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The beginning, I guess

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

Yesterday I received the attached diagnosis. Metastatic melanoma. I am 37 years old. I have had no symptoms other than lumps on my back that were previously considered cysts. I exercise regularly, I don't smoke, I drink very rarely. I take fiber supplements, I moisturize my skin and wear SPF 30 on my face if I leave the house. None of that matters now.

All we know now is that it's likely I have a cancer that has metastasized, but they don't know what kind or where or how bad. All they know is it's urgent.

The results I got were from a "cyst" (now known to be a malignant melanoma) removed from my shoulder on August 5. Yesterday I went straight from the surgical follow-up to the hospital where I met with a doctor who checked all my lymph nodes (found nothing important), felt for my liver and spleen (nothing obvious, which is good), and ultimately took biopsies of a bump on my back (assumed to be another melanoma) and a mole on my scalp that I didn't even know I had. They stapled me shut where they took the biopsies, and here's some insider information: I don't recommend getting stapled. It hurts just as much as you'd think! Let's hope I don't have to go through any metal detectors in the next two weeks.

Anyway, now we wait. I have appointments on September 1: The first is financial counseling (seeing that made me cry more than the actual diagnosis so far, I hate this stupid country) -- then a consultation with an oncologist at the cancer center, then later that day a follow up on the biopsies where I will get the staples removed. Somewhere in there, or afterward, I will have an MRI and a PET scan to try to find what is happening where within me.

The only symptoms I've had since are pain from the biopsy sites, the fact that my initial shoulder site is not healing properly (apparently expected, cancerous skin is bad at healing), and loss of appetite, the latter of which I am 99.9999% sure is due to the fact that I am incomprehensibly scared, angry, and sad.

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