Fiancé is worried: Hi all, My darling fiancée... - Skin Cancer UK

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Fiancé is worried

JK74
JK74

Hi all,

My darling fiancée had 3 weeks ago a biopsy on her leg(just above ankle,just below calf). It was around .75 cm wide and dark. The doctor who extracted the mole said he had to cut deep to get it all out.

3 weeks on she has just received a call from the dermatology department for a appointment on Tuesday(thier choice not hers, it was ""earliest appointment available") to discuss the results.

They won't tell her the results over the phone, which understandably is causing her to worry.

From the people who had similar experiences on here, is it normal to be told it's fine over the phone or is standard practice they will only tell you when you go to your appointment?

I am trying to understand the ins/outs so I can help her emotional well-being during this time.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Kind regards,

Jon

3 Replies
oldestnewest
Hidden
Hidden

Hi Jon - I realise this is a year on since you posted this very caring post but sadly had no replies. I was just looking to find out the answer to same question. Hoping things worked out well for you both. My appointment has been expedited by 2 weeks as well and I’m trying not to fret so if you don’t mind letting me know the outcome that would be really helpful.

JK74
JK74
in reply to Hidden

Hi!

I totally feel for your situation. I will start off by saying, you are in safe hands! Its very scary and would not wish this on anyone. Situations differ, so yours may be minor to nothing, so don't read too much in to the situation, until you have been seen.

In our situation the communication was a mix up with their process. The letter was sent out 3 days AFTER the text messages, so by the time we had the consultation we got the letter through the door the next day. Even with this mix up, I am not complaining as they acted very quickly.

We both went to the appointment and were unfortunately told that she had Melanoma skin cancer. As I was doing my research prior to this I was armed with lots of questions (all the what if scenarios) that they were more than happy to answer on the day. Vicky's mole was classed as a 1A, which (I believe) is the lowest classification, slow growing but its the depth (the "roots") that classes the seriousness.

She was scheduled within 2 weeks for surgery to perform a wider extraction, best way of putting with my vocab is "erase, the entire area, to ensure nothing got out". She was asked if we wanted a skin graft or skin flap, due to its location we opted for the skin flap.

Vicky went in and had the operation (day release) and reshaped the calf and you know what you cannot tell from the shape that anything had happened! Excellent work was done. Sure there will be scaring but a year on its hardly noticeable. It took about 2 weeks to get back to normal, first 3 days was very slow as it was the leg, walking was difficult but within 5 days was nipping to the shops and by 2 weeks it was like it hadn't happened.

The extracted material was put under further growth studies to determine that all of the moles cancer was removed. After 6 weeks we were told they had got it all. However, if melanoma is diagnosed, it is not over. Constant vigilance is required. So Vicky has been seeing the specialist every 3 months to check on her skin to see if the lymph nodes are swelling or new moles have suddenly appeared. During this time, we got married, went to Florida on our honeymoon with our 4 year old daughter went to Disney, and never let anything stop us, we made sure we had sun block and covered up...and that is where we are now over a year later.

Sure, there are emotional ups and downs, but the important things I have learnt with Vicky's scenario that I believe you need to keep close to your heart regardless of outcome are:

1. You have acted on this. This means you have taken control of this, its not controlling you!

2. You are being seen/treated.

3. You will find strength you didn't know you had.

4. Do not read too much into Google. I had the hiccups for over an hour once and google diagnose me with Ebola ;). So DO NOT torture yourself. Stick to Macmillan and NHS sites to gather information so you are armed with facts not other peoples stories. Everyone is different.

5. I suggested that Vicky got some counselling (a proper shrink), she had 7 sessions and this helped tremendously as it restructured how to deal with the fear, fear is no longer an enemy with a megaphone screaming in the ear, rather a small voice that you listen to and manage.

In closing, although it wasn't me who had the cancer, I was part of the journey. I try to do the best support I can with the "tools" I have. The one main "tool" in my arsenal is that I am a nerd (facts/stats etc) and also sci-fi nerd and there is one quote from a classic book I always use and its this:

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Never has a truer line been written. Stick to the facts, everyone is different, your story will be very different to everyone else, get support not only from just here, but support your own emotional well being.

Let us know how you got on. Stay stong!

Sincerest Regards,

Jon

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to JK74

Thanks so much Jon. I’m so glad the outcome wasn’t too terrible although I’m sure it felt very scary indeed at the time. The only thing I’ve googled is the normal length of wait and also the named dermatologist on my letter as I’ve only ever seen mine so far and she’s an eminent professor.

I can find very little on either question hence finding your post here and asking for an update. I reckon what’s happened for me is a mix up too - or rather I’m being given this earlier appointment in a small local hospital on a Saturday morning in order to help clear clinic lists and improve waiting times. I feel sure that my prof would have contacted me or asked to see me sooner herself if anything particularly untoward had shown.

Take care- you and your wife ,

All the best,

Twitchy