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A month ago, my wife told me she had made an appointment for us at the dermatologist. I told her I didn’t want to go; it was a waste of my time. I’d been to a dermatologist a year ago, and she had treated the sun damage on my face and hands. My wife insisted, however, and I went along. Good thing I did. The doctor did a full body inspection and spotted a small growth on my back between my shoulder blades. She clipped it off and sent it to a lab for a biopsy. I never thought another thing about it until one week later, when they called to tell me it was a melanoma.


The dermatologist directed me to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. That was a two-hour drive north from our winter home on hurricane battered Boca Grande. Full of trepidation, we made an appointment with Moffitt, and a week later met with a surgeon. He explained the procedure I needed, and we were scheduled in for the surgical procedure a week hence to determine if the cancer was growing and spreading into my lymph nodes. When the surgery was completed, I had twelve stitches in my back and surprisingly little pain. The doctor and the staff were first rate. I would hear in ten days the results of the pathology report.


Ten days later, we had a Zoom meeting with the doctor. He told me the cancer had not spread and I was out of the woods. The whole experience left me with the highest regard for the Moffitt Cancer Center. They were great. Finally, the surgeon suggested that all my children and grandchildren be checked regularly by a dermatologist. That’s good advice for everyone.

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