Today I was getting ready for work when I checked out my scar. I have really been ignoring it because it's become normal to ignore my upper arm. I mean, how often to do check out your own biceps? Today I looked down and saw a new freckle.
My world just stopped revolving for a moment.
You see, I don't think it was there before. And when my oncologist told me on my birthday that he didn't think my surgeon took a wide enough excision of the melanoma, I've been waiting to see if I need another surgery. The whole time, knowing that if I didn't need another surgery, I would forever be wondering if they made the right call and if I did need another surgery, it would suck.
The melanoma tumor sends out shoots that pop up a bit further out from the original tumor. That's how it spreads. Or, I should say, one of the ways it spreads. By taking a wide excision, they ensure that any shoots are taken out, too. So, does a new freckle mean that my excision wasn't wide enough and I've got another melanoma? Is it just a freckle? Was it there before and I just don't remember?
Then, if I recall correctly, I might have been a little numb under my arm - where the lymph nodes came out - but I don't remember being sore. I've had soreness under my arm for about a week and ignoring it - thinking it must be just the nerves coming to life. How long has it been, anyway? But combine the two and I have a day where all I can think about is the Return of Worry.
It doesn't even matter if it's something or nothing. I'm going to be like this forever, aren't I? Always vigilant, always paranoid. Always wondering. And never able to let my guard down. Ever.
I'm supposed to see the oncologist in a couple of months anyway. I've been debating whether to wait and see or to jump up and wave my flag, "Hey! Somethings different!" I don't like either option, really. And yes, I know what I need to do. I'm just going to stew on it a couple more days. It's the weekend anyway. Maybe I'll forget by Monday, but I doubt it.
And in case you're wondering why I'd be paranoid about a little freckle - that's how the other one started. It wasn't some dark nasty obvious melanoma, just some light brown freckles that appeared where they hadn't been before.