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Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

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Old 08-25-2010, 09:26 AM   #1
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Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Okay, so hereís why Iím scared.

Went to the dermatologist for the first time because I was concerned about a nail stripe I had (turned out to be nothing). I had him check out a mole Iíd noticed on my right middle toe (on the side).

He gets this concerned look on his face and says ďyeah, we should probably get that off youĒ. When I emotionally recovered from that reaction I asked what it could be, and hereís what he said:

ďWell thatís not melanoma, RIGHT NOW.Ē
ďRight now, thatís an atypical nevus.Ē

Whatís concerning, no scaring the hell out of me is that to my knowledge, you canít just TELL the difference between an atypical mole and melanoma just by looking at it. And the fact he called it atypical means it shares visual characteristics with melanoma, which to me means IT LOOKS LIKE MELANOMA. I donít know if his use of the term ďright nowĒ was a definite or if he just wanted to ease my mind but with a disclaimer.

He did go on to say that it was ďunlikelyĒ to be anything serious and that I shouldnít worry (again, right now) but that we should remove it anyway because itís on a toe and Iím less likely to keep an eye on it.

Now Iím a professed hypochondriac, a condition I am actively seeking counseling for, but Iím in that dangerous state of mind where Iím second-guessing a medical professional.

Hereís the main reasons for my concerns-

-You canít confirm what an atypical nevus really is until you do an excision and biopsy, which I am scheduled for Monday.
-As far as the ABCDE criteria that seems to be popular:
-Itís not a perfect circle, but ovular. I CAN divide it in half and produce two identical sides. I donít know if symmetrical means you have to be evenly divide it no matter which way you look at it.
- Itís on the side of my toe, a place I donít typically look, so I have no idea if itís new, old but changed, or if itís been there all my life.
-The color seems to be uniform throughout most of it -very dark brown but lighter towards the edges. It could be black near the center, but that seems to depend on what light Iím in.
-To my eyes the borders seem fairly normal.
-It is smaller than 6mm (maybe 4-5mm) but I hear that doesnít matter over much.
-Its texture is the same as the skin around it.

The doc wanted to have it removed as soon as possible. I donít know if thatís because thereís a cause for alarm, or because he didnít think Iíd keep an eye on it being as itís in a usual place.

Iím not particularly at risk for melanoma, as other than a sunburn I remember having once as a kid, I donít fit the other factors. I donít spend much time outdoors in the sun, Iím not fair skinned (I am Asian so I have dark skin, dark eyes, dark hair), no family history of skin cancer. Other cancers, yes, but the dermatologist said it shouldnít matter in this case. I also only seem to have the one atypical mole, a fact that seems to be in debate as being either bad or good.

All my personal knowledge of melanoma comes from the internet which I am told is not always accurate. Ironic, as Iím asking online, yes?

Is there anything that can ease my worry in the meantime? I have to wait another five days until I get the thing cut off me and who knows how long after that to get the biopsy results. Iím not eating or sleeping well, and Iím absolutely consumed by this.

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Old 08-25-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Okay, yeah, you need to calm down and just breathe! I can "hear" the intensity in your voice and that is not going to help you at all!

First, let me tell you that I had a melanoma removed 3 1/2 years ago, and I did a lot of research, so I know a little about what I'm talking about. Second, it's been 3 1/2 years and I'm stick kicking - and plan to for a long, long time yet to come! Third, I've had "atypical nevi" and you know what? I've survived those, too!

The plain and simple fact is, something like 90% of the world's population have atypical moles (or nevi). It's just that the majority of them never know they do. An atypical mole simply means it's not typical, or normal. (Okay, that took a rocket scientist, right?) However, does a "not normal" mole mean it's cancerous? Absolutely NOT! People can live their entire lives with an atypical mole(s) and be just fine and healthy. No problems healthwise or with skin cancer whatsoever. And they may not even be at risk for any type of skin cancer. They simply have a mole that is atypical. Yet, people hear the word "atypical" and they think something's off. It's simply a medical term.

Now, there are two schools of thought in the medical community when it comes to atypical moles. One school of thought is to leave them alone, and to have the patient watch them for any changes in growth, color, bleeding, etc. It depends on the doctor, but this might also be done if a mole is easily seen, say on the arm or leg or front of the torso. If the mole is in a more difficult area to keep track of (say, on the back, behind the knee, between the toes), a doctor may opt to remove it and biopsy it.

