Please don’t be a typical bloke - get your moles and lumps checked out

My apologies, because I didn’t want to write more blog posts about cancer, but after what I have been through and so luckily come out the other side with merely a couple of scars and a nice big hole/dent in my leg, well my view is that if a few more cancer related words could end up helping out somebody here or somebody connected to you out then it’s more than worth it. First off, as per the title, please don’t be a typical bloke about medical stuff - go and get any suspicious looking moles, growths and lumps checked out. I was lucky that they caught mine early.

I’ll tell you what sometimes sneaks up and niggles at me about this cancer thing - the “what if?”. What if I hadn’t gone into my local surgery to get things checked out? I’d like to say that I did the sensible thing in getting a GP to look at the mole-type growth thing on my shin area that was starting to grow, discolour, and look a bit frigging dodgy, but in reality I went to get things checked out more so because my wife and mother kept on at me to do so - thank you! By going for a checkup at my local surgery I got them off my back, but left to my own devices I might well have left it until it looked really alarming - let’s face it, many of us here are blokes, and we are good at ignoring stuff like that and getting on with important stuff like changing hooks on lures etc. I’d never have gone to get my torn calf muscle looked over for example unless somebody who I respect and has medical training hadn’t told me to have it looked at when I got back from Ireland last October. I’m a bloke and I’ll soldier on regardless!

So please, if any of you reading this have any dodgy looking moles or lumps on you, or indeed you know of anybody in a similar boat, please go and get this stuff checked out. Whilst I have nothing but heaps of praise and thanks for the way in which the NHS has taken such good care of me and indeed continues to do so with regular dressing changes on the hole in my leg, there is another “what if?” aspect to this cancer thing that bangs home how lucky I have been. I refuse to beat myself up about getting skin cancer because from my understanding a melanoma is pure bad luck, so I was unlucky to get it and I am bloody lucky not to have it anymore - but the fact is that both GPs I saw at my local surgery who firstly checked me over and then later on cut the three moles/growth things off me both said to me “it’s worth getting them removed, but don’t worry, they aren’t remotely cancerous”.

Now I am not about to start blaming people here because I am one lucky sod to be where I am right now, and whilst the GP who actually cut the bits off me at the surgery said they weren’t cancerous, he did say that it would be stupid not to at least get them checked to make sure. I am confident but not 100% sure that sending those bits off to be checked is what every GP would do either as a matter of course or because they quite simply have to, but there is a part of me that wonders where I might have ended up if that bit on my leg especially hadn’t been sent off to be checked - which then led to that GP ringing me a few weeks later to say that they had found a melanoma in there, which in turn led to Derriford hospital and a proper hole out of my leg etc. We listen to our GPs because they are the professionals here, but I do wonder why two of them felt confident enough just from looking at me to pronounce me skin cancer free - when I wasn’t. It’s turned out fine and I am forever grateful to the system that got the cancer out of me, but not everybody is going to be this lucky. Please don’t be a typical bloke - get your moles and lumps properly checked out.