In December 2019, Linda, my wife noticed that a mole on my back looked different and she was concerned. Because it was on my back, I did not notice it. When I looked in the mirror, I saw that the mole was much bigger than before and was multiple colours.
In January , Linda and my daughter Megan left for Spain to teach English and said I Must go and have it seen to. With life being so busy and at work daily , it slipped my mind. They had to come back at End of March because of the Covid pandemic and asked if I had been to the doctor. This then dragged out until July when I finally went to see the GP. He took one look and said he was not happy and referred me to a Dermatologist that same day.
The Dermatologist had the same reaction and took a sample of the mole and sent away to the lab for diagnosis. The next day she came back to me and said that it was a Melanoma and it was malignant. Her recommendation was that it must be taken out immediately.
This was the Tuesday and I had the Melanoma taken out a week later. I have a massive scar on my back (looks like a big shark bite). They had to take out 1cm around the Melanoma as well as 1cm deeper. This to ensure that all cancerous cells are removed.
The Dermatologist said that the Melanoma had been deeper , but had regressed as a result of my immune system fighting off the cancer. I live fairly healthily and eat correctly. I don’t actively exercise , but take the dogs for regular walks with Linda and my job in the pharmacy involves a lot of walking and bending etc. I have been working in the frontline at the pharmacy during the entire pandemic and have come through without any serious cold or flu symptoms. I regularly take Vitamin C,D and Zinc to build up and maintain my immunity. Had this not been the case , the roots would have been deeper than 0,5mm and I would have been sent for Chemo treatment as well.
I have to see my Dermatologist every 3 months now for check ups for the next year. Then 6 monthly for the following year , then yearly there after if all is clear. I had a Mole Map done of my whole body and all moles are recorded on a computer. At the follow up visits, she will compare each mole , to check for any changes and deal with them promptly.
This has been a very traumatic and stressful time for me and my family. I wear at least 50factor sunblock when I go into the sun. I wear a large brimmed hat as well. I stay out of the sun between 11 and 3 daily, ie sun bathing , gardening , hiking etc.
In my article, I have given advice that I have gained over my journey. Don’t google articles , but rather take the advice of medical professionals.