The other school of thought on atypical moles is to simply remove them and biopsy them. Because atypical moles have a higher instance of turning into melanoma, there are some doctors who take this approach: it's best to remove it BEFORE it becomes a problem, then leave it and have the patient watch for the next 10, 20, 30 years and worry about it.

Which school of thought is better? They one YOU, as the patient, can live with. The melanoma I had did not develop from an existing mole. It developed on its own. I've had 6 moles that were considered atypical (and 2 that really, truly fit the textbook description of melanoma) removed and biopsied, and they came back negative. For me? I don't like being carved into and dealing with stitches, so unless I really have an odd feeling about a mole, I prefer to watch it. Other people want them cut off. If I did that, I'd feel as though I were being skinned alive and it's simply uncomfortable for me.

From what you have stated, you really don't have anything to worry about. Either your doctor is concerned that, due to the location of this mole, you will not be able to keep a close watch on it, or s/he may be of the school of thought that it's best to simply remove it. Either way, I'm inclined to go along with him/her. It's best to not fuss around with moles on the feet - they are difficult to monitor! You go in on Monday to have it removed, and that's great! The biopsy will probably be ready within a week or so after that (by mid-Sept), and I'm betting on everything turning out just fine. You state you are not at risk - being Asian with dark skin, eyes, and hair - and only having had one sunburn. I'm thinking you'll sail through this with flything colors!

So, relax, take a deep breath, enjoy your weekend, and simply go to your appointment on Monday. You're going to be fine!

Old 08-27-2010, 06:32 AM   #3
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Calm down, breathe, everything will be fine.

I know you are worried, like Chele, I can "hear" it in your post.

I just recently had two Atypical moles removed, one was mildly Atypical and one was severe. That basically means that one had a few abnormal cells and the other had more, BUT they were NOT cancer cells. They had the POTENTIAL to become cancer one day but nobody can say for sure if they ever would or not. I chose to have a wide excision on the severe and just a scrape on the mild one.

All is well now, everything went fine. You will fine as well.

Hang in there and enjoy the rest of summer! (with sunscreen of course!)

Old 08-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Folks, thanks very much for your feedback. My hysteria has lessened somewhat from your stories. I am grateful.

I lost my Dad at the end of 2008 to lymphoma and since then Iíve been terrified of cancer in general, and melanoma currently. I suppose I do sound a bit hysterical. Itís just that after youíve watched a loved one slowly die over the course of 3 years itís not hard to be running scared the entire time.

I hate ANYTHING coming up abnormal as regards to health because it trips my insanity button pretty fast. While other folks may say ďoh, I have to get a mole removed?Ē I automatically jump to ďOH GOD WHYĒ mode.

Iíve identified a couple more funny-looking moles since my visit Monday and one of them actually sent me screaming to another dermatologist who pronounced me fine. But then the next day I found ANOTHERÖwell, you get the idea.

Iíve actually spoken with my main dermatologist since then and he has assured me ďitís not melanomaĒ and that it is ďunlikelyĒ that I have anything really wrong with me. He has agreed to check out anything else Iím concerned about before my procedure Monday.

I am going to my first counseling session today to address my anxiety issues and panic disorder. Iím hoping a counselor can help me because this thing is starting to overrun my life. The word biopsy terrifies me and I canít focus on ANYTHING until I get that test reading BENIGN back.

I wonder if Iíll always be in a low but consistent state of panic because it seems that all the rules for detecting skin cancer are inconsistent at best. I donít want to have to run screaming to the dermatologist every time I donít know what a spot is. I never really paid much attention to moles until now. Half my hysteria is because I canít tell if a mole I have is new or old or changing. All Iíve been able to ascertain that theyíre all pretty much either one of two colors and I have a few in unusual areas. I hear this is common, so Iím choosing not to panic on this point.

Maybe the whole lesson in this is to start keeping an eye on things. I just donít know how to do so without flying into a panic.

The only good to come out of this whole thing is that itís reinforced how much I love my wife. Part of my anxiety comes not from getting sick (I think one day I will) itís putting her through what we went through with Pop and the possibility of leaving her alone. I am resolving to avoid going down that avenue of thought.

