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I post the following in the hope that it may be helpful to those of us, for whom melanoma is present or likely.

disclaimer: I know a little about Cancer, as - 1st wife diagnosed with liver cancer, 12 days later dead. 2nd wife, breast cancer, mastectomy, survived, but unfortunately they also removed her personality. And our good friend now gone, the Australian known as DumSoda, throat cancer. Also a mate from prostate cancer, years ago.

I got a mole on my back that got itchy in June last year. So what.

Went around the South Island in November and the mole got bigger due to being compressed in driver seat most days.

Saw the Doctor early December. Quickly (for NZ) they excised it and an almond shaped piece of skin, about 8cm x 5cm, all tissue above the fat layer removed. In January.

It was tested, Whoo Hoo! Heads looked up from their work, across the health system, one thing about the NZ health system is that when it's needed, it moves quickly.

Next was, back to the operating theatre and they took another, like sized bit of skin and mole, from the other side of the back, also a bigger 20cm x 25cm slab from the original site. And a handful of lymph nodes from right armpit.

But what is interesting to me, is the tests I've had, all involving the giant big Donut machine.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy test was, inject me with a tracer (Iodine I think) and watch it, via 2 hrs on the Donut Machine, go to where it gets to, in the Lymphatic system.

PET/CT scan is where they fly up some radioactive tracer (Glucose I think) from Wellington, because there's only one Cyclotron in NZ, and it's half life is 4 hours. Then I'm radioactive and they do the Donut machine again. Warned to stay away from pregnant women and children afterwards.

And they let me access the pictures! as a matter of right.

Though I'm sensible enough not to draw conclusions from what I can see, this could be problematic for them, in the future if an ingrate decides to argue about them. I did note the amount of fat in my abdominal wall.

For prurient interest I enclose a couple of screen grabs below:

 

Abdomen.thumb.jpg.8cfdb76a9adb1ba81c572d875894ba83.jpg

 

head.jpg.c829d16d22306e13a1f2e0bccf5cc2bc.jpg

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7 hours ago, Coss said:

I should note for our Yankee Doodle friends, all of this, is free of charge.

Whilst most of the world looks at the UK NHS with envy it is worth noting that NZ Social Healthcare was formed ten years before the UK.

Damn right Kiwis are proud of it

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's blardy good!

My PET scans came back, clear of cancer, shit hot!

But the surgeon (she's a girlie, petite and perspicacious) must have taken a liking to me and has scheduled me for a Lymphadenectomy wherein the remaining Lymph nodes and all associated tubery, will be dissected from right armpit and environs.

Yay, general anaesthetic, I like 'em, now that I drink infrequently, very relaxing. Michael Jackson was on to something here.  

 

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