Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Steve got the results back from the doctor today.  NED!!!!  We are so excited and relieved!  We are closing on our new house that we just had built on January 10th, I am going back to work sometime in January (after staying home for 2 1/2 years).  We have lots on our plate and NO time for melanoma!!

Before we met with the doctor, Steve had has 3 month dermatology check up.  Everything looked good overall, but there was one spot that looked worrisome to the derms. They did not like the "center clearing".  So, off it came via an 8mm punch.  The mole is on his right rib cage area. Here are some pics and video.


Waiting to see the derm

Small mole with "center clearing"

Administering Lidocaine

More Lidocaine

Numbed up

Steve's photos stored in the computer from last visit to compare to today's visit.

Starting the punch

Getting going

She had to stop and give more lidocaine because Steve could still feel it

Getting going again.

And it is gone!

Little mole with "center clearing" will be sent off to pathology.

Getting stitched up.

All stitched up.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

"3 month check up"

"Three month check up."  It sounds so simple.  It sounds so uneventful.  It sounds so routine. For cancer patients and their families, that could not be further from the truth.  Steve and I have many, many wonderful "melahomies" that understand this, yet we have so many friends and even family that do not have any idea what a "three month checkup" is to us.  They do not know because they have never experienced it.  It is no fault of theirs and we don't think any less of them.  Many people just have not had to walk this path.

So, what are 3 month checkups in our eyes?  Three month check ups are a daunting reminder of the life we now live.  The "3 month" window.  Steve's last scans in September showed him to be NED (no evidence of disease), so we celebrated the last few months by trying to forget about melanoma.  We just acted like it didnt exist.  I have poured my everything into melanoma awareness, fundraising, researching treatments, clinical trials, etc., these past 2 years and frankly I was just worn out.  I felt a little guilty for taking a step back (but definitely not out!) of the melanoma world.  I still read about and keep up with out melahomies, but overall, I have been absent from it all.  I couldn't tell you anything about the latest trials, I couldn't tell you when the next walk is, I'm not sure when the last time I posted melanoma/tanning bed information on my Facebook page.  I just really wanted to forget it all.  But, here it is again.  Our life stands still once again.  What does tomorrow hold for us?  What does next week hold for us?  Do we get to breathe another 3 months?  Will Steve suddenly be doing treatment again?  Will a surgery be in the near future?  So many unknowns that all fall in the hands of one day "3 month check up day".

Steve had his first set of scans this morning at MD Anderson.  He will have another set of scans tomorrow, a dermatology appointment, and then an appointment with his oncologist for results.  We are hoping for continued NED so we can "live" our lives another 3 months.  We are thankful to have great friends that spent the morning with us today at MD Anderson.  Between them and football today, it definitely kept our minds off things.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wide Excision Recovery

Many have asked how Steve's wounds from his wide excision surgery were healing, so I thought I would post a few pictures.  Also, I thought it would be good to have the pics on the blog for anyone that may be seeking information on the surgery and recovery process. 

The first few days Steve experienced mild pain.  He took a weak pain pill, but probably could have gotten by on Advil or Tylenol.

P.S.  Remember, I already know he is a hairy beast ;)

1 week post surgery - view of both cuts

View of lower cut - 1 week post surgery

Top cut - 1 week post surgery (this is the superglue they used starting to fall off)

9 days post surgery

Upper cut - 9 days post surgery

Lower cut - 9 days post surgery

Both cuts - 16 days post surgery

16 days post surgery - bottom cut

16 days post surgery - upper cut

Remember folks....love the skin you're in, see a dermatologist at least once a year, do monthly skin checks, wear sunscreen, seek shade, wear sunglasses, don't tan, take care of your skin!!!

I will try and remember to take pictures again in a week or two to show the final scars.