Friday, April 10, 2009

The Deal With My Finger and Then Enough About That

Ok, here is the deal with my finger. It is healing more and more every day, but it's in a weird place and keeps sticking to the finger next to it and reopening the wound. Still, not a big deal.

I went to the surgeon Wednesday and he said it needed to heal more. On May 20th I'm going back for a surgery (I think Mohs?? maybe not. I can't remember if he said it was or wasn't that) where they scrape off some layers then put each layer under a microscope to look for any remaining cells that they might not have gotten. He said he thinks they got it all and that we'll probably be able to stop with one layer. If it turns out that the cells go deeper into my finger then we'll do more "real" surgery with stitches and all that. I think it's fine.

I had a very early stage melanoma on my finger. I knew something about it was wrong. I showed it to two other doctors who told me it was nothing. I showed it to many family members who thought I was being a hypochondriac. I just had a bad gut feeling about this thing. It appeared as a tiny, raised, jet black dot on the inside of my right pinky, around Thanksgiving. It grew exponentially in the next few months which also alarmed me. Then I remembered something about melanomas often appearing between fingers and toes. I have a friend whose husband's first wife died at 29 of a melanoma and they never knew where it started and the doctors thought it was probably between her toes. This thing nagged at me. My mom had a friend who died of melanoma and so did my former co-worker, good friend Stacey.

Despite what everyone said, I went to the dermatologist who was very concerned. The biopsy came back and confirmed my fear. The good thing is it was still very tiny and in an extremely early stage. Everything is going to be perfectly fine. I'm not even remotely worried about it. It doesn't hurt.

The moral of the story is that you should know your own body and trust your own gut. Don't listen to what other people say. Go to an expert if you have a concern because it could save your life. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it's good to get things checked out anyway. My dermatologist would also like you to know that you shouldn't forget to rub sunscreen on your hands and your ears too. A lot of people forget those parts. I know I never put sunscreen on my hands.

Ok, now enough about my pinky.


Dayna said...

Just checked my fingers and toes, I clear. Thanks

EspaƱol 1 said...

Ok, message received. I shall put sunscreen on my neck, ears, arms, hands, lower legs and feet for the rest of my life.

Joy said...

Very glad you found it so soon. My aunt had a melanoma(sp?) on her cornea (of all places!). It spread very quickly and she died last week. Very bad cancer. Thanks for reminding us about the sunscreen. And wear sunglasses too.

mizscarlett said...

lips - I always get burned lips - to the point now I have a freckle.

Lips are the other spot.

shrimplate said...

I have learned to *always* listen to the patient.

Michelle said...

I'm glad you caught it early.

sha said...

This is why it's very good to form strong and trusting relationships with beauty professionals as well. A former teacher of mine likes to tell a story about how she saved one of her clients life because she noticed a melanoma on his head. Jenna Jameson was also saved from cancer (both of her parents died from cancer) because her aesthetician observed a new mole on her back.
I'm glad you went with your gut and to the dermatologist.

Melanie said...

Glad you're going to be o.k.! And thanks for the good advice, too.

Hilary said...

I'm glad you're doing well. Good advice.. most importantly - trust your instincts.

jm-kaye said...

Good advice. If, like me, you hate the feel of sunscreen on your hands, these gloves are fabulous:

Pat said...

Well good thing you got that taken care of.

I have this fear that one day I will have things hanging off my head resembling those pigs ears you buy in a bag for dogs to chomp on.

I slather and I am tanned nonetheless.

KT said...

Thanks for the alert! I never thought of checking fingers and toes...glad you did and you caught it so early!

xtine said...

Yup, Mohs. I looked into it last week, because my grandfather is having ANOTHER one done (he was a farmer much closer to the equator than most americans ever get...before the days of sunscreen)

In addition to the sunglasses recommendation and sunscreening one's digits, one more thing: the decolletage. And the back of the neck. Everyone already hears warnings about the tops of ears.

I'm pretty phobic about the sun: I like being pasty. And there's a strong history of skin cancer in my (fair-skinned, irish) fiance's family.

Anonymous said...

Always follow your gut when it comes to your body. A friend of mine had a weird numbness in her limbs. For two months the doctor told her it was "just stress". Finally, she went to the ER, and when they ran the tests they realized that she had MS.

jmm said...

I'm going to the doc on Wednesday to have her check out a big mole on my wrist. I've had it for a while, but is bigger and darker. I even had a dermagologist look at it at a free screening, and she didn't think it was bad, but its bugging me!

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