Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can you believe my luck?

Well, you may or may not know that in 1998 when i was just 25 years old, I had a malignant melanoma removed from my neck. Since then I have been going to dermatologists off and on and having different moles removed from my neck, arms, legs, and torso. My wife mentioned a peculiar mole behind my ear out to at least one doctor, but it was deemed unlikely to be a melanoma. Since that diagnosis I have probably had 40 moles removed by punching them out, or by using a razor to scrape them off.
Fast forward to today, when one of those moles which had been scraped off a few weeks ago, then the mole was surgically removed (5mm of plain skin around the mole turns into a dime sized piece of skin removed, and a 2 inch scar). I went in at noon to get my stitches removed, and the Dr. informs me that the one from behind my ear was melanoma. The mole that was removed from my scar on the other side which was more disturbing, and then the subsequent removal of the entire scar to make sure there was not a malignant cell which made it all these years, was clear. It left a 4 inch scar on my neck, but it was clear.
The doctor said the next steps are as follows. I have another surgery to remove 1.5 more cm around the area where the original mole was. I have a lymph mapping to determine which nodes could be problematic and take them out. Then a visit with an oncologist who specializes in skin cancer and melanomas, and possible mole mapping. Note: My wife wants me to shave my head for this one cause she is worried that I may have another red mole on my scalp which we have missed. I am not sure if I want to be bald, or even trimmed that close. We will have to see on that one.
Anyway, I have missed several days of training due to recovery, and the fact that I could not turn my head, and it is only going to get worse. The doctor says they will not likely need to use a skin graft on my head, but it will be pulled pretty tight. It was about a week before I could turn my head with this one. My face already is lop-sided, problem here is that this pulls it the wrong way.
So that is what has been happening with me for the last 10 days. I had an awesome bike ride today, my goals were to stay with the fastest rider, and to draft as little as possible. Mission accomplished, I got some looks, but I think it was "has this guy never ridden as a group before? Doesn't he know that about 3 feet to the right he would have a lot better time at it. I always like to watch the top of the sport to see where pros and elite athletes are carrying us, and at the World Championships, there were some who sustained a 28mph on the bike leg, and still finished off with good runs. Wow, time to step up my game some more.


Trigirlorlando said...

Ryan....Wow!! What a couple of days you have had!! You are so brave and have an amazing positive attitude towards it all. Grasshopper here needs to learn more from you!!! Take care of yourself my dear, Happy Thanksgiving and my prayers for a speedy recovery are with you!!!

Missy said...

Damn it all to hell! I'm very sorry, that blows. Shave your head, DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! Then post pictures, you gotta be sure, ya know???