Melanoma…sad and funny

This is a true story.

My mother in law had occular melanoma and passed away a few years ago. In her day, she spent hours in the sun, and they rarely used sunscreen. Sun was good for us, right?  Well she enjoyed years with her kids at the pool. She had blonde hair and blue eyes, and fair skin, but she tanned.  One day I asked her if she went to the eye doctor once a year, and she said no. The weird thing is, a few years later, she discovered that she had melanoma of the eye. She had her eye removed, like a trooper, and soldiered on. She was supposed to go in for a check up at six months, but she pushed it until a year. By that time, a little bit of the cancer had spread…to her liver. She died seven months later.

My Mom (grandmother) always stressed to go to the eye doctor once a year, so I always have. I now have the gamma ray thing to look into, just in case, for MS. I have everything checked out. I also love my eye doctor, he is hilarious. This is the sad part of the blog.

The funny part:  About three years ago or so, I noticed this white ‘thing’ in a very weird place, on the underside of my arm. It was white, so didn’t think much of it. My Anxiety kicked in about it a few months ago when I saw that it had turned brown. Off to Google I go, and the more I read, the more scared I became.  I immediately made an appointment with the dermatologist. My tummy churned all the way to the office, about an hours’ drive. I was absolutely terrified, not of the visit, nor the supposed biopsy I was to have, but of the waiting. I hate waiting for test results and such. I am an absolute mess. The doctor came in and I nastily thought, ‘she’s just a child’…she looked so young!!  She was actually in her 40’s  —  good genes!!  She took out her magic lamp and looked at this awful thing on me, which to me was at least a mile high, (it was about 1/4″)…she said, Hmmmmm…..Really, she said that in that ‘doctor way’ that scares one to death. I patiently waited. She took out another instrument and looked closer and let out a long sigh. By this time I thought I was going to pee my pants. I was so nervous. I wanted to slap her-Hard. She started laughing. I thought for sure she was crazier than me, and I was ready to run out of there and cut the darn thing off myself.  She looked at me and said,’ Honey, you have nothing but an age spot’…Gross!!  I can’t tell you the relief I felt. I felt it all the way to my toes and practically floated out to my car.I was so relieved. She told me that everyone should go to the dermatologist once a year and have a ‘body scan’ (which of course I had)…it’s painless and takes less than five minutes. All they do is look at your moles or blemishes and make sure that there is no skin cancer. I felt so silly… age spot!!  Disgusting!!

She said she would be more than happy to remove it, then she found a few more. I told her that I would probably come back, and I will, but it was just too much stress for one day. I can really talk the talk but am not very good at walking the walk. The point is, I was worked up over absolutely nothing. Although it is embarrassing….


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