can affect anyone.
I first noticed this new mole in mid 2018 on the back of my right calf. Started out as a typical round mole, nothing out of the ordinary. Honestly wasn’t even sure (until I’ve recently checked yearly beach pictures) if it was a mole I’ve always had or something new. Until recently last year I started to realize it was growing (not exponentially) and raising. I decided to have it checked by the dermatologist. The doc said it looked fine after using the magnifying eye piece they use. Then after a year of having it I decided to go back and have it checked again and ask for them to remove it since it was still growing. It grew to the width of a tiny bit smaller than a pencil eraser head and maybe way raised 1/3 of the height of an eraser head. The next dermatologist (seemingly good doctor, not lazy, smart, young) said the same thing. “Looks normal”. But I requested it be removed anyways because it was annoying to know it’ was there. Now fast forward to yesterday and I am completely lost in a world of “what if” & “what’s next”. I of course have done the googling and it looks exactly like a Nodular Melanoma. So that’s not exactly helping my anxiety of this. (Mind you I’m a former Marine, current Law Enforcement, and this the most scared I’ve ever been.
I have a follow up with the surgeon on Monday probably about cutting out the margins around it. I have so many questions, so many worries, and I can’t stop thinking about how life is gonna be if the news is worse than expected...
So I am reaching out....In the only way I know how to because I’m generally the man who doesn’t ask for directions or call for a professional. Stubborn and resilient, but right now scared to death.
What should I ask on Monday?
What should I demand?
Should I bring my pathology reports to someone else regardless of this doctors opinion?
Anything else I should be doing?
Thank you all for your consideration into lending some advice.