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Skin cancer

Skin cancer - Mavis Ashton

Last week I discovered that one of the moles on my back changed its color. It seemed to me that it had also grown and changed its shape. The previous night I woke up because I felt itchiness and a sort of burning sensation in the area. I freaked out when I realized that the mole was itchy.

My best friend had been diagnosed with skin cancer six years ago. She had presented similar symptoms. She had a mole on her right shoulder, which started to itch and change color. When she went to the doctor, he referred her to an oncologist who decided to remove her mole as soon as possible. The biopsy revealed that it was indeed cancer and she needed treatment. She had two additional surgeries, on her right leg, where the surgeon removes a good portion of her calf. They had discovered the skin cancer extended and it needed immediate removal of the mole.  Her nearby lymph nodes were enlarged and the doctor feared that it may spread even more.

I was by her side those days. I was with her at the hospital when she had the surgeries, and I was the one who took care of her in her post-surgery days. I have seen how much she suffered and how much pain she has been through.

Because I witnessed first-hand all of these, I froze the moment I saw my mole in the mirror. Although it was three o'clock in the morning, I called my family doctor’s office and left a message asking for an early morning emergency appointment. I could not get back to sleep that night. I started to read online all sort of information on the melanoma skin cancer therapies. Until eight o'clock in the morning, when my phone rang, I did not move from the bed.

When I answered the phone, I hoped it was the doctor’s receptionist, calling me back to confirm my appointment for the day. I was disappointed to hear it was one of my clients, a company doing park paving Edmonton. I brushed him off politely saying that I was driving and I would call him back shortly.

Ten minutes later I got my doctor’s visit confirmed. At nine, I was already in his office, telling him about my scary symptoms. He examined me and then referred me to one of his colleagues from the hospital. He pulled some strings and got me an appointment for the following day with the oncologist.

Now I am waiting for the result of the biopsy. It is so frustrating not knowing the results. I do not know what is scarier: knowing that I might not get rid of it, or living in fear that it might return?


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