I’m Learning Too Late That Baby Oil Does Not Have An SPF

Dr. Drapenscrape didn’t keep me waiting long in the exam room. I was sitting on a chair and he pulled the other up next to mine and sat down, my medical file in his hand. I knew going into this appointment that the mole hadn’t been benign, but to see it on the pathology report’s Final Diagnosis…well, I don’t know how to describe what I felt.

Malignant Melanoma

Zee Mole has now got himself a fancy new name and a lot more respect.

Dr. Drapenscrape went over the findings in detail, including the following important points about Zee Mole, which will now be “MM” for brevity’s sake:

  1. It has a depth of .6mm. My doctor’s policy has been anything with a depth of .75mm or greater is a ticket for an automatic CT and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans. Mine, at .6 is right at the point Dr. Drapenscrape’s orders the scans if he’s feeling a bit of hypochondria. His words. This measurement is the Breslow Measurement.
  2. It is at Clark’s Level IV on a scale of 1 to 5. Not to be confused with the stages of cancer, this just tells how deep into the dermis the MM goes. Clark’s is not used as often as it had in the past, and according to Dr. Drapenscrape, it will become obsolete by 2012.
  3. Add in the Mitotic Index. That’s the growth of the MM cells. It also has a scale: 0 – 3. The path report indicates mine is at a 1. So there’s growth, but slow, however…there’s growth.

Take these three facts, all gray and borderline, and add them to my age (which I am considered “young” – Finally!), and we have a situation that would lead my doc to err on the side of caution. Why wait 10 years to find out that things are way more serious?

Tomorrow I meet with an oncologist in The Metro for a consult. We will then schedule a Sentinel Lymph Node biopsy that will be more definitive as far as stages, if there’s even one I’m at. He may decide that I should go ahead and have the CT and PET scans prior to the results, or we may hold off.

The words “survival rates” came up and I felt the first real moments of panic settle in my chest. Googling what I have so far has added to that fear: “most serious form of skin cancer” and “deadliest form of skin cancer”. Fuck you, Google.

It’s not just skin cancer, kids, it’s cancer. And I have it.

46 thoughts on “I’m Learning Too Late That Baby Oil Does Not Have An SPF”

  1. You just get out there and make MM your bitch. Show ’em who’s boss.

    I’m new to your blog, I found you through LFCA, I’m another ‘lucky’ feature today. Hugs to you and I’m praying for the best.

  2. I can’t believe this is happening to you. And my heart is sick reading all of this. Now, you know I just heard news about something similar with my dad, although different cancer. And as people have already said, yes, this is cancer, but if you had to get a cancer, then this is one of the ones you “hope” for because these are one of the curable ones if caught early enough. My dad’s was caught early enough and after several finger biting weeks was cured. It seems like you have caught this one early and will know soon whether this is true or not. Unfortunately, there is not much to do until then but wait and I will be hoping you will have a similar outcome as my dad.

  3. I am so sorry DD. I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I work with a guy that had that on his head/scalp and had a pretty major surgery, chemo and radiation and is doing great now almost 4 years later. Let me know if you would ever want to talk with him about what his doctor suggested and how his treatments went. It never hurts to talk with people who went through it as we know very well from dealing with SIF. Hugs and love heading your way. Fingers crossed that all works out for you.

  4. I’m really sorry, DD – that just sucks. It is really early and that’s good. I know you must be terrified though. Sending you a big, virtual hug.

  5. Just wanted to pop over here also and say Fuck, this is just not good. I hope that the oncologist can give you some more information. Major hugs from here to there, and lots of love also.

  6. Mom had it…on her nose. She’s fine (wears hats and a lot of sunscreen now). At least Zee Mole is someplace you can disguise it, right?

    Holding breath and crossing fingers for only good news from here on out.

  7. Well shit fire, woman! That sucks a big hairy one and I mean it. I’m sorry. Want me to send you some liquor? Cookies? Cootie shot? That sucks but it does not get you out of the Christmas card exchange, no sirree bob. What some people will do to save a stamp….

    Seriously, hang in there and email any time or call or send messenger pigeon if you need anything at all.

    Huge hugs…

  8. Well… crap. DD I’m sorry, I hope things go well tomorrow and that the oncologist comes with a plan. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there!

  9. This sounds like crazy advice, but when you are weighing options with the doc, ask him what he would recommend for his mom or wife if they had the exact same thing.

    It changes you from a statistic to a person in the docs eyes.

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

  10. Ahhh, FUCKING HELL, DD. I’m so sorry to hear this 😦 If you need anything that I can do from afar, besides praying and keeping you in my thoughts tomorrow, let me know. I do work at one of the best medical institutions in the world for the cancer center.

  11. Oh, my. I’m so sorry you’re facing this, Yo-yo.

    Sending you thoughts that this ends up being the most easily treatable kind.

    Yay on being young, though. Hey, we takes our victories where we finds them.

  12. I like the search where the outcome is 100% chance of survival with no recurrence of the disease.

    Cancer is survivable.

    Shitty, though. I’m really sorry you have to deal with this.

    Fingers crossed for the outcome of 100% survival rate with no recurrence of the disease.


  13. Well freaking crap. I’m sorry that you’re going through this. I can’t imagine.

    I know I said this before but I will say it again. This is 100% survivable. I have two good friends that I go to church with. One was diagnosed with malignant melanoma about 10 years ago in her 20’s, had multiple areas removed, has had no recurrence, and is extremely healthy with 4-year-old and 2-year-old little boys. The other was diagnosed with malignant melanoma about 6-8 years ago in his 50’s, had multiple areas removed and now is extremely healthy without recurrence.

    I know hearing that probably is little comfort but I am sending the very best thoughts your way.

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