10.30.2008

Headaches & Stitches

Well, before I get into my thrilling update, I must first share that my sister is pregnant!! YAY! I'm going to be an aunt! (again). This is her first baby, and I'm super stinkin' excited. In case you're unusually interested, you should read her post about it. Note that she often calls it "the little sucker" or "the darn baby." So typically Caitlin.

Now onto my originally scheduled post.

I have had this horrendously annoying headache for oh, about FOUR days now, and I'm really getting tired of it. It's not a constant, all-over ache, but I think it might just be more obnoxious for that reason. It's only on one spot on my head- right above and around my right ear. And it only hurts at certain times (not just hurts, but is more like a sharp stab of death). The worst is first thing in the morning when I sit up in bed. Owwww! The pain lasts longest when I get up, and is worse when I move at all. It dulls/goes away during the day, but is instantly there again whenever I bend over and stand up, stand up from sitting, etc. What is going on?? It's really weird, and has me a little worried. Brain tumor, perhaps?

Speaking of tumors, let me get onto my next subject: stitches.

I have never had stitches before, until now. If you're not already aware, Melanoma has a strong place in my family. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Melanoma (1 being "best," 5 being worst) when she was only 18 years old. The cancer spread to her lymph nodes and she had to have most of the skin on her back removed. Luckily, she survived and all is well now. But that's just the beginning. Her father, my grandpa, died of Stage 5 Melanoma. Her mother, my grandma, has had Melanoma twice. So has her brother, my uncle. Clearly we are a family susceptible to skin cancer. As a result, we are always extremely cautious when in the sun for extended periods of time, using a gallon of sunscreen every five minutes (ok, that might be an exaggeration, but still).

All descendants of the afore-mentioned grandparents have been trained since birth to watch any moles for any changes or anything unusual period. Well, this summer I was on a boat on a lake for a week, in the sun all the time. Of course I used sunscreen about 3 times a day, but I still got a little tan regardless. But that's what made me notice something unusual. Uh oh. On my back, I have a smattering of moles that I have watched since childhood. While my back got a little tan, there remained one little white ring of skin around one of said moles. Why did that one spot not get any color? This also brought my attention to the fact that the mole itself was 2 different colors as well (one of the signs to watch for). Well, the white ring thing kinda freaked me out, so as soon as I got around to it, I scheduled an appointment to have a dermatological surgeon look at my weird mole.

About a week or so ago, I went to the doctor. He told me that the white ring around the mole was actually a good thing, and that my body was acting in self-defense against the sun, keeping the mole from getting too much pigment. Cool, huh? Then he told me they would just take a polaroid of the mole and have me come back in 3 months to compare and see if there had been any change. Hello, I could be dead in three months! (He probably has a lot of false alarms.) But then I told him my family history, and his reaction immediately changed. "We'll take it off next week."
Thank you.

So yesterday I went again, and the doc cut out my weird mole. I was quite comfy, laying on my stomach just chillin, but it was somewhat gross, cause I think he was using little bitty scissors, and I could hear him cutting through my skin. Nasty huh? My nurse was this cute little grandma lady who patted me on the (other) shoulder and asked if I was doing ok. Then the doc stitched me up (only 2 or 3 stitches, I think- it's covered in Steri-Strips) and that was that! The granny-nurse gave me a juicebox to make sure I didn't pass out or anything. Now I have to go back in 11 days to get the stitches removed- why couldn't I just have the dissolving ones? That will also be when I find out whether or not the mole was malignant or not (that's a fancy word for "cancerous"). I honestly don't think there was anything really seriously wrong with my mole, but since cancer is kinda a big deal in our family, it's not very smart to take risks. I'll pass on the verdict when it comes.

Hopefully I do not have a brain tumor or skin cancer.

2 comments:

The Clingo Family said...

Beth! go to the doctor about your headaches! geez, you make me worry!

Quinn and Ashley said...

If you do have Brain Cancer I will come and take care of you. Maybe we should use that as an excuse to see each other... :P

Happy Halloween!