So, my wife and I have been going through a really scary time the last few weeks. I was driving home from the gym about three weeks ago, listening to NPR as usual, when I heard a story about skin cancer. The announcer was describing the differences between melanomas and carcinomas and how to tell them apart. The description he gave sounded very much like a spot I had seen on my wife's arm. I decided to call her right then and there. I told her to make an appointment with a dermatologist. She did and they were able to get her in the next day.
At the dermatologists office the doctor walked in and walked directly over to Christie and circled a spot on her shoulder.
"Is this what you're here about?"
Well, they did a biopsy and it came back positive for melanoma. I was at work when I found out. I cried a little. I never cry. Ever. In case you don't know, melanoma is the bad one, the fatal one. I pulled myself together before I went home. The last thing Christie needed was to see tears in my eyes. I had to be strong for her. I held her while she cried and I assured her that everything would be okay.
We went back to the doctor last week and they cut a hole in her shoulder one inch all around the area where the melanoma had been discovered, cutting all the way to the bone. Then they performed another biopsy on what they removed. We had to wait a week to find out the results.
Today we went to the Nevada Cancer Institute. We registered her with the Cancer Association of America. They gave her a little card with her picture on it. Everyone there was amazingly polite and professional and just plain nice. It scared the shit out of us. We signed papers with the Cancer Research Institute allowing them to use her blood samples for research. Needless to say, we were scared to death by the time we finally got to see the oncologist. Luckily, he had good news. The surgery had been a success and all the cancer was gone. We had caught it before it had grown more than a few millimeters. The difference between a few millimeters of melanoma and a few centimeters of melanoma is the difference between a 90% survival rate and a 60%. It hadn't spread. There's a 30% chance that it will reoccur but if she stays out of the sun and wears sunblock she should be fine. I looked over at her after we got the good news and smiled.
"I told you, you'd be okay. Evil never dies."