Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today's PSA

If you have a spot on your body that is troubling you, have it checked. I had a hard pea-size lump in my upper right earlobe for at least 10, maybe 15 years. It did not bother me, didn't hurt, never changed size. It was more of a cosmetic bother than anything else. I felt like if I knew it was there, everyone else would too. So I never wore my hair behind my ears for fear that someone would see it. I had asked the Dr about it on a few occasions and he told me it was probably a subcutaneous cyst, or something like that. Nothing to worry about. A couple of months ago I had a spot come up on my lower left leg. My wonderful nail tech, Elvira pointed out to me that it was growing, and getting darker. Something I had not paid any attention to. She said I needed to get it looked at. I also had a few moles that clothing irritated, so I figured I'd kill a bunch of birds with one stone and get everything looked at at once. So I scheduled an appointment. And two weeks ago they took three moles, the spot on my leg and the "thang" in my ear off. She seemed most concerned about the place on my leg because of the darkness and uneven-ness of it. Well they called me a week ago and it turns out that the thang in my ear had non-cancerous cells showing. So they wanted to do surgery on it. And yesterday I went in for that surgery. Turns out that my ear is an overachiever. That is to balance out the underachieving thyroid I've been blessed with! In addition to the non-cancerous cells, they also found basal cell cancer, the most common form of skin cancer. They removed all of the bad cells and because the ear has no extra skin and the spot was too large to stitch, they had to take a skin graft from behind my ear to close the divot left behind from the removal of the cells. So I am now the proud recipient of a Kotex-like pressure bandage on both my right ear and right neck! Thankfully, both can be taken off by my resident Dr John tomorrow for a more traditional bandage of gauze and tape! It is pretty painful because of the pressure bandage. I can feel my heart beat in my ear, but as I told someone earlier today, it's better than the alternative! I am a right side sleeper, which was next to impossible to do last night. Hopefully it will be a little less painful tonight so maybe I can sleep.

So if you have something on your body that you think might be suspicious, follow that voice in your head or feeling in your gut and get it taken care of. We lost a really good friend, Marc Clark almost 3 years ago to skin cancer that he let go too long and by the time it was found, had already gotten into his lymph glands and he only lived another 6 months after it was found. So in his memory, I ask, PLEASE...get yourself checked.

Edited to Add...Instead of NON-cancerous cells, that should read PRE-cancerous cells. Why do I catch these things AFTER I hit publish?!

1 comment:

Ali said...

Glad you got it checked and taken care of Sue. I had a precancerous dark mole taken off my back last year. Now I am constantly checking for any dark moles. Heal quickly!