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Now I have skin cancer!!!

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Cynaburst Find out more about Cynaburst
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  • Now I have skin cancer!!!

    OK, please indulge me for a minute in a small pity party. I thought I could come here to commiserate with others (Jim, Mary, Pam) who have also gone through the ringer lately.

    I go to the dematologist last week because I found a very small black mole on my arm. I have lots of little brown spots, but this one looked different, so even though the borders were regular, it was one color, etc., I promptly went in to the dermatologist and had it removed, and, unbelievably, its melanoma (in situ, which is at least the least invasive form).

    Now I have to go see a cancer surgeon to add to my already unbelievably long list of specialists. Did I mention my 2 surgeries for the benign brain tumor which has an incidence of 1 in 100,000 of two years ago, or my ICD implant for my HCM, which you all share with me, with an incidence of 1 in 500? At least this one they tell me is totally curable...I just need a chunk of my arm removed, and frequent follow ups.

    I swear, I wonder if I will even make it to 40! I hate being a statistical anomoly.

    I suppose on the plus side, this was caught way early, and like the ICD, its a preventative measure. Also, I fortunately read Pam's post when she had skin cancer surgery, so I am forewarned about the hyfercator! (I saw it in the dermatologist's office and told them to keep it away. I hope the cancer surgeon knows about ICDs. (By the way Pam, did you have a local or a general? What type of cancer was yours?)

    Well, at least my HCM is basically behaving lately. I even joined Weight Watchers and have lost 7 lbs. in the last 5 weeks, and I have to say, it does make a small difference in how I feel. I hope to lose 18 more and see if that helps the SOB, etc. even more.


    OK, well, that's it for my pity party for the evening. Any friendly words would be appreciated.
    Daughter of Father with HCM
    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

  • #2
    Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

    Gosh, I am so sorry to hear this, as if you haven't had your share of big , big problems already! Did you read info on this type of cancer . You probably have so continue to be well informed. I had what's called Bowens Cancer. It is an early squamous cell. This form can spread if it is not removed hence by turning into full squamous cell. You have made me think , I should give them a call. I fear that because of the problem with the hyfercator that they may have dropped me in the abyss of oblivion. (they were supposed to call if I needed more surgery) ... they haven't called. Some how with all that us HCMer's seem to have happen it is hard to be fully reliant and trusting without looking things up and always checking. Remember besides the hyfercator any tool called a bovee and a cauterizer of course. If you take aspirin and tend to bleed a lot ask if they need you to stop it and what else . I had a local , the problem complicating with that was I can not use epinephrine in the local as I have had many adverse reactions and because of the HCM. The thing about epinephrine is that it helps to control the bleeding , since the local was minus it , this was a bloody mess for the surgeon. Now what you will need to do is speak with your EP doctor and schedule to have your AICD turned off for the surgery and then turned back on . It is a bit of running around and of course a bit disconcerting to think what if... while the devise is off. Speak candidly with your EP about these concerns and about where would be the best place and best people to be in attendance to your cancer. I would think that you will have a local anesthetic but I am not sure. I think you have some very strong coping mechanisms to get you through this and of course you have all of us. It is hard and you will have your moments so just go with the flow when you can and pity parties are OK , they allow you to validate your feelings and then move on . We are none of us rocks. Lean on all of us as you need to . I am a strong believer that in spite of the emotional strain these things bring to us we must fight with a positive spirit as it seems cancer in particular likes to get in there and kick us when we are down. I know everyone else will jump in and offer advise so for now , know that I am thinking of you and I am praying too. Pam. Also great job with the weight loss!
    Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
    Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
    Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
    SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
    [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
    Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
    Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
    Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

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    • #3
      Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

      I'm very sorry to hear that you've been given yet another hurdle to jump over my friend. Seems like for so many of us, HCM becomes at times the least of our troubles. As if HCM alone wasn't enough, huh? Those of us who are also cancer survivors may have been dealt an extra-tough hand... but ya know we're still here talking about it so that must be a good sign, right? You are such a strong person to have come through so much already, and i know that you'll get through this with just as much determination and courage. Please take care of yourself. You are very much in my thoughts and prayers today. Jim
      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

