I got that information on tuesday, and then had an oncologist appointment on thursday at the MD Anderson Cancer center. Even though the melanoma had not metastasized, the doctors wanted me to see an oncologist. This happened last time I tested positive for melanoma, and when I saw the cancer doctor, he said, "Why are you seeing me? You are healthy." This doctor was different because he was amazed that I could grow up in Alaska, not be exposed to much sun, not have any family history of melanoma, and show up in his office. When he found out that I have been diagnosed twice I think his jaw hit the floor. So, essentially, I have been diagnosed with the most deadly form of skin cancer, and have lucked out in having it localized to the skin - twice. As I looked at all the patients in the cancer center, I can't help but feel...lucky? Blessed?
Anyway, this year has definitely been one of the most challenging years for me and my family. I want to clearly delineate this year from the next, and my intent is to celebrate the new year in a way that everyone in the family can clearly see that it is a new year. In addition to the celebration, this is also when I will get my new "January haircut".
I spoke with the surgeon, and she will schedule me for an appointment in the beginning of the year to look at all of the moles on my head, and every January I will shave my head to determine if there is any change in the ones she decides to leave. I expect to have a few taken off initially, just to make sure. I guess I can't be too careful when it comes to that.
I look forward to closing the door on 2009, and having a life-changing (in a positive way) 2010. Planning for a great year is a sure way of having one, right?