When I was called to room ten and the staff member introduced herself as the skin oncology nurse my stomach did a little lurch. I have been doing a very good job of telling myself this appointment would be just to tell me everything was fine, or at worst that they wanted to check on it again in a while. Then I found out it might well have been, as the results only came through this morning.
So it was a melanoma. Not good, but not so bad either. It was in the early stages, they believe everything has been removed, but they will want to remove a larger area just in case. It sounded more inconvenient than anything else. The site is of course the same only bigger, so rest and minimal walking, certainly no cycling. I am going to be as fat as butter. More showering with clingfilm wrapped round my lower leg. Horrors. So I have just ordered one of those pricey limb protectors from Limbo. Is this a sign of a new direction in my retail habits? I remember when the attractions of Miss Selfridge palled in comparison to those of Blacks and Cotswold Outdoor, am I now going to be browsing the aisles of John Bell and Croyden on Wigmore Street or browsing surgical aids online when I want a shopping kicks?
My stomach did another little lurch when my lymph glands were checked, though when the doctor felt for the ones around my neck it felt like a head massage, and quite pleasant. Until that moment I had been thinking this was just an isolated spot, nothing to do with the rest of my body. And indeed that is I hope how it will turn out to be. The nurse explained it had been caught early, is classified by some letters and numbers I don’t remember, and is low risk. I’m booked in for the further excision on Wednesday morning, then it’s on for the second of my Covid jabs.
She sent me away with a wedge of info to read. I walked home, reflecting I might as well as walking is going to be curtailed again just as I have started getting back to it. I think what’s going on now is called processing. I don’t feel there’s any imminent danger, and apart from a largish scar, I’ll have a few six monthly checks which will cease if there’s no sign of anything else going on, but it’s a strange thought that cells in my body have turned against me. It feels wrong, like a betrayal, a fifth columnist lurking in my DNA.
I need to do some work, but I am distracted without really thinking about anything. I might go out and stock up on dressings (more fun retail) which I am certainly going to need. Ho hum.
Stay safe. Keep well. Check your skin.