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July 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm #55181
Catherine, after your observation about reminding you of Toni, I went back and read many of Toni’s posts. And, yes, I think you’re correct, our lesions are very similar and much like Toni if I thought my risk was truly 1-5%, I could/would relax more. But, much like Toni’s observation of being male, VGP, dermal mitosis identified, trunk location, etc. . it seems there is data that would indicate a much higher risk. And, like Toni, I feel like we both are just trying to get at some sort of factual accurate information about our lesions. That seems to be the root of our anxiety is the seeming inability to ever get at a definitive answer as to true risk. Some may call it wanting to be in control of something uncontrollable, some may call it pointless worry cause it won’t change anything, etc. . but I totally get where Toni was coming from after reading his posts because I am coming from the same place. He was very much focused on data and information and studies and what that means as it applies to his case, and that’s where I’m coming from. Also, having very young kids, I also relate with him from that perspective too.July 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm #55182 You should really try to accept the fact that their are no guarantees of anything in life. Yes, you got melanoma and it is serious and can be deadly, but you caught it early. The odds are very much in your favor that as long as you pay attention to your skin and have routine check ups you should be fine. I think an attitude of optimism, instead of ” what if ” will help you deal with it so much easier. You know a lot of people come on here that are very scared and don’t know anything about this, like you do. You should feel very lucky, read some of the posts on the stage 3 & 4 Forums.July 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm #55183 I actually do read some of the stage 3 and 4 forums. But it’s a double edged sword. While it makes one feel fortunate to be at an earlier stage, it also reminds one of where an earlier stage could potentially end up at.July 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm #55184 With regard to no guarantees in life – I think part of what gets me about this is that in a sense I feel like I did this to myself with all the sunburns in my youth. I feel like I could have prevented all of this had I just not done that. So, while I know there are no guarantees in life, I feel like this is something I actually did have control over and due to my own actions I caused myself & my family to have to go through this, and it was all so preventable and unnecessary had I just been smarter, more aware, etc…about sun protection. I’m not saying something that was more of a “fluke” would be easier to deal with, but this just seems so much my own darn fault, so that also makes it very hard mentally to accept.July 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm #55185 Quit beating yourself up and move on. Everybody has done things, they wish they hadn’t. Accept it, cause you can’t change the past, you can only try to make better decisions now and in the future. Be positve, educate the young ones and people that don’ t know on what to expect and live your life one day at a time with no guarantees about anything, no matter how many questions you ask.July 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm #55186WorrywartParticipant Cohanja – I don’t think I know a single person who hasn’t had sunburns as a youth. But only a few get melanoma. Some people never get sunburns and STILL get melanoma. All you can do is take care of yourself now, take charge of your life now. Try to help people on this website, it will in turn help you. Doing for others brings goodness into your life. We are all at risk for things. Heart disease for example, there are people walking around who do things that increase their risk for heart disease and they probably have a higher risk of dying from heart attack then you do from this melanoma – but they don’t even think about it. Not saying it’s not right not to think about it, but just that we are all at risk of dying everyday. Heart attack, stroke, car accident, other cancer, other disease, etc etc. Risk if everywhere.July 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm #55187 Very good post Worrywart ! I totally agree !July 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm #55188Catherine PooleKeymaster Cohanja,
Toni finally left the forum because his obsessing over his melanoma and the “what ifs” were ruining his life at home. He was having relationship difficulties because of it and not having fun with his children anymore. He went to therapy, which can always be a good idea. And then he moved on. We were all happy for him to find that peace of mind. You do know that stressing and being depressed actually harms your brain and body systems. So it is good to not worry and be happy.July 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm #55189
” Don’t Worry Be Happy “, I think somebody did a song about that. Anyway, it’s not always that easy, but it’ll probably be healthier for you and the people around you to focus more on the bright side, can’t sing the blues everyday. Unless you can sing or play the guitar like BB King !!July 6, 2012 at 11:02 am #55190Catherine PooleKeymaster You’re correct that is from a song and I was annoyed when someone sent it to me newly diagnosed. But the worry just wears you down and isn’t a useful tool for healthiness. Living in the present moment is what I try to do, enjoy each little thing. Life is far too short.July 6, 2012 at 11:38 am #55191 Sure, I think that is a useful piece of advice for anyone & everyone in this world. But, I also think that specific groups of people, for instance those diagnosed with a potentially life threatening illness, will have more unique concerns and worries than the general population. Everyone knows we’ll all die of something and that life has risk, and all of those generalities. But, when something specific happens to an individual that threatens their life, then those statements have different meaning. When I used to hear someone say, “life is short, play hard” or “life is short, eat dessert first” or those kinds of things. . it was just like “ya, whatever, ok” . . but not it has literal meaning, like my life really could be much shorter than I ever thought.July 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm #55192 Well I don’t know what anybody can say to you to get you to stop feeling sorry for yourself . Nothing eases your mind and you question everything that is said.July 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm #55193 If I honestly analyze my own feelings, I really don’t think it’s a matter of feeling sorry for myself. Sure, I think it’s unfair. I also realize it could be a whole lot worse, so I also am grateful to an extend, but yet at the same time a little angry maybe that it wasn’t caught in-situ when I had been doing for annual derm exams so diligently, even though everyone told me I didn’t need to (if it makes sense to be grateful and angry at the same time). I’m not so much in a “whoa is me” state of feeling pity for myself as much as I just want to know exactly what it is I’m dealing with. Lower risk thin lesion, higher risk thin lesion, whatever. But, it just seems that melanoma is so tricky and so misunderstood and so little is really known about how it behaves that one just has to accept the fact that nobody really knows what it has done, is doing or will do in any of us. It will do what it will do. So, I guess the answer is just to have a plan for anything that might come next with it. I guess that more than anything else would put my mind at ease – be ready for what to do if/when it rears its ugly head again.July 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm #55194 I think the other thing is this: And, maybe this is not the appropriate use of this forum, but it almost acts like a personal diary. I get up every day, I go to work, I take care of my kids, etc. . so I’m functioning normally in everyday life. What I post here are really my inner thoughts and feelings, so to the people on this forum reading it probably seems like I’m worse off mentally than I really am. I think people tend to express their real feelings and thoughts more in a space like this, while they are not walking around every day through life at work, at home, etc. . doing the same thing. So, while it sometimes may seem by what we post here that we’re not functioning, we’re not getting on with life, etc. . . that may not be the case – it’s just that because we know that others here can identify with how we might be feeling, we share more here. I don’t know if that makes any sense.July 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm #55195wpatterson4Participant Cohan,
I doubt anyone understands your anxiety better than I do. This thing has ruined my life, and if I did have a wife and children, they probably would have left me by now. Therefore, I’m not simply going to tell you to “accept the risk and get on with your life.” However, I think you overestimate the risk you have. Even I would stop worrying (while remaining vigilant) if I’d had a sentinel lymph node biopsy that came up negative. The probability that your lesion metastasized is indeed low, so please consider the time you’re wasting in worrying about it.
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