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...and that blessing is that the doctor caught the melanoma fairly early.

Most of you know that I drive an 18 wheeler for a living, delivering and picking up construction equipment from local job sites. It is quite common for me to bump my head on a door lining, or the corner of a construction forklift made of steel and weighing 27,000 pounds (the forklift always wins in those encounters), or when crawling underneath the flatbed trailer, inspecting brakes and greasing components. I almost always have a small scab or two on my scalp, so last August, when one developed at the top of my head, I didn't think anything of it. Except that it was still there four weeks later, showing no signs of healing.

I went to my doctor for my annual physical and mentioned it to her. She looked at it, didn't like what she saw, and referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist removed the spot using a local anesthetic and sent it to a lab for tests. Results of that test showed a malignant melanoma, stage 2A. In very short order I saw an oncologist and a cancer surgeon. Yesterday, Friday, I had a larger section of the scalp removed, in order to be sure that all of the cancer was gone. I also had one lymph node removed above my right ear. Originally the medical staff thought all four nodes might have to be taken, but lab tests showed only the one needed to be removed. The prognosis is very good at this point. 16 hours after the surgery the headaches have stopped and I think I'll be able to forgo taking any more prescription pain meds.

I share this with you that you might be encouraged to learn from my experience. A lot of us at Taurus Armed are at or near retirement age. When us Baby Boomers were kids, we were encouraged by our parents, family, teachers and friends to get out in the sun. The sun was good for you, that deep tan made you healthy. Yeah, right. If only we knew then, what we know now.

As we age (I'm 62) our bodies aren't what they were 40, or even 20, years ago. Things start going wrong. If you have ANY history of cancer in your family, your odds of developing cancer increase markedly. Please, be sure to see your doctor at least annually. If you don't already also see a dermatologist once a year, please consider doing so. Their methods of inspecting your skin for cancerous cells, even benign ones, are amazing. It really is cheap insurance and assurance that you really are healthy, and not developing a medical condition that can turn horrid, if not treated.

So where's the blessing I mentioned in the title of this thread? That I live in a day and age where this kind of treatment is available, and that it was caught fairly early. And that we have a means of social media here at TA to share things, from guns, to misplaced humor (who, us?!), to our pets' passing, to prayer requests and health concerns. We're family here, and I am truly blessed to be a part of this family. Y'all take care of yourselves.
 

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Glad they caught it early and you'll be around longer to get the attention from the ladies because: chicks dig scars. ;D


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T n C, glad to hear all went well. I had that done about 15 years ago, and several times since. Keep a regular 6 month appointment schedule with your Dermatologist. Once your skin starts showing signs of that stuff you will very likely have other occurrences of it elsewhere on your exposed skin. I've had skin removed from the top of my head, face, forehead, arms and backs of my hands on various occasions. Watch for the little bleeders that don't heal. If they stay soft, go see your doctor. Left untreated it can kill you. Get it removed and you can go right on with your life without trouble.
 

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Glad you got to a doc in time. Yeah, I am overdue for a physical. I've been avoiding it because I don't want to take the meds I know (I think I know) they're going to recommend. You are right, though, it's time to go in.
Be safe, my friend. Now that you have taken care of your health, you can go back to worrying about the drunk drivers! :D
 

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Glad to hear you have beat this ! My mother has recurring skin abnormalities that she has to have removed, I'll probably start seeing a dermatologist soon to get checked out every 6 months or so.

If there is anything 'nice' about having high blood pressure, it's that I have to go in at least once a year whether I want to or not, or they won't refill my medications. :D
 
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Glad you got to a doc in time. Yeah, I am overdue for a physical. I've been avoiding it because I don't want to take the meds I know (I think I know) they're going to recommend. You are right, though, it's time to go in.
Be safe, my friend. Now that you have taken care of your health, you can go back to worrying about the drunk drivers! :D
Actually, it's the Friday-go-home drivers that are truly dangerous!

Please, do make that appointment you mentioned, and stay healthy. You're one of the members here that forces me to research and learn things from your educated and somewhat esoteric posts (e.i., you are appreciated).
 