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      • #4
        Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

        Cyn, I'm sorry. I wanted to share our family's story with melanoma. It might make you feel better. My father in law had a mole that was different, but he's not a big believer in doctors. He only went when the mole started bleeding. It was melanoma and they had to take a section out of his chest. That was at least 10 years ago and he's fine now. His daughter, my husband's sister, has had at least one mole removed that had precancerous cells. The dermatologist watches her other moles carefully, but they haven't found anything else to worry about. I hope these success stories help you feel more confident in treatments.

        Reenie
        Reenie

        ****************
        Husband has HCM.
        3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

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        • #5
          Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

          Thanks Pam, Jim and Reenie. Your words do make me feel better.

          Pam and Reenie - The mole was really small, and was very new. I am not sure if it was an old mole that changed color, or if it just appeared, but I am pretty vain, so I look in the mirror alot. I think that therefore I noticed it shortly after it appeared.

          From what I read, early detection is key, and of an early one like this is caught and removed, then you are cured, although other moles are watched carefully. I suppose in that sense I should be grateful that my previous experience has me conditioned to never ignore anything that seems off. Its better to run off to the doctor in vain than to not call because you don't want to bother them.

          I have an EP appointment next week on the same day I see the oncological surgeon, so I will be sure to ask him about what to do vis-a-vis the ICD during the surgery. I would think it is done under a local, but I didn't know that epinephine is used. With the arrythmias I get plus the doseage of beta blockers I am on, I am not sure it is a good idea for me either. I will have my EP speak to the surgeon before the surgery (which I hope is really a little office procedure, and not much more).

          Will keep you all posted....
          Daughter of Father with HCM
          Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
          Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
          ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
          Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

            Well, I made the same discovery you have recently made 16 years ago. I never saw the spot in question, since it was on an area of my back that I can't see. The dermatologist took it off immediately, and when it tested positive as a melanoma, I had more skin removed by a surgeon. Analysis of the skin removed from the surgery did not reveal any cancer.

            Since then I go for checks every 6 months to the same lady Dermatologist who initially found it. I was just there last Monday, and everything checked out. So, just get your treatment and don't worry about it.

            You are correct that those of us who are accustomed to watching everything tend to catch things early. Someone who never concerned themselves about their health wouldn't catch a melonoma early, and might have serious problems.

            By the way, they don't want blood donations from a former melonoma patient, so that is an obligation you can skip now with a clear conscience. I don't understand why a decade and a half cancer free isn't enough to get them to accept a blood donation, but they don't, so that's that-----

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            • #7
              Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

              Hi Liona,
              If the Red Cross doesn’t want your blood, I know a count that might be interested.

              There are lots of us who used to give blood regularly, but because of the drug regimen we are now on, can no longer do so. I guess it’s G-d’s way of saying we’ve completed doing our bit.

              I have a pre-cancerous growth on my nose. I went to a dermatologist who froze it off, but the clod was so sparing of his precious gas he only got half of it. I now have an appointment to give him a second ‘shot’ at it. If a third is required it will be with a different doctor.

              Skin melanoma’s are among the one’s most easily successfully treated, but once caught must be constantly guarded against. My wife had a growth in front of her ear which was surgically removed. It proved to be cancerous causing a second section of skin to be removed. It’s been over thirty-five years now, but she still checks herself regularly.

              I guess from now on we all will have to do our sunbathing at night.
              Burt

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              • #8
                Re: Now I have skin cancer!!!

                Hey!
                Well the way I look at it... play the lottery! Boy you have really hit the odds havent you???

                Good news is skin cancer is very treatable - I hope you get it taken care of soon and clear you mind of this ASAP!

                Best wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!
                Lisa
                Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                Currently not obstructed
                Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

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