Back in May Matt mentioned to me that he noticed one of my freckles on my back had a dark circle in it. I shrugged it off and said it had probably always been like it, but Matt wasn’t so sure and told me to speak to my GP. Again, I brushed it off as I said they weren’t seeing anyone so I would wait.
He kept nagging me and said it was important to get it checked especially given family history. So i relented and filled out an online consultation, my doctor emailed me within an hour asking for a picture of the freckle so he could have a look. I sent it over to him and thought nothing more, he then called again and said whilst he didn’t think it would be anything suspicious (why they don’t just say cancer I do not know) he was going to refer me to dermatology under a 2 week wait. I know from work that a 2 week wait is the cancer pathway.
I would be lying if I was to tell you that I didn’t have a meltdown. I managed to worry myself silly, thinking that I had cancer, I was going to need treatment and be unable to care for my daughter, lose my hair and worst case not be around to see my little girl grow up. Honestly I was a mess, Matt really had to work hard to talk me down and keep me grounded.
I was booked in for an appt a week later, Matt was working and they said I couldn’t take my daughter in with me, initially I didnt want to tell anyone what was going on after just losing my grandad to skin cancer BUT I needed someone to have our little girl. So I told my mum and she agreed to sit in the car with her whilst I went for my appointment. Just overjoyed she could see her granddaughter!
The day of the appointment came and I told Matt I didn’t want to go, I said that I would just leave it and what will be will be. He was firm and told me that I was to go and that all it would be was an examination and a chat & to call him straight after.
So I went, reluctantly, they were running half hr late, which made me even more nervous. The Doctor was great, he talked to me about my health and our family history and the history of my freckle which was limited! Given my recent pregnancy and the fact that we didn’t know how long it had been like it, he took a closer look under some sort of telescope thing. He then said to be safe lets get that removed, my heart sunk – did he then think it was bad?! I said ok, when will that be? I was shocked when he said they would do it there and then! Bloody surgery twice in 3 months! My face must have looked worried, he was quick to tell me that it was precautionary and he was sure that it wasn’t cancerous but we needed to be sure & if it was that we would have caught it early. He reassured me that he would do a telephone consultation with me after 6weeks.
So in I went for a little more surgery! Nice and easy this time, all I had to do was lay still and chill out. If I am honest I enjoyed the rest. It was over and done within 20minutes and I was back in the car, mum and Matt both shocked they removed it that day.
On the outside for the weeks after I must have looked really chill about it all, worried more that my scar was healing nicely and there was no infection. Underneath I was so anxious about my results, petrified that it would be bad news. How would I tell people, what if my hair fell out, I needed to write a will, I needed Matt to know what I felt was important for our little girl as she grew. I had written myself a life sentence before I had even got the results.
Everyone that I told and spoke with about it was amazing, so positive and kind but inside I was thinking, they dont bloody know if its going to be ok! Of course they are being like that, I would be saying exactly the same thing. So in the end I just kept my thoughts to myself and waited patiently.
Tuesday I got a call, my heart sunk it was a week earlier than my scheduled call. I thought this is it, I am going to find out I have cancer – they wouldn’t call early if it was good news. I asked the Doctor if I needed to sit down for the chat but he said no you have nothing to worry about. It wad a harmless freckle and we removed it all, you are fine. Just keep using suncream and try to stay covered in the sun, check your moles and freckles and speak to your GP again if your concerned.
I won’t lie, I had a cry, relieved more than anything & frustrated that I had got myself so wound up and scared.
For me, it was tough and I know that not everyone gets the same outcome I did. Now, I feel like I have got a lucky break, but it means I am more conscious about wearing suncream, being more covered up and checking myself regularly. Not just my moles and freckles but my boobs too & ensuring I keep up to date with my smear tests. Losing anyone is HARD, so if you can be cautious and check yourself regularly you may just be able to prevent anyone having to lose you.
So if you do nothing else this week, check your boobs (or balls if your a guy!), look at your body and know what is normal for you. Speak up and don’t be afraid if you have any concerns.
Its better to be safe than sorry.