Friday, August 20, 2010

It's not skin cancer.

Those are reassuring words, aren't they?

I went in this week for my first ever, full body dermatological skin check. After stripping practically naked, I stretched on the table and had my nooks and crannies checked under high powered magnifying glass by the suma cum laude graduate of Notre Dame and honor graduate of the University of Chicago medical school. I tell you this because there was nothing much to look at during this 15 minute process than read the many diplomas gorgeously frame on the wall. There was mood music, too. Like tropical rainfall and bird song. I suppose this is mean to relax you but it tended to lend a pretty surreal experience.

I had gone in to see the doctor because of a strange little spot on the back of my calf. It turned out to be nothing (a "dermatofibroid") but apparently a permanent little something. The little black mark that looked like a bruise and was caused by an insect bite or ingrown hair is common on the calves of women my age, but once it develops, it never goes away. Nice, huh?

Then the doctor says, "what's this?" and points to the back of my thigh, something I cannot see on my own without a mirror and a few yoga moves. She circles it in purple and leaves to get prepped to remove it.  I'm left in a paper sheet twisting knots to see this new spot. I can only see part of it, and it looks like one of those pictures on Google of a melanoma (kind of weird shaped, different colors, flat, about the size of a finger tip).

I freak.

I've been waiting three days to get the pathology report, alternating between thinking it's nothing and googling the death rates of melanomas. Today I got the blessed ALL CLEAR. It turns out it's a "Clark's Nevus" which is a fancy way of saying a strange looking mole and not cancer. Dermatologists don't like strange looking moles. This one will need a punch excision (meaning they are going to use a surgical cookie cutter on it and put in three stitches) to make sure it is all taken out. As a side note, my son had a very large congenital nevus removed at age 2 from his leg. My mom has a birthmark on her thigh which in retrospect is likely a Clark's nevus as well. The doctor said these run in families. So there. 

PS: I'd recommend not googling for Clark's nevus. The photos are really awful and disturbing. Mine was not like those. It was rather cute. Like me.

1 comment:

Let's Find H-Man A Wife said...

I thought this blog was coupons only; no death notices please.


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