the new awesome

whatever we are blogging about, that's the new awesome

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The exact opposite of the new awesome

And now for something totally different...

About a month ago I decided to have this little mole on the back of my ankle checked by a dermatologist.


I probably wouldn't have thought much of it but last year my 27 yr. old sister had a similar "no big deal" looking mole that she had checked and it ended up being melanoma skin cancer (that's the really bad kind). And for a small period of time we weren't sure if she was going to be okay or not. In the end she was fine but it scared me enough that I thought that I, the x-lifeguard, swim-teamer, sunburned a million times girl, shouldn't take any chances and get checked out myself.

So I did. And my doctor agreed that the mole on the back of my ankle had characteristics of a potential skin cancer so he told me we'd have to take it off (gross). So we did. And I was left with about 5 stitches in my ankle that would be there for two weeks.


Two weeks later the stitches came out and my MD thought it might be a melanoma but wanted a second opinion so my results were sent to UCSF. Meanwhile, my ankle was healing very nicely.



Last Tuesday I got a call from my MD and he explained to me that I had a late stage one melanoma and we'd need to take more out of my ankle as soon as possible. So the next day I went back and had the same procedure done again. Just bigger. And this time with 16 stitches instead of 5. And they had to wrap up my whole foot and ankle so it didn't swell up (gross again).


So this is what it looks like now (ouch and gross).


One fun thing is I got an entire box of sample anti-biotics from my MD which made me feel special. It's like getting a free toothbrush at the dentist.


So now I'm just waiting for the results and am hoping all the cancer is gone. I should find out in the next few days or so. If you read the new awesome regularly you know it's more about puppies, rainbows, ponies and glitter than it is about cancer and stuff but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a good idea to share this experience with you.

28 Comments:

  • At 3:35 AM, Blogger gretel said…

    bets - i hope the results turn out well for you! *pray*.

    and btw: love your bangs and blonde hair. (is it ok to lead your first comment in that direction again?)

     
  • At 7:56 AM, Blogger bex said…

    we can always talk about cute bangs and blonde hair. and ponies. and rainbows.

    this is the type of thing that makes me want to go back to my dermotologist and say ' no really -are you SURE that you looked everywhere?" because man, the "check" that i got the other day was certainly quick

     
  • At 8:01 AM, Blogger tuesday said…

    betsy, you completely rock. thanks for sharing this. who even knows who you might help? i'm totally doing some mole-mapping on my own self later because of your post. prayers and good wishes coming your way! also, Keflex rules -- name another antibiotic that can wash down with or without food and zero stomach upset? and yeah, i'm with gretel -- the blonde hair is HOT.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can always say that modern medicine is the new awesome, although sometimes it might not seem like it.

    Many prayers for you! Getting your story out there could help someone else. My husband found out he had pre-glaucoma and is able to keep it from becoming full-blown glaucoma all because of the story of someone else who found out a bit late and told his story so that others might get a glaucoma test done.

    --SaraLuna

     
  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger Abbynormal said…

    OH DEAR! I'll be praying for you for sure.

     
  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Manfoom said…

    thoughts and prayers

    thoughts and prayers

    The added surgery sounds like they wanted to be extra cautious. Thanks for sharing with us. Let me know if I can do a single thing.

     
  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger veeda said…

    thanks for keeping care of yourself. you are brave, I hate surgeries. but i love you. so thanks for sharing.

     
  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger bets said…

    thanks friends for all the niceness. i figured the only reason i got checked was b/c of my little sister's experience so if someone reads this and it leads them to finding something early, awesome awesome awesome.

    the reason they took more out is because once they determine how deep the mole is, that corresponds to how much they need to remove around it...for me they needed to take out 1cm. on each side including underneath it. they're testing that sample right now and the hope is that all the borders are clear of cancer cells. if they are, we're good. if not, they'll take out more and we'll go from there. my doc told me my type has a 90% cure rate so I feel pretty confident everything will be just fine.

    equally as difficult as this whole cancer thing has been getting my hair back to it's normal blond self. it's getting closer with each expensive appointment. glad you all like it.

     
  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger Caleb said…

    hope you feel better soon

     
  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger hooter juder said…

    oh my. thanks for this. Just yesterday out of the shower a mole on my back made me think and now I will have it checked for sure. good luck - good thoughts and prayers coming your way.

     
  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger k8 said…

    i love you bets. i'm sending no cancer vibes to you.

    and i'm also inspired to get a suspicious mole of my own checked out.

     
  • At 11:11 AM, Anonymous amanda said…

    aww betsye! i hate to hear about you having melanoma!! thank goodness for that 90% cure rate. i'm definitely praying for you.

     
  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger rob said…

    bets- this scared me like nothing else. I am so glad that you are good for the time being, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    love, rob

     
  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger dr_b_rock said…

    Way to take care of yourself! Even though it's got to be scary, I'm so glad to hear that you didn't wait to get it removed. Good luck!B

     
  • At 3:24 PM, Blogger MissEm said…

    I am going to start wearing sunblock during the day and at night now :)

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Alex Beckstead said…

    Hope you got a "leg up" on that cancer!

    (Well wishes.)

     
  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger dävid said…

    makin' lemonade out of lemons.
    speaking of which, while you've got your pants rolled up like that you might as well be a messenger, you'll blend right in. scars, stiches, pant legs rolled up.

    good luck, hope that gam of yours heals up nicely

     
  • At 11:18 PM, Blogger heatherlynn said…

    sister--i'm with ya in the scary health dept.--you've got my empathy. blessings to you. xo.

     
  • At 7:55 AM, Anonymous kylie said…

    yeesh, that sucks. hope all is well. man, i have so many moles. i should probably check them out too.

     
  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger Corinne said…

    betsy - i hope all goes well. i'm sorry to hear about this. cancer is retarded.
    xoxo
    corinne (tiger)

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Anonymous tom e said…

    Wait, who's this blonde chick that smiles like Betsy? _Another_ Heywood sister!? Maybe this one will have dinner with me. . .

     
  • At 8:29 PM, Blogger MF said…

    A classmate of mine recently had a mole removed from her forehead. They kept cutting around it until the biopsied skin cells were cancer free. An hour or so later she had a half-dollar sized hole on her forehead. Sad. I'm glad that your surgery was on your ankle--far less conspicuous. Although I don't know you, I'll put in my petitions as well.

     
  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Steph said…

    well, i guess i won't be inviting you to Melanoma Madness this summer which involves long hours of laying motionless on the sand at Stinson Beach. bummer. hope everything goes ok. :)

     
  • At 2:50 AM, Blogger Kristen said…

    Many prayers for cancer-free results! I enjoy you girls' blog a ton and look forward to more ponies and rainbows.

     
  • At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Astrid said…

    I'm thinking of you, I hope you'll be okay... I'm sure you will, you have to. No pressure or anything, but you just have to.

    So, how can I convince you that you should have fun with us while we're in California?

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger mimi said…

    you'll pull through just fine either way. love to you and your blonde hair!

     
  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger f*bomb. said…

    You're right, Betsy. Cancer is not awesome. But people who beat the crap out of cancer ARE. So there you go.

     
  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger Dave said…

    EGAD! Betsy, I didn't know, thanks for sharing. I love you and want you to live forever. And I know you will live forever, inside my heart.

     

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