My surgeon is out of town for three weeks (I guess even surgical oncologists can have vacations), so I'll be receiving the results from his Physician's Assistant, who I met briefly after surgery.
I am trying to steel myself for what I will hear today, but it isn't easy. If my nodes are clear, that will be amazing! Then, I'll just need a recommendation for a dermatologist who specializes in melanoma, because I can't go back to my current dermatologist who is predominantly a cosmetic dermatologist. I have no complaints with how he handled my case, but it's time to move on.
If the nodes aren't clear, I guess it's a whole different ball of wax, and I'm going to have to get very serious. I'm weighing my options. I have been referred to a very highly regarded melanoma oncologist in Chicago, who is affiliated with the Loyola Medical Center. Although this doc is highly regarded in the melanoma world, Loyola is not a comprehensive cancer center. I have the option of moving my care to Northwestern Memorial (Lurie) or The University of Chicago, which do have comprehensive cancer centers and doctors who are experts in melanoma. Many melanoma patients choose to be cared for at top cancer programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, MD Anderson, or Dana Farber, but given the fact I live near high quality programs in the Chicago area, I'm having a hard time justifying travel expenses for those programs.
I honestly don't know what I'm going to do if those darn nodes aren't clean and I am hoping against all hope that I don't have to find out later today.
Fingers crossed. Praying. Hoping. Staying focused.