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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Dahlhouse: Week #19~The Call No One Ever Wants to Get

Waiting for biopsy results,  is a nerve wracking experience.  So when the doctor's phone number flashed on my cell phone screen, I immediately knew this was not good news.  I got the call I had been terrified of getting for years.  The call that I have cancer.   He informed me that the mole I had removed off my arm was benign and one mole off my shoulder was Melanoma in situ.  In situ is classified as stage 0, meaning the cancer is sitting on the top of the skin.  It has not spread, and it is all in one place.  The treatment is surgery to remove more skin surrounding the melanoma and test for clear margins.  Once the margins are clear, the follow up treatment is more frequent skin checks.  In one five minute phone call, I found out I had cancer and was scheduled for surgery the following week.  My head was spinning.
I had a few days of a pretty good pity party.  I vacillated between being extremely thankful it was caught so early, and feeling angry and scared (mom to four kiddos). 
Tuesday, May 9, Mark and I went in for my surgery.  The doctor removed a lot more skin than I was expecting.  Here I am all marked up so the surgeon knows what is being removed.  They used a special light in marking up my skin.  My poor eyes, I had only had one break down in front of the doctor by this point. 

*NOTE: We choose not to tell our kids about my skin cancer at this point.  They know I have moles removed, as this has been happening since I was a teenager.  They knew I had have some additional skin removed but for the time being...they don't need to know.  Especially since I have two kiddos with anxiety disorders.  If you know our family personally, please do not mention this to them as they won't have any idea.  Thank you so much!
Here was my shoulder the night after the surgery.  Out of all the difficulties of this process, not being able to hold Matthew with my right arm has proved the most difficult challenge.  After the skin was removed...I found myself waiting again.  For pathology results.  Waiting to heal.  It has been a lot of waiting. 
I think that one of the most interesting lessons I have learned with all this is that life continues and moves on.  It didn't stop because I found out I have skin cancer.  I continued to teach classes, carry Matthew with one arm, go on a field trip, take the kids to a rabbit show, laugh, go out with friends. 
We even sold our Honda Odyssey during this time period as well. 
I celebrated Mother's day with this sweet girl and her class a few days after surgery.

The three olders and I went to a rabbit show at Clark County Fair Grounds. 

I even sported my 4H shirt and had a pretty good day being with my kids. 

At the end of week #19, I was still waiting on the edge of my chair to hear if things were "all clear" or if I was going to have to undergo another surgery. 

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