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More than just a bit nervous….

Forums General Melanoma Community More than just a bit nervous….

  • Post
    MaryMary73
    Participant

    Tomorrow, I am seeing my dermatologist. This is my 1st appointment post diagnosis.

    Tomorrow, I am seeing my dermatologist. This is my 1st appointment post diagnosis.

    This evening, I ask my husband to unhook my bra because my hands were a bit dirty (I was cooking). I tell him "while you're at it, tell me if you see anything funny". I always ask him to do that. He usually checks around my WLE scar. So as he is scanning my back, he tells me "there's a weird looking mole here and I think it may be new". He took a picture of it. It is light brown, round, but one side is just a shade lighter than the other side (if a line is drawn thru the middle). It is on my upper back, not too far from my shoulder blade. The WLE scar is in the lower middle of my back.

    Holy smokes…here we go again. Thank goodness I'm seeing my derm tomorrow because in all honesty, I am having a total panic attack.

    sad

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  • Replies
      Vermont_Donna
      Participant

      Hi,

      So sorry that perhaps there is a new mole to have biopsied but the good news is that it has been detected EARLY and you can have it biopsied and then deal with the diagnosis and treatment (I didnt read your profile so dont know where you are at). Melanom as you know can re-occur, anywhere, and the key thing is to be diligent and check your skin every day. I have found ALL of my re-occurences, which for me have been all on my right leg. I use a mirror and scan the back of my leg, thigh, etc and use the handheld mirror with the bathroom mirror of full length mirror to check where I cant see (I must admit I dont do THAT everyday, but very often I do). I am also seene very three months by my dermatologist and I am seen very often by my melanoma oncologist.

      So, take deep breaths. You are being VIGILANT and that is good.

      Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

      stable after 4 infusions of Ipi

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      Vermont_Donna
      Participant

      Hi,

      So sorry that perhaps there is a new mole to have biopsied but the good news is that it has been detected EARLY and you can have it biopsied and then deal with the diagnosis and treatment (I didnt read your profile so dont know where you are at). Melanom as you know can re-occur, anywhere, and the key thing is to be diligent and check your skin every day. I have found ALL of my re-occurences, which for me have been all on my right leg. I use a mirror and scan the back of my leg, thigh, etc and use the handheld mirror with the bathroom mirror of full length mirror to check where I cant see (I must admit I dont do THAT everyday, but very often I do). I am also seene very three months by my dermatologist and I am seen very often by my melanoma oncologist.

      So, take deep breaths. You are being VIGILANT and that is good.

      Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

      stable after 4 infusions of Ipi

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      lhaley
      Participant

      Mary,

      Take a deep breath.  If this is a mole and it turns out to be melanoma then it is a new primary, not a recurrance.  Multilple primaries only happen in 8% of the population, even then their are studies that say those who have this happen have a better chance at survival.  While we say to get a mole checked out if it changes, all changes do not mean melanoma!!

      I've had 6 primaries and many, many biopsies that ended up being dsypastic nevi.  My suggestion is to either have the derm or your husband take pictures of any mole you have on your body. Make sure it's a close up and if you have any funny shape or color moles then put a tape measure next to it so you can compare at a later date. 

      Let us know what the derm says, and good luck!

      Linda

      Stage IV since 06  stable

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        MaryMary73
        Participant

        I always have my husband take pictures of anything he or I think are abnormal. And I always have a couple of pictures with measuring tape as well. This new mole is not mishaped. It's round but my husband says he thinks it may be new. And that is what is making me nervous….is it new? Has it always been there? Could it be melanoma again? Man oh man….2:30pm tomorrow afternoon cannot come fast enough.

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        lhaley
        Participant

        When I had my pictures originally taken at Univ. of Penn in 87' they took pictures of my entire body. If I'm not sure if a mole is new or not I can just look at the pictures. In the late 90's I transferred to John Hopkins because of insurance. When they sent for my records the pictures got lost in the mail!!  They were copies so another set was made, I have that in my possession.  Somewhere floating around is many many naked pictures of me!  Good thing I was younger and thinner than!

        Linda

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        MaryMary73
        Participant

        All my pictures are on our computer. I would post a pic from my computer but I don't know how. I am happy that you have a copy of your pic from 1987 because that is an amazing comparison tool.

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        MaryMary73
        Participant

        All my pictures are on our computer. I would post a pic from my computer but I don't know how. I am happy that you have a copy of your pic from 1987 because that is an amazing comparison tool.

