My Treasonous Back

First it was the great L4-5 Disc Rebellion of 2010 and this January marked the terrifying Melanomic Insurrection of 2012.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think my back is trying to kill me.

Make sure you check your moles often and get anything you find suspicious cut out ASAP.

Mine was full blown Malignant Melanoma, though only Stage T1a (.79mm Breslow thickness, Clark level III, non-ulcerated, 0/mm2 mitoses, absent Angioinvasion & Neurotropism) – but a mighty scare, nevertheless. It’s out now and I have a >90% chance I’ll be ok, but you don’t seem to know its in your lymph nodes until its too late.  Needless to say, I’ll be watching these other little f_ckers with an eagle eye from this point on.

Ironically, the country that probably wrecked my disc with manual labour, is also the country that most likely poisoned my mole with UV… Australia!

Scary stuff.  All this talk of us wearing our ADRs out, when there is a high probability they will outlast us!

The incision hurt like heck until about the 4th day post-op. They did end up going pretty deep and wide on the re-excision just to be safe. The scar is a little bigger and WAY uglier than my ADR incision. It’s crazy that a tumour less than .80mm thick calls for an excision like this!

I wasn’t sure I should post this on my site, but I think it is very important for us ADR patients to think as far down the road as you can.  I hadn’t really thought about the repercussions of ADR with any other life-threatening conditions years down the road, but I sure as hell did last week.  It’s great to lessen our back pain, but can an artificial disc increase our likelihood of adverse reactions if ever immunosuppressed?  This is an important question to address for peeps like us!

Feb 28th Update – I got the results back from my re-excision and the margins are all clear.  My follow-ups are now only every 6 months for the next year or so.  Thank god!


6 thoughts on “My Treasonous Back

  1. Hi Brett,
    Omg, I am sorry to hear about your news. Yes Australia has some pretty deadly sun here and it is only getting worse with climate change. It is so good you got it removed right away, and that was just an isolated case of bad luck. All the best mate. Im sure 2012 will bring you back your health and life again. And you’re right, there is no point worrying about the longevity of an ADR beyond the usual concerns, esp when anything can happen. Cant wait to see you in the hockey rink :)!

  2. No worries, Tennis Kid. The doc was pretty sure everything will be ok this time around, but we’re going to have to keep an eye on the rest of them.

    And I thought it was just the snakes, spiders, crocs, sharks and jellyfish that want you dead in Oz, but the sun is out to get you too! LOL. Really, there’s no way of knowing that was what got me… I was just making an educated guess as I soaked up some rays while I was there – though always preceded by a slip, slop, slap.

    Seriously though, I’d move back in a heartbeat… down under rocks. I hope your recovery is spot on so far! 🙂

    • Hey mate…. Your homeland is pretty awesome too :)! Glad you had a great time down under, even though it is a Jumanji!! Mother nature does rule supreme here. I am glad your doctor has confirmed that this is just a minor bump in the road. Fair cop alright! Have a good week mate! :)!

  3. Good Lord! Man, that is some scary stuff. Glad you found it early. You’re right about the discs outliving people. We’ve got all kinds of other stuff to worry about when we get over 40. Ugh! Glad your back is in great shape. Time to focus on “other” stuff I guess. 🙂


  4. Gday Banny,

    Strewth! What can go wrong, will, ey?

    Fair cop mate.

    Hope it’s the first and last you time to you have to talk to a doc about the c word.

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