Sometime in 2012, when I was under the illusion that I was happily married, I noticed a dark mark on my right upper arm. At first I thought it was my vaccination mark. Then I realized that my vaccination is on my left arm and that it looked the same as always. This was something new.
That summer I went to my doctor’s office to have it checked. My doctor was on vacation so I consulted the locum taking her place. She examined the mark but felt that it was nothing and suggested that I just watch it for changes.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years now that my life has finally settled enough for me to consider my own health. I went to my doctor for my first physical since my separation. I showed my doctor the mark and she was concerned. She said she was sure it was a basal cell carcinoma, the best kind of skin cancer to have, but that it needed to be removed. She referred me to a specialist.
The specialist had a different concern. She looked at the cells through a special microscope and said that she didn’t like what she was seeing. She was surprised at how large the mark was and said that it was too big for her to remove without leaving terrible scarring. She was going on holidays at the end of the week but wanted it biopsied before she left. She asked her nurse to book time for me, even if it meant she had to stay late one night because we needed to see what we were dealing with as quickly as possible.
She cut out an elliptical cross-section of the mark. She sewed the skin back up with dissolving stitches in the under layers and nylon stitches on top. I returned 2 weeks later to have the top stitches removed but the pathology report still wasn’t in. She said she was going to follow up directly with the lab to get the report.
Tonight I received a call from the specialist from her home after hours. The pathology report confirms that I have the aggressive and most dangerous skin cancer, melanoma. I have to call her office tomorrow to make an appointment to go back in next week to determine the next steps.
Melanoma is the least common of skin cancers but it causes the most deaths. If it is not treated early enough it can spread through the blood stream to other parts of the body making it difficult to treat. I feel like close to 4 years of this growth on my body is not early intervention.
I am disappointed with myself for not following my gut that this was something that needed to be removed when I first found it. I am also being compassionate with myself though. It is very fresh in my mind the last 3 years of hell that have been my reality. Especially because many aspects of that daily battle still exist. When I reflect back on what I was dealing with emotionally and the tasks that I had to perform physically and mentally, all by myself, just surviving each day was a victory in itself. The worry and stress I carried for me and my children and the responsibilities that were now solely dumped on me along with the impact of the consequences of my husband bailing on his family buried me. It is no wonder that my own physical well-being fell so low on the priority list.
So as I read an email that Dave just sent addressed to “Robo McBlobo” I am reminded that I have strength of character, perseverance, faith, hope and trust in a greater purpose that will allow me to deal with whatever this cancer has in store for me.
28 thoughts on “Cancer”
Sending prayers and positive thoughts to you.
Thank you so much.
I hope the doctors quickly decide your treatment. I know three women who had melanoma. Two had them on their legs and the third on her face. They are all doing well years later. Take care of yourself
Thank you so much for the encouragement.
The coup de grace of the emotional toll of betrayal….people seem to forget that grief racks your body in ways that are horrendous.
Here’s wishing for the very best for you.
I have a friend with cancer. He says he knows that he got it from stress and rage. He started a company with an amazing product that he never patented. He trained employees and took them under his wing as family. They betrayed him and patented the idea themselves. He figures he lost 17 million. He is still in business and the other people are floundering but the emotional toll that took on him, his inability to forgive himself as well for trusting other people and not protecting his invention and what he had to do to bring his business back after that has sure taken its toll.
Wow. I guess it’s just a matter of time for me then….I’ve been stressed, depressed and full of rage for ten years. Maybe that’s why I only weigh 94 pounds.
94 lbs? That is crazy and makes we very scared and worried for you.
My girlfriend has the same problem. Stress for her, and she is drowning in it, has her skin and bones. She has to force herself to eat and so many times she can get nothing down. She drinks a glass of wine just to try and relax enough to be able to get some food nourishment into her body. She tries to eat as much high calorie food as she can when she is able to eat. Her stress landed her in the hospital paralyzed from the neck down with two auto immune disorders. She takes significant meds now just to function at her day to day tasks. She gets methotrexate injections on a weekly basis and counseling every week, too. She started the divorce process about a year before I did. Her ex continued cheating on her and would come home and brag about it while she lay in bed unable to move. She had to get a restraining order to get him out of the house. He has cost her financial devastation but the emotional and mental toll that has caused the deterioration of her health is alarming.
Please take care of yourself and do whatever you can to nourish your body and all of your other parts as well.
I go in the opposite direction. I eat to push the feelings down. I eat when I want to scream. Food is an excuse to distract me from the next obstacle I have to tackle. I eat really good, high quality food as well but I use beautiful treats to stimulate my brain with a sugary jolt or fat laden foods for comfort.
I wonder if the health of all the people, who selfishly go about their life doing whatever they want with no concern for those they affect in the process, is better? There sure is a lot of disease in the world and a lot of healing and recovery that needs to take place.
Oh, my ex (Loser) stood in my living room and said “what you think is happening up there, isn’t happening as much as you think it is.” That was after he told me about that WTC on Christmas day. He was shacking up with her and sneaking down to Florida to see me and play husband. He actually thought I was going to let him have his WTC, me and still keep all of his money. And, she wasn’t the first. She’ll be the last because he’s old and “stuff” doesn’t work right but he’s paying the WTC’s bills so everything is right with their world!
I’ve been trying to gain weight for more than two years now…..just can’t seem to get hungry. I do drink Boost, though. It’s probably kept me alive all this time.
Oh, that is terrible Laurel. Glad his stuff doesn’t work anymore.
