Thursday, September 26, 2013

OH, YOU KNOW, JUST SOME UGLY SPOTS




When we first bought Elke home from hospital, I noticed two small little spots on my right hand shoulder, they were kind of like tiny blind pimples.  Because, you know, everything post baby is oh so glamorous, I thought nothing of it and carried on with the business of being a mother of three.

While I was focused on feeding my newborn baby every 3 hours around the clock and entertaining the other two, those little spots grew and grew. At this point I started to take some notice of my new blemishes. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I should probably have them checked over by my doctor. But you know, life continued to be busy and time got away.

Late the other evening evening I caught a glimpse of these growing spots in the mirror and was surprised to see they now had a twinge of colour atop of their dome like shape. Immediately alarmed, I consulted doctor Google, as you do.

Doctor Google, as he does, confirmed my deepest fears - they were nodular melanoma, the fastest growing and most deadly variety of skin cancer around.

While my family slept soundly (that NEVER happens) I lay awake in a clammy anxious state, indulging in the belief that my time here on earth was now limited. As I tossed and turned my mind raced from one possible tragic scenario to another.

I watched the as the sky turned from inky blue to violet before rising from my bed to call the real doctor, you know, the one with the medical degree and the decades of experience.

I told the lady at the doctors desk that I had suspected nodular melanoma and needed to be seen immediately*. She obliged and within 45 minutes I was waiting at the surgery.

My gracious doctor looked at length upon my deadly moles before calmly informing me that they were, in short, just ugly spots.

My relief was palpable and I held back tears (gooosssh, i'm such a nut case**) as I walked out.

It's ridiculous to think that I got myself SO worked up over a couple of tiny spots. I mean, I actually lost sleep - precious, sacred sleep over them.

What naughty ugly spots.



Useless boring story? Probably.

 But said state of overwhelming anxiety prompted me to make a booking for myself and Dave to have a full skin check early next month. Summer is coming and this is Australia after all, the land flowing with milk, honey and melanoma.

I hope it prompts you to do the same.

okay, as you were.


*I really was this dramatic. Really.
**As above

59 comments:

  1. Timely reminder, thankyou...I, too lose precious sleep over worries that never amount to anything...better to be safe than sorry. I now vow to be a Warrior, not a Worrier....Sarah x

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  2. Emily, you rock!! Your honesty always makes me smile. Thank you for reminding me I'm not a nutter too xx

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  3. A great story. I had a similar experience with mysterious lumps in my breast and the time it took to confirm there was nothing sinister there was so stressful. Your story really resonated with me. Being a mum of two, I panicked I would not make it to see them grow up. Take care! Mdd

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  4. Haha oh Em. You crack me up. How hot was it today! I have been slip, slop and slapping us all. We leave a big bottle of sunscreen at the door and it's a rule that everyone has to pop some on before they leave the door.

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  5. Your wise. So wise. I'm going to the doctor because its time I had so e pains diagnosed. Now I've made the booking I am terrified. It's probably nothing. But best to check, right? Xxx

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  6. Just 'ugly spots'.....geez doc, surely a nicer name is needed!!
    And I need to book in for a skin check too, have been saying that for months!!
    Tomorrow, I'll make an appointment tomorrow!

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  7. I had an ugly little spot on my shoulder... just a tiny scab which kept falling off and then coming back, turns out it was basal cell carcinoma. So glad I went to the doctor and got it checked out early! Now I just have a little scar on my shoulder instead!

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  8. Oh I have done that soooo many times! Symptom of a worrier.. Sorry
    But let me tell you about moles. I had to colour correct 250+ dermoscopy images of moles, melanomas and solaris's a few years ago. That was not a pretty job, and it was stressful as the entire book was a diagnostic tool so the colours had to be 100% precise. In the end I had to start naming the moles (squashed grapes, alien fetus, hair chin... You know stuff like that) to stop myself going mad. During those months almost everyone in the publishing company saw a doctor to get their moles checked. Nothing like melanomas staring you in the face to get your heart jumping.

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  9. Glad it was nothing Em:) I tend to the Dr Goofle "go straight to doctor do not collect $200" approach and a couple of months ago this was due to a breast lump....I'm now having chemo as it was cancer so keep up your vigilance you just never know!!!

