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    I know I’ve rubbed some people the wrong way on this forum with my excessive worry, etc… but, I have still found this to be an invaluable source of information and being able to read about other cases similar to my own. One year ago today, July 14, 2011, was the first biopsy I ever had even though I had been going to my Derm for annual skin exams for as long as I can remember. He must have a good eye, cause the very first thing he ever removed turned out to be MM. I go back & forth between feeling lucky he caught it when he did at a relatively early stage, 0.34mm, and wishing he had caught it at an earlier exam when maybe it was in situ or severely atypical. But, I should be glad he caught it at all as it didn’t stand out to me nor to my GP just the week prior. Anyway, to say I’ve handled it well mentally in the last year would not be true, I worry excessively about recurrence/metastasis, I pick through pathology reports detail by detail, all in the hopes I can find something that will tell me I will 100% be ok from this. I know such a guarantee doesn’t exist, and now it’s just odds and statistics and it’s up to the MM how it will behave in me – I have no control over it. But, it sure is scary. It’s also very exhausting always being in a mental state of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” knowing it could drop anytime in the next many years. That’s a long time to worry. But I’m thankful for the great info I get from this forum.

    Catherine Poole

    This forum is meant to reassure you during a scary time. We have all been there. I was pregnant and couldn’t eat because I was afraid my melanoma would leave my children without a mother. If there’s any advice I could get you to take to heart it is to let go and now live your life in each precious moment. It is all anyone has, no guarantees come with our birth. But you readily admit this relentless reexamination of your pathology and diagnosis is exhausting you. Take a break!! Get some counseling and maybe discuss some medication to get you over the hump. Practicing meditation could really help too, check out the practices of Jon Kabat-Zinn, on Amazon, he has CDs and scientifically has proven at Harvard to help people with cancer/pain. It is called Mindful Meditation, you clear your brain of the constant thoughts (often negative). It works! And remember this is a great bunch of people here with great compassion. We all want to see you enjoy life!


    Don’t worry about rubbing people the wrong way, we all understand! Actually, you seem to be doing better – I’ve noticed you are offering more advice to others rather than just turning each post into a question about your own situation. That is a step in the right direction! I used to obsess just like you do. I am a control freak! Eventually, I just had to say ‘the heck with it’ I accept this and I make a choice to live. I’m not going to get my path reports out, I’m not going to search the internet for articles anymore. Once I made that choice, and stayed away from those things for a while, it got much easier. Now I just get on here mainly to help new people and occasionally to get reassurance when I worry (usually around dx date – which was also July for me).


    Many of us were (and still are) just like you. Sorta stuck in a state of panic, waiting for the bomb to drop. I was there too, I just didn’t post a lot about it. It will get better with time, this second year, the third, etc.

    It does help to come on this forum and to give support to the newbies and to get some reassurance when you are having a bad day…..I find taking scheduled breaks from googling melanoma and even sometimes not coming on the forum helps. You have to fight your mind NOT to think about it.

    Enjoy the weekend and congrats on the 1 yr mark!



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