Again, thanks, all. Hereís my question to you in parting: are there any other pigmented entities on the human body that are NOT moles?

Old 08-30-2010, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Being concerned about your health is entirely normal. My maternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer, my maternal grandfather died of lung cancer, my father died from complications of prostate cancer, and my mother is a breast cancer survivor. I've had melanoma, so yeah, I get more than a little concerned. However, when I was diagnosed with melanoma, and felt myself going into panic mode (very, very easy to do!), I decided I could live my life as a slave to cancer or I could live my life for me - and enjoy every last second of it! Cancer is always a concern, and I take precautions, eat well, exercise, and see my doctors regularly. But my life is MY LIFE, NOT cancer's. I refuse to live in fear and with "what if's." You will find a lot of us who have had cancer feel the same way.

I wish you well with your couseling. Hopefully, your counselor can help you find a place of peace with your anxiety and fears - it must be very uncomfortable for you. You can overcome this!

There are all kinds of things on the skin that are different colored that are not moles and not cancerous. You would be amazed! I'm not sure what the medical terms are for these things, but there are a bunch! A common one is skin tags - harmless, but they can be annoying. Some people are subject to keloids, which again can be harmless. I personally get small patches of off-colored skin that crop up in various places that the dermatologist freezes off - they are due to age, unfortunately. Then there are age spots (used to be called "liver spots" when I was younger). Birthmarks are another. Some of these are caused from healing, others are caused from the aging process, some are genetic. Moles are but one type of pigmented mark on the skin - there are many, many more! (And most are not cancerous!)

Good luck and keep us posted!

Old 08-31-2010, 08:16 AM   #6
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Had the mole on my toe removed last night. While I was there, I had the surgeon take a look at three more suspicious (in my opinion) marks on my body.

-What looks like a bloody spot or bruise under a toenail. I jacked my toe pretty hard months ago and had bleeding, thought it was broken, etc. I had thought it had healed but now I have a little bloody spot. So of course I think it's acral lentignous melanoma, the type that seems prevalent in Asians. I've had a GP/derm look at it, and the surgeon look at it and the consensus is that it's a hematoma (blood bruise) but I should also just watch it. No nail streak, I was just wondering why it would take this long to appear and why it wouldn't have grown out by now. It's possible the bruise was under my nauil fold and is just now presenting. I do think it's growing out so perhaps I am worrying about nothing.

-Tiny dark brown mole on my ribs. My main concern is that I don't recall there being one before. Again, doc says to keep an eye on it. Wife says she thinks it's been there all the while. Choosing not to worry at this time.

-Weird shaped mark on a SENSITIVE AREA. It's one of those moles where i can't really tell the size as it's on skin that stretches for you to have to look at it. I personally didn't think it looked like a a macule or lentigne, maybe. But doc says it looks like a mole so he takes a punch biopsy. Was hoping he could dismiss it on sight, but I suppose it's wiser to check.

So, they say I should have biopsy results in a week. I'm planning to call earlier in hopes I won't have to spend Labor Day on edge.

Meanwhile my fear has only increased. Still having trouble eating and waking up to a pounding heart each morning. I'm terrified as every nightmare scenario possible is running through my head. I'm replaying every single thing a doctor has said to me over the last week, trying to extract some additional hope or reassurance:

-"You're at a very low risk", "you shouldn't worry", "I don't see anything suspicious or concerning". These statements seem banal as again, i don't think docs can tell a mole is "safe" just by looking at it. Also, risk factors seem ineffectual as criteria as I keep hearing stories of folk who get cancer without ANY of the risk factors. I suppose that's what scares me about cancer most of all: the fact you can just GET IT and sometimes you don't know until it's too late.

-"Even if you didn't know what melanoma was, you'd probably know something was wrong with you" this from my dermatologist. I am confused by this one.

-"The ABCDE criteria is more of a public awareness message than actual scientific control". This seems to ring true as aytipcal moles meet at least one or all of the criteria and can just be atypical. Of course it now seems to me that there's just no way of knowing beforehand.

I'm terrified of mainly the following:

-The fact that sometimes melanoma doesn't present itself until it's advanced. Every ache and pain I've acquired in the last month is now worrying me because I'm convinced it's due to metastasis. I have lower back pain that is due most likely to the fact I am front heavy and I have bad posture, but still it trips my worry button. Also I lost something like 20 pounds in the last 6-7 months without even remotely trying...unexplained weight loss worries me.