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  10. Due to my lovely complexion (read: convict skin) I get myself checked regularly and religiously, every 12 months I will have a doctor go over my body with a fine tooth comb. It's something I've done since I was about 13 years old, and I'm alarmed that more people don't do this (I'm looking at you husband...) Thanks for raising this as a discussion topic Em, it's such an important issue so regularly overlooked. Xxx

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  11. Me too! Me too! Unfortunately, I lost a dear friend and colleague last year to such a story. Father to two, young and fab. The ugly spots won. So every now and then when I sense something changing, I drag my big mama bum into be checked. Just cos, waiting doesn't help...especially whe up feeding at night and staring at those precious baby faces.
    Lots of water works and stupid scenarios in my head playing out. Crazy hormones!

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  12. I did exactly that same thing over a tiny ugly spot on my left hand shoulder! It was about 5 months ago, the beginning of our Summer here, and I was newly preggers with baby # 6! I didn't sleep for days until my appointment rolled around. And like you, thankfully it ended up being just a harmless spot.

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  13. So glad that story had a good ending...was worried where it was going. x

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  14. You just made smile the biggest smile, I am so pleased for your ugly spots! An important story though and a reminder to us all. I absolutely adore your lovely blog banner by the way x

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  15. I made my husband go get checked once, because I'm neurotic like that. One can never be too sure!

    I have a habit of playing Dr. Google too. It puts me in the grave every single time.

    I am so very glad your spots were just ordinary ugly spots! What a blessing.
    ~FringeGirl

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  16. Oh man... I am so glad that they were just ugly spots! That is the BEST news ever!

    I would totally have lost sleep over the same thing - darn you to heck Dr Google!

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  17. I went to the Dr a few months ago with a coughing toddler and she went online and google diagnosed him with whooping cough! I was like yeah I've already done that.. Obviously got a second opinion and it was just a virus.. won't be going back to real life Dr. Google again!

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  18. You should feel so proud for going to the doctor! Some people would lose sleep for months .... I'm the same, though, Em. I've got a ridiculous history of going to my doctor, crying, about something or other that I think is majorly wrong with me. Each time, she diagnoses me with anxiety. Hooray for good health! Kellie xx

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  19. I am jlllian and I am health anxiety. I have done the same a bout a million times. I'm great mates with like a billion drs. Hurrah for nameless spots - nothing better !

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  20. Every September I have two check ups a pap and a skin check, yeah I know happy birthday to me. But I figure if I do it every year nothing (should) ever be missed. Now I have talked my daughter (who is 21 in December) to do the same

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  21. Never hurts to get a second opinion. Hubby and I both have things cut out after our winters in the Bahamas and summers in Maine. It all adds up over the years.

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  22. Poor you ,I know what that is like laying awake worrying about things that usually are not serious and yes they are so real at night time,Yes i had better book in to get my skin checked thankyou for the reminder xxLisa Mckenzie

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  23. Poor you ,I know what that is like laying awake worrying about things that usually are not serious and yes they are so real at night time,Yes i had better book in to get my skin checked thankyou for the reminder xxLisa Mckenzie

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  24. Poor you ,I know what that is like laying awake worrying about things that usually are not serious and yes they are so real at night time,Yes i had better book in to get my skin checked thankyou for the reminder xxLisa Mckenzie

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  25. This describes the late night paranoia that I have experiened all too often so well -- right after my first born I found a lump in my breast & I had to wait an entire weekend before finding out the prognosis (which was just a little benign bubble thing) & I thought it may be the beginning of the end...Thankfully it wasn't, and you know, it is always just better to go get checked so you can get on with some peace already...and pray that they tell you the result immediately. I love your posts, they remind me that I'm not completely bonkers, we're all in this together!

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  26. I keep meaning to drag myself & my hubby to get a skin check, it's long overdue, thanks for the reminder! When i was pregnant last year & my morning sickness vanished overnight at only 8 weeks i turned to Dr Google who diagnosed me with a missed miscarriage, my go laughed off my concerns & i spent the next 4 weeks until my scan convinced i'd lost my baby, i was shocked to see a happy, healthy kicking nugget when i finally had my ultrasound.

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  27. Honey bunny, I had just an ugly lump checked and it turned out to be the real deal. You are not paranoid just sensible. Although the loss of sleep with a new baby is to be mourned a little.

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  29. Hi gorgeous, just wanted to let you know that I have featured this post on my link magazine to great online reads The Beast - All That Is Beautiful for October. I myself have enough spots from the sun to keep skin cancer surgeons in business for years and I felt this was a cute and real issue (been there not sleeping over a spot) for all to get a check up. http://www.elizabethkfindlay.com/2013/10/october-2013-beast-link-magazine-online.html

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  30. Oh! This happened to me too. My doctor called them "old lady spots". Gee, thanks Doc.
    Glad that all is well.

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em