Jane Gardner: Melanoma

Jane Gardner: Melanoma


Breast cancer is the
number one killer of women in their
40s and early 50s, but I made it to the
10-year survival mark. And then I found these
little black mole on the underside
of my other breast. On Christmas Eve
2009, we got the news from plastic surgeon
Dr. Larry Colen, the biopsy showed melanoma. When my mother Polly Carey
was in nurse’s training, they called it deadly melanoma,
because this skin cancer was almost always fatal by
the time it was diagnosed. I was so lucky. Mine was found really early. Dr. Colen went back in. He took out a wide area of skin. He got clean margins, and
we were done with that one. It is now the spring of 2015. I feel great. We are planning a
cruise to Alaska. Gary’s young cousin is getting
married in Virginia Beach I buy this dress for the wedding. But then what I think is IBS,
irritable bowel syndrome, one of the side effects of the
breast cancer chemotherapy, really flares up. A month later, the cousin’s
wedding, the dress, which had fit fine
a month before, does not fit over my belly. The old health
reporter starts trying to diagnose herself, Googles
bloating and abdominal pain. After a number of hits for
IBS, oh, bladder disease comes up on my Google search. Of course, that’s what it was. Dr. [? McCollum ?] told us what
the chemotherapy options were, and he advised
the one that would be least likely to add
to the painful neuropathy that the breast
cancer treatment had caused in my feet and hands. Chemotherapy treatment once
every week for four months.

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