I wonder if lack of sex ever makes them think, “why did I do all this and was it ever worth it?” Or are they just living in regret that they can’t have sex anymore and think that life is over.
I pray that all the cheaters are left with the other person in the end with no sex and have to endure their emptiness together. I don’t even know how they can look at each other. I would never change places with the cheater in a million years. I would rather go through what I have gone through than be my ex, his whore, or have any part of the life they have now. No one respects someone who was unfaithful–no one, even those who have done it judge others harshly. They can live with their shame and stay together in their shame. I suspect my ex will just end up hating Janice in the end if he doesn’t secretly hate her already. She may be nothing but a life boat right now. She is just a mirror of him and he might get pretty sick of his own reflection staring back at him all the time.
My girlfriend’s husband came home to brag about getting a blow job in his truck. He had always wanted that he told her. He also felt the need to tell her about how many fingers he had up his cousin’s wife’s vagina while they were sitting in the corner of a restaurant. My husband told me that banging his employee, Janice, was the best birthday present he ever gave himself. What is it about them that they need to tell us this shit? It just makes them that much more repulsive and pathetic to me.
I don’t have hunger either, yet I eat. I am glad you are taking Boost. My friend, uses that and Ensure and honestly it is like you say, it keeps you alive. That is heartbreaking to me.
I’m sure the WTC has made him get Viagra by now. She’s the type that hangs around in bars and I don’t think she would be happy without sex….however, money can indeed replace many things….like loyalty. He cheated on her and she forgave him because her taxes were due soon and her tuition was coming up…..maybe he changed for her. She’s everything I’m not….she smokes, she drinks, she loves to hang out in bars and shoot pool and she doesn’t mind fucking a married man.
Praying for you. You will be just fine. Now’s the time to take care of self and to try to remove as much unnecessary stress as much as possible.
Thank you for your prayers, positivity and good advice.
Isn’t weird how you comorimised yourself in stressful times for others who ended up out of your life anyways?
I didn’t have an abnormally stressful life until I discovered my husband was having an affair. He was the cause of all of the turmoil and day to day strife that filled my days after that discovery. I chose to be responsible and do what needed to be done to protect our children, our finances, our home and myself. He ran away and didn’t deal with anything. Looking back there really isn’t anything that I could have done differently. Unfortunately, my ex is not out of my life. I wish very much that he was out of my life. Happier days are certainly here but when he finally decides to stop fighting me and wasting our time, energy and money unnecessarily it will be much healthier for the both of us. Compromise comes with marriage. I have no regrets about anything that I compromised for myself in my marriage because I ultimately did it for the benefit of our family. I am happy and grateful for the 23 years that I did have with my ex. If I weren’t, it would have been much easier having it all fall apart. I just absolutely hate the person he has become and every hateful thing that he continues to do with no regard for me and our children. I have tried compromising myself for the sole purpose of getting my ex out of my life but that hasn’t happened either. Now I am just holding my ground. I don’t know if there is a solution.
Thinking of you…
Thank you so much.
Praying for you and a great outcome.
Thank you so much for your prayers.
I’ve been there, and I’ll be thinking of you… Don’t beat yourself up. Melanoma is a frightening diagnosis, however it is often a simple treatment.
I had melanoma removed in 1998 from between my shoulder blades. I have a pretty sizable scar on my back. I required no other treatment other than that surgery, however I do see my dermatologist for a check up every year. Two weeks ago she diagnosed a basal cell carcinoma along my hairline. All of this most likely the result of tanning and burning in the 1980’s!
Take care and try not to worry…
Thank you for the encouragement. I am so glad that surgery took care of it for you and you are on top of checking regularly. I am very optimistic. My only concern is that I have had this for about 4 years. Early intervention is so important and 4 years just doesn’t seem “early” to me.
I get it – I honestly have no idea how long mine had been on my back. I never saw the mole, because I don’t often look back between my shoulder blades 😉 and it was only caught when I went to see a new primary care doc for a physical.
I guess the thing to keep in mind is that melanoma, while serious, doesn’t automatically mean it’s fatal, or even require other types of cancer treatment. Those early days before my surgery were scary though. And being a worrier, I fully expected to have chemo or radiation, because – isn’t that what happens when you have cancer -? but it wasn’t needed. I hope it turns out the same way for you.
I am sorry that you are getting this news. Cancer absolutely throws the world for a loop. You don’t need this in addition to everything else. There are a few things I am thankful for: you live in Canada. despite wait times and some frustrations, our hospitals and medical care once in treatment are admirable. I am confident you will be able to approach this with competent care, and you don’t need to worry about your treatment being ‘too expensive’ to be covered by your plan and then using less aggressive affordable treatment instead, the way some health care works in other countries. You will have agency and support when developing your plan. I have all my best thoughts going your way. I know you are up to this challenge. We are here to help you fight.
Thank you so much. I have felt very protected by so many of you. Although so much of my battle has to be handled with one on one combat I feel very secure knowing that there is an army on my side surrounding me.
Prayers, hugs, prayers, and more prayers. The unknown right now with the melanoma is certainly very scary…but, stay strong and positive, and trust in your doctors to provide the very best care. Sending much love and support
Thank you so much for your well wishes. Very much appreciated.
I just went back and read the name he called you. The faster this horrible person is out of your life the better. A grown man, with children, who behaves this way is an embarrassment.
I am trying to get him out of my life. I am hoping the court route is going to be the way to finalize this.