Friday, June 3, 2011

Irony is an Ironic Thing

The Funky Mole
 Since I've returned from vacation, I've been composing a few blog posts mentally.  I do that at times, hoping I'll remember my thoughts when I finally have time to put fingers to keyboard.  However, I thought I'd mention one quick personal thing that occurred before I start typing ideas from a few days ago.

I went to my GP today for my annual physical.  I'm always a little anxious before the exams because I have very high inherited triglycerides and cholesterol, and while I take my meds religiously, I don't follow the diets as I should.  However, this year, in addition to my normal anxiety, I was concerned about a few other ailments.

I'm happy to report that nothing major was found.  Those other ailments are mostly a result of me getting ever so close to age 50 and they have quick and easy fixes.  At the end of the exam, he mentioned one thing.  "I'd like to see you back in a week or have a funky looking mole we should probably remove and have analyzed."

This GP cut out a "funky mole" from my back a couple years ago that turned out to be my first thought was that this one might be nothing as well.  Afterall, I've had 2 full body screens by dermatologists in the last 8 months...wouldn't they have noticed this mole as well? 

The photo attached to this posting is "the" mole.  I have many...always have.  This one happens to be on the right side of my torso, about the third rib from the bottom.  As I look at this photo (which by the way, I'm VERY impressed at how good a photo my busted up camera took), I see asymetry, a relatively smooth border, a typical brown color, a size smaller than a pencil eraser, and no changes as this has been on my body for a while.  By the ol' ABCDE methodology, this mole should be fine.  Then again, I have over 50 moles on my body, I'm faired skinned, I have blonde hair and blue eyes, I've had several sunburns in my youth, and I used to use tanning beds in my mid-20's.  So, I should take this seriously. 

I'll either get it cut out and analyzed, or go back to my dermatologist for a second look before I have a chunk cut out.  Either way, it won't be ignored.  And you can bet you'll be kept updated.


  1. Hi,
    I had 2 of these removed - looked exactly like yours. I was surprised to hear these were Clark's nevi. I now have found another one in exactly the place you have yours. I think I'll have that one off too. I had a total of 3 Clark's nevi. I also had a Clark's level 4 melanoma removed at the end of March this year, so am being vigilant. I also have more than 50 moles (minus the 7 I've just had off) I think it's more accurate to say over 50 moles per square inch. I'm also fair haired, green eyed and have had many, many sunburns in my life.
    I think you have a great page and read faithfully. Keep fighting the good fight. You are not alone either.

  2. Carolyn,

    Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate the encouragement and hope th word is getting out to those that need to hear/read it!

    I had a mole removed a couple years ago. I think it was a dysplastic known as a Clark's Nevi. Honestly, I didn;t know what a Clark's nevi was until you mentioned it, so thanks for enlightening me! I suspect this mole will turn out to be the same thing. I'll be sure to let everyone know.

    Thanks again!

  3. Hi Al,
    Clark's nevi is the new term for dysplastic nevi. I guess they want to give this Clark guy all the credit for the bad stuff. I'd like to have every one of my moles removed as I don't trust what anyone says about them. The melanoma I had off, the family doc said it should be OK as there was good margins etc. NOT.
    I'd like to ask a question about your brother, I hope you don't mind. I know you said he had a melanoma removed - do you remember his Clarks' level and whether he had lymph node involvement? Also, when the melanoma returned, can you describe what happened? Did it recur on the same spot? I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so I keep vigilant. If you've written about this already, please direct me to the post. I know this can't be easy to do, but it really helps us out hear reading your posts. Thank you again.

  4. Hi Carolyn,
    My first posting ( summarizes what happened to my brother. Basically, he had melanoma on his back in 2004 and had it cut out. Melanoma returned as an inconspicuous dry spot on his face last spring. He didn't share much after that...implying that it had been removed as well. But then he had vision and memory problems that he brought up during a general exam late last summer, so after a scan, they discovered Stage 4 had metastisized to his brain and lungs. I always wondered if they (the docs) did enough when it reappeared in the spring...did they check lymph nodes...did they do any scans. He never told me and again, I assume that's the case. Anyhow, continue being vigilant and trust your own body to tell you if something's wrong.

  5. Thanks for your response. I just want to make sure I'm covering all my bases and I'm trying to listen to everyone's stories and experiences. It helps me make my decisions.