For those of you that have been following my journey with melanoma this is part 3 of 3 of the story I had originally set out to share. Recovery at home after surgery was thankfully pretty comfortable. After day 2 of the excision procedure I was okay when I first came back home, then again I was also still numb from the local anesthetic. My best took off work to take me since the permanent roommate had a whole to do at work and they wouldn’t let him leave, but that is a long story in itself and I’m over it at this point. So we watched Silver Linings Playbook and crashed on the couch. My pain level was okay and I believe I did take a dose of pain meds. Hours later when my husband was getting home he walked in to find me kneeled in the floor hanging onto the couch, pretty much writhing in pain. Needless to say, more pain meds, as would be the trend for the coming week. I took about a week off work to recover. My job involves a lot of up and down arm movements and my incision is on my upper left side towards my back, I needed to make sure I was able to function well enough to go back . Even after returning to work I had moments where I felt I just couldn’t lift like I used to. Over the coming weeks it subsided but I still feel a burning sensation over the scar area from time to time, which only calls to mind Harry Potter and his lighting bolt scar that burned whenever he-who-must-not-be-named was near.
About a week after my surgery I went back in to have that top layer of stitches out, as the bottom 2 layers would dissolve on their own in those coming 6-8 weeks. Removing the stitches was actually painless, although I hear that can vary person to person.
I’m left with this scar now, about 6 inches in length. The doctor compared its healing to that of a cat scratch. It looks more like a lion got of hold me, but a lion is a cat indeed. I look in the mirror at that scar time to time and I can feel the tears building in my eyes. It is a flaw, and I think of how in attractive it must appear to others, as it did to me. I say did rather than the present tense of does because I look at it now not only as a reminder of everything it represents but also it’s just plain bad ass, really, you should see it. I earned that scar, I pretty literally fought for it. I beat cancer. And you know what, I’ve never seen my husband ogle at it or even give the slightest indication it bothered him in any way shape or form. That’s amazing to me. And if anyone else thought it as unappealing then that’s solely their problem. It’s a mark of survival and a mark of pride, which are some of the reasons I’ve opted not to have any laser treatments done. I might try some drugstore products meant to lighten scars and such but that would be the extent of that.
I had my second body check (first one since the surgery) last month and they didn’t have to biopsy anything and the dermatologist wasn’t concerned about anything this visit. My next scheduled visit is in December so I’ll just keep hoping for more great results!!
And just to be 100% clear, I actually haven’t tanned at all since January!! I haven’t even spray tanned. I just again want to urge everyone to avoid tanning beds and prolonged sun exposure before you have to learn your lesson the way I did. Opt for sunless tanning or bronzers. Your skin will thank you now, 10 years from now and for life!! And in reality I’d rather be pale and look young into my years, than be tan, leathery and aged!!! I always feel like I’m missing a talking point or two when I tell of a story over extended time, so if there seems like a big blank exists in my account just let me know so I can accommodate any answers to other questions.
I do hope everyone had a fabulous summer now that fall is upon us. Autumn is my favorite season, which comes as no surprise to those who know me personally. Starbucks seasonal drinks, cute clothes, boots, Halloween, my anniversary…and so much more!!