!!!!!SKIN CANCER AWARENESS!!!!!
Here is my story:
During Lockdown level 4, a routine checkup changed my life upside down!
I actually wanted to go to the doctor earlier but kept pushing the appointment back - I guess as many new moms do, I just had a baby, I was focused on baby Lexie and didn't want to make an appointment as I felt it will be a normal checkup and removal process (should there be any).....
I actually wanted to go to get a few skin tags lazered off, but during my pregnancy a mole started to irritate me. This was around Oct/Nov2019.... I didn't think anything of it because you would think skin cancer is ugly black weird looking moles, and mine wasn't like that at all!!! Healthy pink in colour but started to raise and got swollen and was very itchy!
The doctor then did standard mole mapping, lazered the skin tags and then checked the mole because it was irritating me. He removed it (on my lower back) and as the doctor always do as precaution it is sent for biopsy.... in my case the mole actually didn't look suspicious at all.... but to our dismay....
I got that dreaded call on 20th of May 2020 while feeding my 6 month old baby at the time, that I needed an urgent operation and further tests. A very rare nodular melanoma skin cancer was found. My doctor only had 1 patient in 2017 with this cancer before in his entire career and now me..... This had me very nervous and a lot of tears and research started!
After my consultation with my General Surgeon at Pinehaven hospital a Covid 19 test had to be done which was horrible - they need to know your status before hospital admission. I was tested Negative. You still had to sign a consent form for Covid 19, as they said they will take their utmost precautions but I still need to know the risk in this pandemic we are in.
The sad part is that you are facing it all alone, no visitors, nobody to hold my hand with all my blood tests, x-rays, scans and also the dreaded Radio active injection to check for any spread of melanoma cancer + the big surgery!
27 May 2020
The area was removed as well as two glands in my pelvis/groin area where further tests was done! (This is the area where the radio active injection drained to).
But wow I HAD MY TEAM BACK FRONT AND CENTRE FOR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS.
I WOULDVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO HAVE DONE IT ALL ALONE, IF IT WASNT FOR MY AMAZING SUPPORT SYSTEM!
I had to wait a week after surgery for the pathology results..... what a testing time it was unsure of what the future holds.
4 June 2020
Praise God that all my tests came back clean! CANCER FREE!!! GOD IS GOOD!!!
But then... Upon further checkups with my oncologist, a new report was sent from my biopsy by pathology, that one of my glands did show isolated activity... This took me from stage 1a to stage 3b Melanoma.
He immediately advised I need immunotherapy and my medical aid declined my treatment. Currently my treatment plan is escalated with the medical board with Campaigning for Cancer (we are still awaiting feedback).
I would need monthly tests, checkups, scans and bloodwork to be done to form part of the rest of my life!
I will fight this, I will beat this! I want to be part of my daughter’s life and see her grow old and have lotsa babies and see her getting married one day.
Next checkup and tests
My motto is: I have cancer but cancer doesn't have me!!!🦋