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        lhaley
        Participant

        When I had my pictures originally taken at Univ. of Penn in 87' they took pictures of my entire body. If I'm not sure if a mole is new or not I can just look at the pictures. In the late 90's I transferred to John Hopkins because of insurance. When they sent for my records the pictures got lost in the mail!!  They were copies so another set was made, I have that in my possession.  Somewhere floating around is many many naked pictures of me!  Good thing I was younger and thinner than!

        Linda

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        MaryMary73
        Participant

        I always have my husband take pictures of anything he or I think are abnormal. And I always have a couple of pictures with measuring tape as well. This new mole is not mishaped. It's round but my husband says he thinks it may be new. And that is what is making me nervous….is it new? Has it always been there? Could it be melanoma again? Man oh man….2:30pm tomorrow afternoon cannot come fast enough.

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Linda,

        Just a comment as this has always been my understanding……..when they remove this new mole and biopsy it they will compare it to her first biopsied mole which was a melanoma (stage 1 according to her profile). If it is the same then it is a re-occurence, if a different melanoma then it is a new primary. That has always been my understanding. All my biopsies that have been melanoma have always matched my original lesion, and some of course were displastic nevis, severely atypical, etc and not melanoma.

        Have you heard differently on re-occurences vs primaries??

        Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

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        lhaley
        Participant

        Donna,

        Mary described this as a new mole. I have multiple primaries and they are not from the original lesion, My recurances that have come back as tumors, in- transits, and sub-q's.   With her original primary being so thin and this just being a few months, plus her description of a mole, my first thought is new primary, actually my first thought is its clean but fear has taken over like it does to most of us. However, she is going to a derm today. 

        I think in the lab it's not so much compared as metastises show different on the slide then primaries. When I was originally diagnosed with a recurrance I know that they did not have my original slides to compare. Actually with us moving they haven't had it to compare for a few of the recurrances but they were tumors not moles.  I guess that's a good question to ask my Dr. next time when I see him.

        Each of our cases are different.  So glad your responding to Ippi!

        Linda

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        lhaley
        Participant

        Donna,

        Mary described this as a new mole. I have multiple primaries and they are not from the original lesion, My recurances that have come back as tumors, in- transits, and sub-q's.   With her original primary being so thin and this just being a few months, plus her description of a mole, my first thought is new primary, actually my first thought is its clean but fear has taken over like it does to most of us. However, she is going to a derm today. 

        I think in the lab it's not so much compared as metastises show different on the slide then primaries. When I was originally diagnosed with a recurrance I know that they did not have my original slides to compare. Actually with us moving they haven't had it to compare for a few of the recurrances but they were tumors not moles.  I guess that's a good question to ask my Dr. next time when I see him.

        Each of our cases are different.  So glad your responding to Ippi!

        Linda

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        Janner
        Participant

        They do not compare a new mole to previous primaries.  They look at the characteristics of the lesion to determine "primary" or "recurrence".  In the most basic terms, a new primary grows from the epidermis DOWN.  It has unique characteristics, growth patterns, etc.  The Breslow depth is measured from the epidermal/dermal junction down.  A recurrence grows from the lymph vessels UP and may not make it to the upper dermis or epidermis.  So they analyze each lesion's growth characteristics and other factors to determine what type of lesion this is.  They don't use slides from your previous primaries.

        As far as the original poster's lesion, I'd think it unlikely to be melanoma.  But anything changing is a good candidate for a biopsy.  I've had plenty of lesions look weird, but as long as they've shown no change, I don't biopsy.  CHANGE has been my #1 criteria for my 3 primaries.

        Best wishes,

        Janner

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi Janner,

        Just a quick note that I have had tumors (moles or new growths on my leg) biopsied and compared to my original melanoma and they have had the same cell characteristics. I will find the actual report where this is noted, just for clarification. Perhaps different labs/different pathologists in areas of the country have different protocols. My oncologist and oncology surgeon have each talked to me in regards to the biopsies and what was discovered (ie metastases from the original melanoma, not primaries). This is why I mentioned what I did in my posts above. Not trying to be a pain in the *&^#!!!

        Vermont_Donna

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi Janner,

        Just a quick note that I have had tumors (moles or new growths on my leg) biopsied and compared to my original melanoma and they have had the same cell characteristics. I will find the actual report where this is noted, just for clarification. Perhaps different labs/different pathologists in areas of the country have different protocols. My oncologist and oncology surgeon have each talked to me in regards to the biopsies and what was discovered (ie metastases from the original melanoma, not primaries). This is why I mentioned what I did in my posts above. Not trying to be a pain in the *&^#!!!

