It was hard to tell, though. I wasn’t sure if it had actually grown — or if I was just freaking out and being a hypochondriac for no good reason — so I decided to have it checked out. Doing so required me to call a clinic, set up an appointment, wait for a few days, and then drive to the doctor’s office.

Once I was there, a woman with more than eight years of specialized medical education look a long, hard look at the mole and asked me a series of questions about it — but when it was all said and done, she didn’t have a definitive answer for me. Instead, she just referred me to different doctor who had more experience with melanoma, and the whole process started over again.

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