-Currently, there's more proof I HAVE melanoma than NOT. Only reassurances I don't thus far are the statistics, personal testimonies from friends about THEIR atypical moles, and doctors' conjecture. None of which are hard proof. The fact I had to have something REMOVED and now being TESTED is shaking me. I've had excisions before, but it was for things definitely ruled out as noncancerous BEFORE (cysts and whatnot).

I'm starting to realize why I'm really freaking out. I think deep down inside me I know things are going to be okay, but I was raised to always prepare myself for a worst-case scenario.

In this instance, the worst case-scenario is I find out I have months to live and I just can't deal with that. In my mind I keep seeing multiple hopsital trips, treatment sessions, chemotherapy, surgery, disfigurement, the increasing misery and dwindling hope of my loved ones, and then dying. It keeps playing out in my mind 24/7. At the same time, all of the plans my wife and I have for the future now seem to have a tentative quality. It's all in doubt...having kids, making it as an artist, growing old together.

Realizing that if I did indeed die in the next few years, she'd still be young enough to move on with her life and that she'd have to forget about me in order to be happy. That i'd have to become nothing more than a memory to her.

That's a dark place I just went to, and I'm sorry. I don't mean to bum people out, but this is what I'm facing at present. All signs point to me overreacting, but this is my personal nightmare and it's hard to deal with.

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Old 08-31-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Does your wife know you have these anxieties? How does she handle it?

Seriously, let me give you some background on myself and my experience:

I am 50 years old and have been raised and living in So Cal. I am caucasion - auburn hair, fair skinned, freckles, moles. In my teens/20s I was the typical So Cal "beach bunny" - I lived for that perfect tan. Every day that I could, I was at the beach, out on the sand, trying for that ever deeper brown color. Now, it didn't matter that I ALWAYS burned first - and I experienced some pretty severe sunburns in my teens/20s - it would usually turn tan. It didn't matter that I was damaging my skin. I had to be tan!!!

In my 30s, the message finally got through my thick skull that I could be at risk for: sun damage, basal cell and squamous cell cancers, and melanoma. I stopped actively seeking a tan, but I didn't really take precautions, either. At the time I had 3 moles on my upper torso that so perfectly fit the ABCDE of melanoma. They had been there "forever," but I still kept watching them, ever fearful they would turn into melanoma because, with my past history of sunworshipping and sunburns and my fair skin and moles, I am a candidate. I finally got tired of watching these 3 moles, and having doctors tell me they were "nothing." They were big, jagged, bumpy, irregularly colored moles - exactly what you would see if you looked up "melanoma samples" on the internet. So, I demanded my doctor remove them. He did so reluctantly and did a biopsy. The result? All three were negative for cancer. They were simply atypical. Whew!

Then, in late October 2006, when I was getting out of the shower, I happened to notice a tiny freckle on my left knee. Now, I have tons of freckles all over my body, so why should this one lone freckle stand out? I've absolutely no idea. But a few days later, again while coming out of the shower, I looked at the spot and it seemed to be just a smidge bigger and just a bit darker - or did it? I decided to watch it. And yes, gradually, this freckle did get larger and darker - but, that is how moles can develop and I have lots of those. So, again, why would I notice? I don't know.

By the beginning of December 2006, this "mole" was now about 1/8" round, perfectly symetrical, exceptionally sharp, crisp border, and dark brown. Nothing about fit the ABCDE of melanoma. Still, something about it just didn't sit right with me. At my annual physical in January 2007, I brought it up to my doctor, and she agreed it was probably nothing, but we should remove it and biopsy it. I made the appointment for 2/21/07 for removal.

On 2/23/07, I received a call from my doctor: the biopsy came back, and it was malignant melanoma. I'll never forget hearing that. Not even if I live to be 100. After that, things moved very quickly. I was referred to a surgeon, who I saw on 3/5/07. Surgery was scheduled 3/27/07. And now, I have a lovely 3" scar on my left knee as a permanent reminder of the experience. (As if I would ever forget!)

For 3 years I saw a dermatologist/gp every 3 months for a skin check. I've had several moles removed "just to be sure." I find it uncomfortable to be carved up, so unless it really is necessary, I'd rather not. Now, I see my dermatologist twice a year. After 2012, I will see her once a year. I've learned how to give myself a skin check, what to look for, what is "odd."

