What to do

I started looking for information, finding sites on skin cancer. None of the information seemed to fit. My lump was on the sole of my foot, and was not pigmented. But pages on staging and prognosis did not give me very positive thoughts. As far as I could see, the tumour was over 4mm thick, but without metastases, and therefore was stage IIB, which meant that I had a 60% chance of surviving 10 years. I consoled myself with the fact that my lump looked and sounded nothing like what I had read about.

In the mean time, my girlfriend was busy trying to find alternative remedies. I tried an enzyme called WoBe-Mucos (only in German at the time of writing), on the basis that it couldn’t do any harm, and that it seemed to have helped some people. Unfortunately, I seem to be allergic to one of the ingredients, and came out in a nasty rash, so I stopped taking it a day later.

After everything else had shown up negative, it was agreed that the area around the tumour, including a safety margin, should be removed in a second operation. As so much material was to be removed, the foot would need what they called a Latissimus Dorsi flap, where skin and muscle from my back/shoulder would be transplanted to replace what was removed in the foot.

It all sounded pretty simple. OK, I wasn’t going to be able to walk properly for three months, and I wasn’t going to be running any marathons afterwards, but it didn’t sound like as much of a bit deal as cancer. I couldn’t find any good information on the plastic surgery, though. There were a few of examples of foot reconstructive surgery using Latissimus Dorsi transplants on the Internet, but I could find nothing really useful for patients, most of it being papers written by doctors for doctors.

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