Posted by: cg00n | April 27, 2008

What did I do wrong?

There is no point in blaming anyone for the fact that this melanoma became serious, but it is hard for me to avoid asking myself:  how did this come about?  I’ve heard all  the little skin blemishes turning into life threatening disease stories many times.  How could this happen to me?

For at least the last 15 years I have had annual checkups with my doctor.  Blood has been taken and tested for whatever it is they test it for.  My prostate gland has been checked (I hate that!) every time and I have been poked, prodded, stethascoped and blood pressure tested.  The only thing I can recall that came up repeatedly was a slightly high cholesterol level.  The last checkup was October 2007 and I got a clean bill of health.

Starting about 25 years ago I began to get a brown patch in the centre of my chest.  It darkened and grew gradually until it was an irregular shape maybe 2cm tall by 1cm wide.  I assumed it was just some sort of odd pigmentation thing and ignored it.  Eventually I did get around to asking the doctor about it.  She reckoned it was maybe some kind of yeast infection or something benign.  We left it alone, and some years later it began to rise up from the skin.  I discovered that it was possible to scrape portions of it off leaving clean (athough abraded) skin below.   I talked to the doctor again and her take was that it was probably the effect of my body rejecting this “infection”.  Eventually it all peeled off.  The area is still somewhat prone to something like folliculitis, but there seem to be no other negative effects.

Some years ago (6? 8?) I noticed a weird brown freckle appearing on my left forearm.  I promptly made an appointment with the doctor who looked at it, didn’t think it looked dangerous but referred me to the dermatologist just to be sure.  He peered at it closely and said it was nothing to worry about.  While he was at it he looked at other little patches around my arms, torso and neck.  At that time he said he could see nothing that he felt a need to “cut”, which was fine by me.  I don’t think he looked at my feet.

So, what am I to make of a fairly large, dark, regularly shaped, unchanging freckle that has been with me for longer than I can recall?  Should I have asked earlier?  What about all the other little brown spots around my body?  Should the dermatologist have taken the extra 5 minutes to look over my entire body?  Comments, please, on what lessons (if any) could be learned from all this.



  1. Good detective work that you caught it when you did, and didn’t leave it longer. When life is busy with building a house by the sea, raising a teenager, it is common to let our own needs slide. I’m glad you looked into this regularly shaped freckle when it started to make its presence known.

  2. I seem to be prone to basal cell irregularities. I notice that a patch of skin is not healing from some minor, unremembered abrasion or whatever, and take it to a dermatologist for a looksee. I have a patch on my hand that will be seen midmonth.

    Then there’s the psoriasis checkup.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: