Monday, May 02, 2005

Surgery - Part I

Malignant Melanoma .. type it in a search engine and see how quickly you would freak out? Ah .. but do enough reading and you realize that caught early 90% of Melanoma is stopped in it's tracks! That is good news for many!

That is the news that I clung too and that is the "word" that the surgeon and my former Dermatologist stuck to. "You caught this early, we will do a wide excision and you will be fine."

Just one little thing... the melanoma was a little deep. Anything over 1.00 mm and we like to do a Sentinel Lymph node Biopsy to make sure that the Melanoma had not metastasized to the lymph nodes.

So on March 11th, a full month after I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I had a wide area excision on my back and a sentinel lymph node biopsy of the left auxiliary (aka left armpit). The initial determination of the sentinel node was NEGATIVE based on frozen sections take while in the OR. Little did I know (because I didn't ask and was not told) that there was additional pathology to be done before it was a final Negative.

Surgery was outpatient and recovery was quick. I was back to running and biking within the week and onto swimming again two weeks post surgery. Other than some initial pain in my left arm which cleared up just 4 weeks after surgery, I was pretty much pain free and didn't need to take any time off from work since I planned surgery on a Friday and spent the weekend recuperating.

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