My firstborn, David, was born on July 13, 2005. I had just turned 24 years old. When the nurse was checking on me, she noticed the mole on the front of my left thigh and suggested that I have it checked before I left the hospital. I was in new mama bliss and didn't do anything about it.
My life kind of goes in fast forward sometimes...I think a lot of it has to do with Chris and I always moving or getting into new adventures. We get really busy and are both guilty of not taking the time we need to take care of ourselves. Having a mole checked was one of the last things on my mind.
I found out I was pregnant with Lillian soon after I had started working with the Lima Trinity youth. Several months later it was December of 2006 and I saw a segment on The Today Show where Matt Lauer went to a dermatologist to have his skin checked. The show followed him through the process and listed some things to look for that might be signs of melanoma skin cancer. I listened closely and immediately started looking at the mole on my leg to see if I had any of the symptoms. Uneven edges- check. Uneven color- check. Equal to or larger in size than a pencil eraser- I found a pencil and held it eraser side down on my thigh. The mole on my thigh was exactly the same size as the pencil eraser. That's when I accepted that I should go get it checked. If I had the symptoms, I had to, just in case. For a sense of peace that everything was ok, if nothing else. I had no idea.
I made an appointment with a dermatologist nearby, explaining to the receptionist that I needed a mole checked. I was about 6 months pregnant with Lilly. When I got to the appointment, I was nervous and I just looked through a celebrity magazine. An older guy in the waiting room had a bandage on his face. I felt sorry for him, and just as much as ever, didn't think it would happen to me. I was young and healthy, pregnant with my baby girl. God doesn't do things like that to people like me...
I showed Dr. White the spot on my leg that I had assumed was an ordinary mole and he did whatever dermatologists do. I was really looking forward to having the appointment done and moving on. Dr. White told me that he was concerned about the mole on my thigh. He was getting ready to go on vacation for the holidays and urged me to allow him to remove the spot that day...right then....at that appointment where I was just supposed to get checked and then go on my merry way. Wait...what? Removing it...sending it for a biopsy...results later...
Being 6 months pregnant and since I had been at the office for awhile, I had to pee really, really bad. I asked the nurse about going before the procedure. She pointed me in the right direction and said "I guess we really scared it out of you!" She was teasing me, of course, but all I could think of was......"She thinks I have reason to be scared. This is serious." It was like walking through a dream or watching a movie about someone else.
Dr. White removed it and it didn't really hurt much. He said I would hear from him when he got the results. I wanted to know a million things, but also didn't. I had a million questions, but I didn't know what they were. I wasn't prepared for my life to be turned upside down. Are we ever?
Sometimes life changes in the blink of an eye. When you least expect it. Like, when you are in a new job and pregnant with your 2nd baby and married to the greatest guy on earth and then you go to the doctor and he says it could be cancer.
I will continue my story in my next post. Until then, check out this information which is similar to what I learned on The Today Show in 2006 and consider any spots or freckles or moles on your own body. (My mole looked very much like image E in the diagram)