Some of you may remember that, the day before we moved house, I was diagnosed with melanoma in my thumb and scheduled for surgery between 4-6 weeks. So the first thing I had to do the day after we arrived, was to sign on with a local GP so that my case could be transferred.

The surgery was done in early July, removing most of the nail and the affected skin, and putting on a skin graft from my leg. Since then it’s been checked and the nail has grown slowly.

Today I went back to the surgeon, fully expecting him to sign me off. However, he’s concerned that the nail is black, and he is not sure why. The best scenario is that the nail itself is discoloured, and eventually that should grow out.

But there is the possibility that the melanoma, which was sent away to histology and pronounced ‘in situ’ ie only in the superficial layers of the skin, is spreading under the nail.

The surgeon said that we could leave it and see what happened. But if we were to be super-safe, then the best option might be to go back for more surgery, remove the nail completely so that I will never have one, and send the skin off once more for histology.

What did I think?

I don’t know … you’re the surgeon! 8|

In the end we decided to leave it for a month. He took several photos and is going to take them to the next meeting for discussion. He was beginning to think that the dark lines might be ridges in the nail.

So there we are. It is not over yet.



37 thoughts on “UPDATE ON THE THUMB

  1. Oh what a bugger gillyk, just when you thought all was ok. Fingers (literally) crossed it’s just going to grow out when the nail drops off. After all the nail has gone through trauma at the end of the day 🙂


  2. Sweetie I know everything is going to be alright. Jodi’s does seem to be going ok of course she has the other issue. The graft could be what is making it black. Keeping you in my prayers xxx


  3. I am most sorry to hear about this new obstacle re: the healing of your most precious thumb. A thumb is a most valuable part of our hand and most brilliantly wrought by God. This part of our hand makes us different from all animals, except some of the clumsy primates.
    I will include you in my prayers, dear gillyk.
    By the way, we fled Montgomery, a most difficult city to live in. I miss my precious Prebyterian church and all therein. On the other hand we are now at the bottom of the map, in a place called Fairhope, Alabama. Most everyone is friendly, plenty of retirees, lovely ocean nearby and a precious little town. Loads of churches here, and just about everybody attends one or the other. So, there is no excuse for me not to start going again very soon! With Love in Friendship, dear Gilly, and may you heal fast before that doc becomes far too cautious!
    JW XX


    1. Wonderful to hear from you again, Charlotte! So sorry it didn’t work out for you, but I do hope your current circumstances are easier for you and that your health is improving. I am so grateful for your prayers.


  4. Sorry to hear this latest news and will keep you and Madam Thumb in my prayers. The waiting is always the hardest part . If you find typing hard you’ll have to get yourself a ” dictaphone ” ( and yes I’ve heard the joke). But at least then you could speak your thoughts / poetry :yes:


    1. Thanks, Murphy. I’m training myself to hit the space bar with my left instead of my right thumb – very hard to re-learn when I’ve been a touch typist for 40 years!!!


  5. Oh this is a setback, but I know you are a positive person Gill. It’s good that the doctors are on top of it and are keeping an eye on it. Nails sometimes do get black marks under them (I have had them under mine from time to time) so I can understand that they want to see if it grows out first before taking further action.
    Will be thinking of you as I know that a month is a long time if you have something worrying on your mind.
    Kath’s advice about writing some poetry or writing about it in some other way is a good way to express those emotions. It works for me.
    take care xxx

    p.s. great picture !!


  6. Takes some thinking about and puts you back in a whirl. I guess your sensibilities follow that of the surgeon on this one. The up side is that your histology report was helpful and you are being checked regularly. Nails are interesting in what they indicate and how they take and heal injury.

    Take care x


      1. Unfortunately, that’s always the way when taken by surprise. We always end up kicking ourselves because…

        From what you say, I wonder if the consultant could have said much more at the time.


      2. It would appear these days that all the decisions have to be fully discussed with the patient and that the decision is made by the patient, with guidance.

        I haven’t discussed it with my daughter yet – she’s a colo-rectal surgeon and freely admits she doesn’t know too much about plastic surgery – but I shall do. At present I am letting the information ‘settle’ and then I will see where I come out. I’m inclined at present to hope that it isn’t a spread of the melanoma, on the grounds that the nail has been black since the surgery and hasn’t changed, but the nail bed has seemed normal. Another option which occurred to me was to suggest that he take off part of the nail and examine the nail bed to see if it is infected. He would then know whether to go ahead with further surgery or not.

        Thanks for your concern. It’s appreciated.


  7. I hope it is all fine, sure it will be….

    The black nail reminded me of my sis in Oz….she had melonoma on her face and it was removed, she now has a black mark which now looks like an oversized mole.

    P xx


  8. I was just wondering about your thumb…. Am so sorry you’ve still got this hanging over you…. don’t know what to say other than fingers crossed and I’ll pray hard for the best possible outcome….. You have kept quiet about it and been keeping a brave front, bless you….. Huge huge hugs xxxxxxxxxx


  9. Oh Gilly…..what a bleeping nightmare!!!! How frustrating for you, and worrying.

    I really, really hope and pray it will be o.k, and have my fingers and toes crossed for you.

    A month is a long time to wait, try not to worry too much. xxxxxxx
    P.s loved that pic at the end…..


  10. I am distressed for you…such a shock…The uncertainty is hard to bear.Maybe now is the time for you to return to poetry writing which you were wanting to do.I find it helpful
    and photography too.Flowers…


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