THE WORD “CANCER”!
By Glenn Arnette, lll
“And I use to be BRONZE!
(Too many days in the sun!)
Today I heard that I have a skin cancer! Unless you have been there, you have no idea how that word makes you feel. First of all, the Doctor told me it was not deep or very serious. However, CANCER is cancer and the big “C” has finally arrived in my life. This little dark irregular spot on the shoulder was of no concern to me, as I frequently go to have myself checked, but this time that “nothing” became “something”. (Lentigo Meligna)
Lentigo is a type of brown skin lesion. When malignant, it is known as "Lentigo maligna" or "Hutchinson's freckle".Lentigo maligna is a melanomain situ: it consists of malignant cells but does not show invasive growth. It can remain in this non-invasive form for years. It is normally found in the elderly (peak incidence in the 9th decade), on skin areas with high levels of sun exposure (for example, face and forearms). When it develops into melanoma, the resulting lesion is called lentigo maligna melanoma. The transition to melanoma is marked by the appearance of a bumpy surface (vertical growth, invasion).
Is this the beginning or is it just one of the things you go through in life? After both parents died of cancer, it certainly makes me wonder what might be next. I have great respect for those with cancer that were cured and those with cancer today, but I had no idea of the emotions you would go through. When I was called by Nurse Teresa over the phone, I was too busy to hear what she said. After realizing that I shunned it off, I called back to have an explanation of the situation. They told me it was in the very earliest stage and that a little more of the area needed to be removed and a couple of stitches would take care of it.
I now have an appointment on Monday and believe me this time the Doctor will see more of me than he bargained for. I will stand naked and if there is any spot, mole, or itch, this will be frozen or coming off. Afraid, not for this one, but is there going to be more? I hope not! It is just my time in life! I am told that I might be overreacting, but when that word comes up, you will feel the same way. I thank God this is just a warning to be more aware of my skin. Since doing a chemical peal of my face a few months ago to clear up aging dark spots, I wear sunscreen every day. Dr. David J. Gross of St. Augustine, Florida will certainly be on my calendar for visits every three months.
So, for all of you, believe me when I say, “Take care of your skin!” The danger of skin cancer is real! Just remember you are not even safe in a car. Check the left side of your body and face where you are always exposed to the sun while driving. That is how mine started!
Monday is the day, a little” in office” surgery and I will be on my way. What next?
Thought you might be interested to know that everything is fine and I only had eight stitches. We took care of the situation! You go to your Dermatologists today and do the same!
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