        Vermont_Donna

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        Janner
        Participant

        They do not compare a new mole to previous primaries.  They look at the characteristics of the lesion to determine "primary" or "recurrence".  In the most basic terms, a new primary grows from the epidermis DOWN.  It has unique characteristics, growth patterns, etc.  The Breslow depth is measured from the epidermal/dermal junction down.  A recurrence grows from the lymph vessels UP and may not make it to the upper dermis or epidermis.  So they analyze each lesion's growth characteristics and other factors to determine what type of lesion this is.  They don't use slides from your previous primaries.

        As far as the original poster's lesion, I'd think it unlikely to be melanoma.  But anything changing is a good candidate for a biopsy.  I've had plenty of lesions look weird, but as long as they've shown no change, I don't biopsy.  CHANGE has been my #1 criteria for my 3 primaries.

        Best wishes,

        Janner

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Linda,

        Just a comment as this has always been my understanding……..when they remove this new mole and biopsy it they will compare it to her first biopsied mole which was a melanoma (stage 1 according to her profile). If it is the same then it is a re-occurence, if a different melanoma then it is a new primary. That has always been my understanding. All my biopsies that have been melanoma have always matched my original lesion, and some of course were displastic nevis, severely atypical, etc and not melanoma.

        Have you heard differently on re-occurences vs primaries??

        Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

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      lhaley
      Participant

      Mary,

      Take a deep breath.  If this is a mole and it turns out to be melanoma then it is a new primary, not a recurrance.  Multilple primaries only happen in 8% of the population, even then their are studies that say those who have this happen have a better chance at survival.  While we say to get a mole checked out if it changes, all changes do not mean melanoma!!

      I've had 6 primaries and many, many biopsies that ended up being dsypastic nevi.  My suggestion is to either have the derm or your husband take pictures of any mole you have on your body. Make sure it's a close up and if you have any funny shape or color moles then put a tape measure next to it so you can compare at a later date. 

      Let us know what the derm says, and good luck!

      Linda

      Stage IV since 06  stable

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      KatyWI
      Participant

      Sometimes it's calming to hear somebody else's story, so here's mine…just about three weeks ago, the night before I was scheduled for surgery for a bunch of subQs, I noticed a mole on my hand.  It was small, but really dark, definitely new, and it had different shades of color.   I was FREAKED!  I got my surgeon to biopsy it while I was knocked out for all the other stuff, and ya know what it turned out to be?  A blood blister.  Not even a nice, respectable normal mole. 

      So I hope you can relax tonight and get some good rest, becuase like Janner already mentioned, the chances of a new primary aren't very high. Let us know how it shakes out.

      warmly,

      KatyWI

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      KatyWI
      Participant

      Sometimes it's calming to hear somebody else's story, so here's mine…just about three weeks ago, the night before I was scheduled for surgery for a bunch of subQs, I noticed a mole on my hand.  It was small, but really dark, definitely new, and it had different shades of color.   I was FREAKED!  I got my surgeon to biopsy it while I was knocked out for all the other stuff, and ya know what it turned out to be?  A blood blister.  Not even a nice, respectable normal mole. 

      So I hope you can relax tonight and get some good rest, becuase like Janner already mentioned, the chances of a new primary aren't very high. Let us know how it shakes out.

      warmly,

      KatyWI

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      Charlie S
      Participant

      Although it is good to know your body, do not fall prey to self diagnosis  unless you know what you are doing.

       I've unhooked my fair share of bras, some before melanoma and some after, but seldom with pictures……take the wisdom of Socrates in your post script…………

      "The only real wisdom is knowing you know nothing"

      Hence, do not assume "here we go again" and panic.

      Work the problem, don't let it work you.

      Charlie S

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      Charlie S
      Participant

      Although it is good to know your body, do not fall prey to self diagnosis  unless you know what you are doing.

       I've unhooked my fair share of bras, some before melanoma and some after, but seldom with pictures……take the wisdom of Socrates in your post script…………

      "The only real wisdom is knowing you know nothing"

      Hence, do not assume "here we go again" and panic.

      Work the problem, don't let it work you.