At first, I connected with a lot of melanoma sites, and what I confronted was frightening. People who had originally had stage I melanoma (what I had), who did their skin checks, thought all was okay, only to have melanoma re-enter their lives 5, 10, 15 years later as stage IV. THAT'S the frightening part of melanoma. THAT'S the part that will haunt your dreams. Finding something on your skin and having it removed? That's the easy part! It's learning to live with the idea that this beast may come back - and sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. And that's how one determines how they will live their life. Sure, I could dwell on it. Think about what "may" happen in another 10 years. But I refuse to live in fear - that's the same as saying the cancer has won. Besides, it may never happen. And I OWE it to myself and my husband to live my life to the fullest I can.

You will never, ever hear me say I am a "cancer survivor." I never use the words "survived melanoma." Because I don't feel as though I have. I know the doctors say that in the early stages melanoma is "curable" with surgery. The truth is melanoma can return 10 or more years later. That's something doctors never talk about. Melanoma is one of the cancers that never goes into remission. There really is not 5 year mark and you are "cured" like there is with other cancers. The doctors talk about 5 year survival rates and then 10 year survival rates. But there are no "cure" rates or "remission" rates with melanoma. There is only NED (No Evidence of Disease). It's something we who have had melanoma live for. BTW, the American Red Cross will not accept blood from people who have had melanoma - did you know that? Doesn't matter how many years have passed, either. You had it, they will not accept your blood donation.

Now, you want to talk about living with fear??? These are the types of things I've had to deal with and reconcile in my mind over the past 3 years - and still have to fight going forward into the future. I can truly understand a fear of not surviving and of leaving loved ones behind and not being there for them. I can understand and relate to the feeling of the possibility of dying while one is still in their prime of life. And believe me, I've encountered so many of stories of individuals who have battled melanoma and lost the fight. It is a tragic cancer, and one that research for simply does not receive much funding.

I simply cannot express to you strongly enough to wait until you have the results back from your biopsy before you let worry consume. Also, really take a look at the risk factors for melanoma - do you fall into those risk categories? Fair skin, fair hair, excessive sun exposure? If not, your chances for melanoma lessen greatly. It's important to keep in mind that, while melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers, it is almost the least common. Basal cell and squamous cell are by far the most common. And the easiest to combat.

I know this is long, and I know there are probably some scary things in this, but those of us who have had melanoma face some truly scary stuff. My advice to ANYONE facing a biopsy is to get the results FIRST. More often than not, the results will be negative for cancer - most biopsies are. Working up a worried frenzy is not going to help.

I really think you are going to be fine. It sounds as though your doctor has done the right things, but is not overly worried, and it doesn't sound as if there really is anything to be worried about.

Old 09-07-2010, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Biopsy results came back and both samples were totally benign. Not even any atypia, from the sound of it. They just looked funny.

Thank you all for your words and support. These have been the darkest two weeks of my life, and it feels good to be out in the sun again (figuratively speaking of course).

Therapy's helped me a great deal and I'm starting to see where my perception of threat's been altered from my personal history. I'm so scared of losing someone or leaving someone I love alone that I tend to go overboard when it comes to ao perceived danger. I remain vigilant, but do so with a healthier outlook.

To those of you who are scared, fighting or surving, my heart remains with you all. may God bless you and keep you and know that there's ALWAYS HOPE. That the book is never shut.

This is goodbye for now, and hopefully I won't be posting here again out of panic. I've decided I am going to stop going to the internet for reassurance when I'm concerned about something. Save for this board and its inhabitants, it's led to nothing but misery.

Love to you all.

Old 10-20-2010, 11:20 PM   #9
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

DC1977 Hi!!!!!!! how did your mole turn out. I am going through the same thing and i too am a hypochondriac.

I found a mole about 3-4 mm on the side of my big toe. THe skin there is the same as the skin on my foot sole. i made a couple appointments for next week at first week of november. I am soooo worried. I have an exam at 8 am and here i am looking up melanoma.

i am supper nervous because Acral Lentiginous Melanoma usually starts on foot soles and palms and nail beds and is more common amoung asians and blacks. and i'm asian! (((((((((((

its also really dark in color.

i know theres nothing i can do until i see a doctor. if it is melanoma at least it is (hopefully) in the first stage. murrrrrr ..... and i too had a parent who had a longgg struggle with cancer. so anything abnormal makes me feel like my life is flashing before my eyes and i need to write a letter to everyone.

im so anxious..