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Wow, Trucks, I'm glad you got this taken care of early! That's great! NM and the four corners are fantastic places to live, but the UV levels aren't kind to the paler people like me. I've had two basal cell carcinomas removed since I've lived here. Yes, if you get a little spot that bleeds a tiny bit now and then, that should be looked at.

The important signs that shouldn't be ignored also include a spot of different color that grows quickly, a spot that's irregular in shape and anything that's multicolored.

melanoma.jpg

Basal cell carcinomas are far less dangerous. They usually show up as whitish or reddish spots, and may develop whiter veinish looking features.

basal-cell-carcinoma-pictures-5.jpg


Be careful folks!

And once again, thank God you caught this Trucks!
 
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Happy for you!

I was diagnosed Stage III-B Melanoma back in 2009.

In 2008, I had a small lump on the right side of my neck right where my neck and shoulder meet.

Not really that big and more than likely, you wouldn't even notice if I didn't point it out to you.

It didn't hurt, wasn't red or "angry" or anything like that.

My family dr biopsied it and results came back that I "might have had" an infection, but seemed to be clearing up.

Year later( 2009) - during routine annual physical - dr noticed there was still a lump there.

Turns out that a Lymph node ( which should be the size of a garden pea) was swollen to the size of two chicken eggs.

I had surgery within a week and while still in recovery, the surgeon told my wife he would be highly surprised if it wasn't cancer.

A few days later, I found myself driving across the state to a cancer hospital( Wake Forrest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC ) where I was diagnosed Stage III-B Melanoma.

Even at that time, you think: "Oh, it's just skin cancer."

Turns out Melanoma is a big time killer because people ignore it, and also because chemo doesn't touch it and radiation don't kill it either.

It's a highly aggressive cancer and people who beat it are hard to come by.


I had a second surgery where they performed a radical Right side dissection ( google that for some lovely pictures) and removed 19 Lymph nodes, my Sternocleidomastoid Muscle, and part of my spinal accessory nerve. I was in surgery for over 8 hours, but incredibly, I went home the next day .

My surgeon was totally amazed at how well I was recovering and siad he never had anybody who was in such high spirits or in such a good mood.

Some other nurses told me that attitude has alot to do with how you recover.

So, originally, I was given a 3% to 5% chance of survival, but at 6 months after surgery, they could not medically tell that i ever had cancer to begin with.

Less that 10% of patients are in my situtation.


Anyways, I am very glad you caught it when you did. As a Stage III-B, I feel bad for so many who were graded well lighter than me who found out too late to do anything.

Mine was indeed into my Lymph system, but somehow, it was contained within that one Lymph Node>

The Dr said I had a bad ass immune system that attacked the original lesion ( they have no idea where it was either- cannot even find a sign or clue) drug it down to my lymph node and killed all but one or two cells that ended up multiplying again,.

So, congrats on finding it soon enough, but remember to keep your guard up and your spirits high as attitude means everything!

I was told that nobody has survived more than 14 years after having had Melanoma, but I'm gonna see about changing those numbers.

Worst case scenario: Cancer may take my body, but it will never conquer my spirit or my will to fight.
 
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I'm glad it was caught early. Gotta keep up as we age.
 

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Glad you caught it and your good to go
 

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Gladja caught it. Take care. Happy Thanksgiving. :D
 

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Glad it was caught early, it's truly amazing how the Great Physician works.
 
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Glad you caught it early.
 

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Glad that all turned out well for you and thanks for the PSA
 

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well, us old people seem to get these things more so than the younger crowed, but they also need to keep a watch for skin cancers. I too have run the course with this, however I have not reached the Melanoma stage as of yet. The worst I have had is the Squamous Cell Carcinoma:


This is not me, but this is what mine looked like and was in the same place on my face. I will not bore you all with how it was treated.

I have to go to the Dermatologist every six months and have a full body scan to check for other skin cancers, and every time, I have one or two removed.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and letting all know how important it is to get these things taken care of quickly, no matter how insignificant they may seem. GO GET THEM CHECKED.

It is a good thing to hear of so many here on TA.net, who have beat the odds with this cancer.:thumb::thumb:
 
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