      Charlie S

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      washoegal
      Participant

      Mary,

      Doesn't sound like much to be worried about.  I know that doesn't help but before Mel I had about 3 dysplastic Nevi removed and after I have had 2.  I have have had about 8 more "nothings" removed, so now I can connect the dots, particularly on my stomach, where I also had a laparoscopic surgery.  I suspect I am not unusual in regards to the numbers of moles removed, and I have learned to mostly go with the flow.  The only one that really concerned me was the one that actually had Mel, it just felt different, it didn't look different.

       

      Anyway, long way of saying, you'll probably have more of these so learn to understand that every "flaw" is not deadly.

       

      Good Luck

      Mary

      Stage 3

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      washoegal
      Participant

      Mary,

      Doesn't sound like much to be worried about.  I know that doesn't help but before Mel I had about 3 dysplastic Nevi removed and after I have had 2.  I have have had about 8 more "nothings" removed, so now I can connect the dots, particularly on my stomach, where I also had a laparoscopic surgery.  I suspect I am not unusual in regards to the numbers of moles removed, and I have learned to mostly go with the flow.  The only one that really concerned me was the one that actually had Mel, it just felt different, it didn't look different.

       

      Anyway, long way of saying, you'll probably have more of these so learn to understand that every "flaw" is not deadly.

       

      Good Luck

      Mary

      Stage 3

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      MaryMary73
      Participant

      Back from the dermatologist. He checked the "new" mole. He told me it is just a beauty mark and absolutely nothing different about it compared to all my other beauty marks. He also told me that I shouldn't obsess over every single beauty mark that I have (and I have alot!). He said that the chance that I will be hit with melanoma again is extremely small because my original lesion was very thin. He said that I have a better chance at winning the big jackpot in a national lottery than getting melanoma again. He did say that I should watch for any beauty marks that get bigger than a pencil eraser, ones that become discoloured and scalloped shaped and mean-looking (the ABCDE's).

      I asked him about fertility treatments and if he recommends that I stop them altogether and give up trying to become a mom (my husband and I are both turning 38 this year and we'd love to become parents). He said that I will never know why I was hit with melanoma. He said that some people get melanoma with no known risk factors whatsoever. Just like any other cancer. He said some people get melanoma on their genitals, in their mouth, on their internal organs, on the soles of their feet. He called those areas "where the sun don't shine". He said I should just live my life to its fullest, be aware of my skin, cover up if I'm in the sun, have a positive attitude and not to worry too much. He gave me the ok to try for a baby.

      Anyhow, I am seeing my family doctor in 3 weeks. I am going to get a referral to a private dermatology clinic here in the Toronto area. I want mole-mapping to be done. Pictures and all. Maybe that's being obsessed but it would make me feel better. That's the type of person I am. I can't help it. I'm told not to worry but that is easier said than done. Maybe it will get easier as time passes. Who knows. And my husband and I will put our heads and hearts together and decide once and for all if parenthood for us is a go or a no-go.

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      MaryMary73
      Participant

      Back from the dermatologist. He checked the "new" mole. He told me it is just a beauty mark and absolutely nothing different about it compared to all my other beauty marks. He also told me that I shouldn't obsess over every single beauty mark that I have (and I have alot!). He said that the chance that I will be hit with melanoma again is extremely small because my original lesion was very thin. He said that I have a better chance at winning the big jackpot in a national lottery than getting melanoma again. He did say that I should watch for any beauty marks that get bigger than a pencil eraser, ones that become discoloured and scalloped shaped and mean-looking (the ABCDE's).

      I asked him about fertility treatments and if he recommends that I stop them altogether and give up trying to become a mom (my husband and I are both turning 38 this year and we'd love to become parents). He said that I will never know why I was hit with melanoma. He said that some people get melanoma with no known risk factors whatsoever. Just like any other cancer. He said some people get melanoma on their genitals, in their mouth, on their internal organs, on the soles of their feet. He called those areas "where the sun don't shine". He said I should just live my life to its fullest, be aware of my skin, cover up if I'm in the sun, have a positive attitude and not to worry too much. He gave me the ok to try for a baby.

      Anyhow, I am seeing my family doctor in 3 weeks. I am going to get a referral to a private dermatology clinic here in the Toronto area. I want mole-mapping to be done. Pictures and all. Maybe that's being obsessed but it would make me feel better. That's the type of person I am. I can't help it. I'm told not to worry but that is easier said than done. Maybe it will get easier as time passes. Who knows. And my husband and I will put our heads and hearts together and decide once and for all if parenthood for us is a go or a no-go.

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        lhaley
        Participant

        I'm so happy for your great results! 