Old 10-25-2010, 08:37 AM   #10
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Re: Help Please...going out of My mind with Worry about Atypical mole.

Hi there. Sorry it took me a while to respond.

I know where you are, emotionally. As you may have read above, it was a very dark time for me, to go through what you are going through now. Thereís nothing worse than fearing the unknown and the unusual.

But I got help and I am a lot better now. Iím hoping I can give you some encouragement too. If I can, I think going through what I went through will be worth it.

My moles (had more than one) turned out to be completely benign. And I mean completely. It surprised the doctor, frankly, as he was sure there would be some dysplastic cells. Turned out, they were just atypical.

The big thing Iíve learned since then is that there is a clear difference between ďatypicalĒ and ďdysplasticĒ qualities in mole. Atypical just means it doesnít look like a normal mole. Thatís all. Appearance. The physical qualities the ABCD criteria have you look for are guidelines because atypical moles are more likely to have dysplastic cells.

Dysplastic means that the cells in said mole are unusual. Again, this does not mean you have skin cancer, just that thereís a higher risk. And higher risk does not mean you WILL get cancer, just that you need to be mindful.

Iíve found some more interesting spots on my body since then, and Iíve had the fortune of getting everything checked out by two medical professionals (my dermatologist and the dermatological surgeon). So far, all clear. I have even been pronounced to have ďboringĒ skin.

Speaking of ALM in particular, it does sound frightening, yes? That was the main reason I had my toe mole removed, as the doctor said. I took the opportunity to get some facts:

-Just having a mole on your toe does not mean ALM. Itís unusual to get a mole there, true, but not impossible. You can get moles anywhere. Its mere presence does not indicate skin cancer. Mine was between the toes, and the doc told me it was removed because Iíd be less likely to keep an eye on it if it did start changing or whatnot. It was the scariest thing on me, the doctor said in my follow up, but even so it turned out to be absolutely nothing.

-Yes, Asians, Africans, and other darker-skinned races are more likely to get ALM, but Ėand here is the important part- thatís if they get it at all. ALM accounts for about 6% of ALL melanoma cases. And melanoma, as Chele mentioned above, is a rarer form of skin cancer, as compared to basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. So, weíre looking getting an uncommon variation of an already uncommon disease. Itís not impossible, which is why youíre getting checked out (unfortunately thereís nothing that can make cancer impossible, just very unlikely), but the odds are in your favor.

-Having a symptom doesnít mean you have the disease, something every hypochondriac (myself included) would do well to remember. Iíve had two additional symptoms of ALM since, one which sent me screaming to another doctor. I had a dark spot under a toenail (turned out to be a hematoma, and has currently grown out of my nail) and dark spots on the sole of my foot (pressure discoloration- this was gained on the foot I had the initial surgery on and since Iím a heavier person, and was walking funny already, this was an easy diagnosis).

So end result is: seeing your doctor is a good thing. Itís always best to consult a professional if youíre worried about something. But as of right now, it doesnít sound you have anything to worry about. You have a mole. Is it in an unusual place? Yes, but my own personal experience tells me that quality alone doesnít mean you have a horrible disease.

Also, my personal advice is stay off the internet when it comes to checking symptoms. Iíve had to promise my wife this. Are there legitimate websites for medical advice? Sure there are, but remember this: they canít check your symptoms. Every body is different and our perception of a symptom may be different than the ďuniversalĒ norm. The best case scenario in self-diagnosis is that youíre terrified in the time before you see an actual medical professional.

I know itís a rough time right now. My heart goes out to you, as Iím still sort of recovering. But the thing to remember is this: as of this moment, right now, you do not have any sort of disease. Itís true, one day a doctor may tell you different, but thatís then, if it happens at all. Right now, today is what you want to focus on. Hard to do, I know, but speculating will just make you miserable. Donít fear what doesnít exist at this time. And as far as the odds go, your chance of having a terrible disease is outweighed by the chance youíre fine, healthy, and have a good life to look forward to.

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