Friday, 10 February 2017

Could it be melanoma?

This is a very personal post but I feel writing it down will help me process what is happening. 

I have a lot of moles, I always have done. I have never had any problems with them up until this point anyway. I have a rather large raised mole behind my left ear which for most of life has never caused any concerns. In a way I have always looked at it as more of a birth mark than a mile because its quite prominent and has always been there. For a few months I have noticed that I have started to catch it when I brush my hair and this has caused it to start to come away at the top (queue me panicking that I'm going to rip it off, TMI?).

Last week I went to see my GP about something unrelated but i decided to ask about the mole. She refereed me to see the GP in the surgery who specialises in moles and removing them. I thought great I can get it removed and then I don't have to worry about it anymore, never did it cross my mind that there might be something wrong. 

The GP had a look at my mole and said he was slightly concerned that it was looking 'scabby' (again sorry if that's too much info) and that he would remove it and send it off to be tested. I suddenly got this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, what if something is wrong. Regardless of the fact that I have anxiety I think anyone would be worried.

This next part is upsetting for me to write, I have to be honest. Around 15 years ago myself and my family had the truly devastating news that my mum had skin cancer or as it's correctly called, a melanoma. I am sat here struggling to write about that time. As a teenager I couldn't comprehend exactly what was happening. I remember all the hospital trips, my dad trying to hide his total devastation from me and my brother. I found myself pushing everyone away, my way of pretending it wasn't happening. It felt like it was years not months that she had been going through it all and I found myself just wishing it would all go away. Nothing is supposed to happen to your parents, mine are some of the strongest people I know and this is why they got through it.

But, and I am still so thankful to be able to say this next part, after successful operations to remove the cancer my mum was given the all clear a few months later. She still has to be checked at least once a year to make sure there is no re-occurrence. 

Since that time I have always been very pro-active at knowing my body and keeping track of any changes within my moles. Now I find myself thinking what if? What if I have a melanoma too? 

I have decided to take the positive road (or as much as my anxiety will allow) and I will not worry until I have something to worry about. This has always been my husbands ethos for life so I'm going to take a leaf out of his book. I am booked in at the beginning of March to have it removed and I will know a few weeks after if they find anything when it's tested. 

If you have moles it is so important to watch for any changes. This can be a mole getting bigger, changing shape, changing colour, bleeding, becoming crusty or becoming sore or itchy. 

If in any doubt it's always better to get it checked out, even more so if you have any history in the family.

As I hoped it does feel good to write it all down, this blog is like therapy for me. 

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