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Old 05-27-2009, 05:58 AM   #1
teskak
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How do you deal with uncertainty?

I have been a long time lurker of the boards, watching & admiring posters as they go through thier journies with illnesses.

Well, yesterday at the dentist for my annual checkup he noticed some pigmentation that he did not mention in his notes from other checkups. His comment was that it could be due to a varicous vein below the surface or the very very small chance it was the primary site for an oral melanoma, and he referred me to an oral surgeon for a clearer diagnosis.

Well, melanoma is a nasty disease at the best of times, with statistics quoting a 7% survival at 5 years. Not something I really want to countenance and even though the cancer is exceptionally rare (1.5 in every 10 million per year), and usually found when very large (my skin pigmentation is 2mm by 3mm), I spent an awful night and was distraught when calling for an appointment - especially when the first comment was a 3 week wait!!

My original dentist found out how distressed I was when I called to check up on the progress of the referral letter, and he then spent a bit of time explaining why he referred (abundance of caution) and that it would be exceptionally unlikely I had the melanoma - but he knows his professional limits and wanted to refer it to soembody with more knowledge than himself.

I feel a bit better now, but I still have periods of worry. My family history with cancer was my mother died of glioblastoma 2 weeks after diagnosis & my father was lucky and died of pneumonia just at the time his mesothelioma was diagnosed, so he did not have to go through that personal hell.

My question for those who are facing these battles every day, how do you deal with the uncertainty of it all?
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
Pea-n-Me
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Quote:
melanoma is a nasty disease at the best of times, with statistics quoting a 7% survival at 5 years. Not something I really want to countenance and even though the cancer is exceptionally rare (1.5 in every 10 million per year), and usually found when very large (my skin pigmentation is 2mm by 3mm), I spent an awful night
I say this in all seriousness. Stay off the internet until and unless you are actually dealing with something for sure. Reading about something you "might" have can be terrifying. It's often a lot better when you have a doctor explaining things to you in person when and if you have something. Hang in.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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I can empathize. I've had some skin biopsies over the years and much as it's easy to say "don't worry about it", I know how hard it is not to imagine the worst case scenario.

Let's hope that you hear "benign" once the test results come back.
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