ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Melanoma & Me

Updated on August 30, 2017
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

Sheila, Meet Your Uninvited And Very Unwelcome Guest, Melanoma!

At least that's what my morbid sense of humor said to myself after the words, "it turned out to be Melanoma," came out of my amazing plastic surgeon's mouth. I have WHAT? Really? As quickly as I could excuse myself, I walked down the hall to the Ladies' room, where I snapped this photo and tried to maintain my composure so that I could go back in and have the stitches removed.

How exactly, I wondered, does one drive oneself home after hearing the words, "You have skin cancer?" Denial certainly didn't work. I couldn't backspace over the last 30 minutes of my life and pretend it hadn't happened. I knew I would have a lot of coping to do, not to mention a whole lot of medical ordeals I was not looking forward to. So, I decided to hang onto the two positive things my plastic surgeon said. First of all, the cancer was Stage 1, they had caught it as early as early gets, and that was a very good thing.

The second positive thing was that he promised to be there during my required upcoming surgery to reconstruct my face and get me "back to good."

Today, eight weeks later, on May 22, 2013, he kept his promise. "Back to good" will take a lot of healing, as I have a five-inch incision on my face from lower eye to chin. But this doc does truly amazing work, as I have seen in the past when he removed a small basal cell carcinoma under my eye a year ago, and when he first removed the offending birthmark eight weeks ago which turned out to be the Melanoma. So I do have hope for my appearance returning to near-normal.

The cancer surgeon who resected the large area of my face today was also very happy and very confident that he got it all. We will know for sure in a few days when the final pathology report comes in. That's when I will find out if I am required to have further treatment, such as chemo or radiation. I'm really hoping this all ends right here today.

You might wonder why I am sharing this very personal information, not to mention some extremely unflattering photos of myself! In a word... my beautiful daughter, and all the daughters in the world out there who are exposing themselves to danger by tanning, natural or synthetic. When I walked around the hallway corner at home to greet my daughter the next time she came over, I told her, "I want you to see what years of sun damage can do to you." I'll never forget the look on her face when she first saw me, and I hope the message struck a chord. And she had only seen me like this photo, after the first surgery! She hasn't seen me after the one today yet. Now that IS scary.

I'll be completely open about the details of my Melanoma treatment. I'll show unretouched pictures. I'll give the gory details. Why? Because if it makes just one woman or young girl cancel her tanning appointment, or put on that sunscreen, it will be worth it. I never tanned in a salon but i had many severe sunburns both as a child and an adult. And now I am paying the price.

As I get more results and carry on this battle, I will share all of that here.

Please share this with everyone you know, far and wide. Preventing, or recognizing Melanoma could save their life!

Update May 30th!

I just got home from getting my stitches taken out, which feels fabulous! Even more fabulous, I got the pathology report from last week's surgery... I am CANCER FREE!!!!!

Thanks to God, and thanks to my amazing plastic surgeon, Dr. Ronald Hollins, who most likely saved my life by noticing my evil birthmark! I'm very confident that with his mad skills, my scar will become almost invisible someday. I can't quit smiling!!!

5-30-13, Stitches Out!!

5-30-13, Stitches Out!!
5-30-13, Stitches Out!!

Me, At Home Shortly After My 3 Hour Melanoma Resection & Reconstruction Surgery

Me, At Home Shortly After My 3 Hour Melanoma Resection & Reconstruction Surgery
Me, At Home Shortly After My 3 Hour Melanoma Resection & Reconstruction Surgery

Me Just Before The Surgery

Me Just Before The Surgery
Me Just Before The Surgery

Look Ma, No Spot! After The Melanoma Birthmark First Surgery Healed

Look Ma, No Spot! After The Melanoma Birthmark First Surgery Healed
Look Ma, No Spot! After The Melanoma Birthmark First Surgery Healed

Looking tan is just not worth all of this!

Did You Know....

One in five adults will be diagnosed with a type of skin cancer in their lifetime?

A Year Ago... - Basal Cell Carcinoma Removal Surgery

This one scared me badly enough a year ago! I had a Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, under my right eye.

This year I had a new little spot in the area where it had been removed, and I rushed out to see the plastic surgeon to make sure it was not the cancer again. Thank God I did! He looked at it and said it was just a skin tag and we'd take it off, but he didn't like the looks of the birthmark on my cheek! He wanted to take it off too. That birthmark was the Melanoma. I'd had it all my life and it changed suddenly a few months back, turning darker and changing shape a bit. I put off getting it checked out because I was undergoing a big knee replacement surgery and it was low on my priority list. I wish now it'd been higher.

Here's a photo of me the night of the Basal Cell Carcinoma removal. It was no picnic, either. The surgery took over an hour and I was awake for the whole thing.

The Basal Cell Stitches Slowly Healed... It Took Weeks.

The Basal Cell Stitches Slowly Healed... It Took Weeks.
The Basal Cell Stitches Slowly Healed... It Took Weeks.

What Do YOU Say? - This Is A Controversial Topic... What Do You Think?

Should Tanning Beds Be Banned, At Least For Minors?

Me, In 2012 Before All This Happened... See That Birthmark On My Cheek

Me, In 2012 Before All This Happened... See That Birthmark On My Cheek
Me, In 2012 Before All This Happened... See That Birthmark On My Cheek

One Of My Prior Sunburns in 2002. I Hated Sunscreen, Hats, And Glasses!

One Of My Prior Sunburns in 2002. I Hated Sunscreen, Hats, And Glasses!
One Of My Prior Sunburns in 2002. I Hated Sunscreen, Hats, And Glasses!

Melanoma On YouTube

About Your Author...

Welcome! I'm SheilaSchnauzies. I'm a writer, crochet designer, Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, (hence the Schnauzies name!) jewelry designer, gardener, wife, mother and friend living in Omaha, Nebraska. I've crocheted since I was about 11, and I've been designing for over 20 years now. My for-sale patterns and Squidoo lenses support the needs of my Miniature Schnauzer rescue dogs. We operate as Sheila's Schnauzies, a nonprofit organization and currently have three furkids here. We all appreciate your support!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)