        We can't tell you what to do but I do agree with your derm that you need to live life to the fullest. We have seen so much tragedy in the world lately, death does not come just from melanoma.

        When my first primary was discovered I was 26 and wanted a baby. We did wait 4 years, my mel was about 1mm.  I now am a grandmother!  I've done a lot of living during those years. Of course I want to do a lot more but if we had waited around to see what would happen I would still be waiting.  Unfortunately I was one of the rare ones that had a recurrance 27 years later. I still have not let it stop me. Last summer we picked up and moved 5 hours from our last home and have been remodeling our home. Again, living life. 

        Tomorrow we are off for a mini vacation, and of course to see that sweet baby.

        Thanks for posting your great news,

        Linda

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        lhaley
        Participant

        I'm so happy for your great results! 

        We can't tell you what to do but I do agree with your derm that you need to live life to the fullest. We have seen so much tragedy in the world lately, death does not come just from melanoma.

        When my first primary was discovered I was 26 and wanted a baby. We did wait 4 years, my mel was about 1mm.  I now am a grandmother!  I've done a lot of living during those years. Of course I want to do a lot more but if we had waited around to see what would happen I would still be waiting.  Unfortunately I was one of the rare ones that had a recurrance 27 years later. I still have not let it stop me. Last summer we picked up and moved 5 hours from our last home and have been remodeling our home. Again, living life. 

        Tomorrow we are off for a mini vacation, and of course to see that sweet baby.

        Thanks for posting your great news,

        Linda

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      JakeinNY
      Participant

      Hi Mary,

      As one who had 2 lesions misdiagnosed (one was melanoma 0.4mm and the other was melanoma insitu) and had a spread to the sentinel lymph node), I would highly recommend that you go to a skin cancer center or else a dermatologist that specializes in skin cancers. After setting this up, I would go for a full skin exam, using full body photos that are stored on the doctors computer system, every 3 months.

      As for the lesion that you have, it can be a "nevus", it can be a melanoma insitu (100% cure rate) or it could be a malignant melanoma. Being that you had the WLE not long ago, most probably this isn't anything serious, but you never know. In the meantime, try to relax (easier said than done sometimes!) as worrying does you no good…just makes you feel lousy. Best wishes that everything turns out fine.

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      JakeinNY
      Participant

      Hi Mary,

      As one who had 2 lesions misdiagnosed (one was melanoma 0.4mm and the other was melanoma insitu) and had a spread to the sentinel lymph node), I would highly recommend that you go to a skin cancer center or else a dermatologist that specializes in skin cancers. After setting this up, I would go for a full skin exam, using full body photos that are stored on the doctors computer system, every 3 months.

      As for the lesion that you have, it can be a "nevus", it can be a melanoma insitu (100% cure rate) or it could be a malignant melanoma. Being that you had the WLE not long ago, most probably this isn't anything serious, but you never know. In the meantime, try to relax (easier said than done sometimes!) as worrying does you no good…just makes you feel lousy. Best wishes that everything turns out fine.

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        MaryMary73
        Participant

        Actually, my dermatologist does specialize in skin cancer…he is not the kind of dermatologist that does Botox or microdermabrasions (you know, all that cosmetic jazz). He has about 30 years experience in dermatology and pathology. He looked at this beauty mark that my husband pointed out to me and said it's nothing. When he saw my original lesion back in October, right away he told me that it is melanoma and proceeded with a biopsy which confirmed exactly what he said.

        But I definitely do want to do mole mapping. It will put my mind at ease. I have alot of beauty marks all over, especially on my upper arms. I'd say about 30 in total on both upper arms but they are all small and light in colour (including this new one). I have about 5 to 10 on my back and about 5 or 6 everywhere else.

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        MaryMary73
        Participant

        Actually, my dermatologist does specialize in skin cancer…he is not the kind of dermatologist that does Botox or microdermabrasions (you know, all that cosmetic jazz). He has about 30 years experience in dermatology and pathology. He looked at this beauty mark that my husband pointed out to me and said it's nothing. When he saw my original lesion back in October, right away he told me that it is melanoma and proceeded with a biopsy which confirmed exactly what he said.

        But I definitely do want to do mole mapping. It will put my mind at ease. I have alot of beauty marks all over, especially on my upper arms. I'd say about 30 in total on both upper arms but they are all small and light in colour (including this new one). I have about 5 to 10 on my back and about 5 or 6 everywhere else.

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