Surgery scheduled

Posted By
7/30/2014 7:21pm
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Replies: 7

Hi again to all. I met my doctor yesterday at the IU Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis. He seems very knowledgeable and was extremely nice. He spent a lot of time with me and my husband, completed a very thorough skin exam (thankfully found nothing else of concern), and mapped out a plan. Unfortunately, the person who removed my mole was pretty much an amateur and opted to simply shave it off (she really thought it was a hermangioma). The lack of a punch biopsy muddies the waters somewhat as establishing depth is more iffy. The depth of mine was, according to the pathology report, at least 1.05mm. He's going to take a margin of 2cm to be certain and on the safe side. He further explained he would be getting a SNB, and going for my left axilla - but may need to get one from both depending on what shows up during the lymphatic imaging as my lesion is just left of the center of my back. He stated there was only really about a 20% chance that it had spread to the lymph nodes! which made me feel substantially better. He did go on to explain that, if positive, all the lymph nodes in that location would require removal. He added we would be having other conversations if this were found to be the case. So my wide excision is scheduled for next Wednesday at 0900, but I'm to report there at 0530 to prepare for my lymphatic imaging at 0700. Won't know my staging information until the pathology reports come back on my surgery - about ten days from the surgery. Hope things go uncomplicated and well - I'm planning to go to Glacier National Park for an annual trip there by mid-month and I'll have a new grandbaby to start spoiling in Calgary, too! Dr. Schwartzentruber said hiking would be ok, and anything needing further attention could wait till I got back. He also gave me a most valuable piece of information for anyone early in treatment. He said not to give up doing the things I enjoy doing that involve the sun - for example, I am a landscape photographer and hiker - but to either cover up or wear sunscreen. I appreciated that as I, like I'm sure many newly diagnosed people do, was worried this meant my outdoor days were over. I'm afraid that would have been difficult for me.

I wanted to return here to say thanks for letting me know what to expect - you all were spot on with your information. Your support was and is welcomed and appreciated. 



Beth A.

RJoeyB - (7/30/2014 - 9:35pm)

Beth, thanks for posting back with your update.  It sounds like things went as well as they could yesterday and the tone or tour writing sounds encouraging.  That's good.  You have a plan and some good advice for moving forward, which is all you can ask for right now!

Best wishes for your next steps and please let us know how it goes, Joe

Beth_A - (7/31/2014 - 6:36am)

Thanks, Joe :)

Beth A.

RJoeyB - (7/31/2014 - 12:38pm)

Sure, and sorry for my typos, I meant "...tone of your writing..."

washoegal - (7/31/2014 - 12:44pm)


Sounds like you have a great Onc.  He gave you good advice. I wish all of them were like that.  Expect to be a little sore after your wide excision.  I went on a vacation shortly after mine too and I have to tell you it was an effort to keep up.  Mine was on the side, right at the waist and 3.7mm, he too quite a chunk out.  I think I might have been a little grumpy on vacation .


Anyway, good luck and enjoy that grandbaby.  Worry about the rest later.


Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

Beth_A - (7/31/2014 - 5:45pm)

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Mary. I wondered about the soreness, etc. I'm hopeful it won't be too bad, but so glad I'm getting to go regardless :)

Beth A.

BrianP - (7/31/2014 - 10:56pm)

Sounds like you are making all the right moves and have a great team working for you.  Good luck with the surgery Beth.  Please let us know the results of the SNB.


Beth_A - (8/1/2014 - 6:25pm)

Will do. Thanks so much, Brian.

Beth A.