Thursday, January 13, 2005

Out, Out Damned Spots

I realize skin cancer is not what Shakespeare had in mind when he penned those words, but they express what I am feeling right now pretty well. Let me say right now, in case you do not read any further: I am living proof that the sun causes skin cancer. It can happen to you too.

Let me back up a little bit. Last summer, June to be exact, I went to a dermatologist for the first time ever. I was there to have him look at a bump on my back that had been there for years, but my husband told me it seemed larger. While I was in the office, I told the nurse that as long as I was there I had a red spot on my chest that he might want to look at. I honestly did not think much of it. The spot was maybe the size of a dime, irregular edges, slightly raised. I really thought it was a rash or irritation, except it had been there for a while. OK, years. Turns out the bump on my back was nothing, but the spot on my chest was skin cancer. He removed it on another visit. The next month when I went in for a check-up, he removed another from my shoulder.

Fast forward to today, six months later. I was back for another check-up. He had told me at my last visit 3 months ago that if I was clear on this visit, I could go to every 6 months for check-ups. You guessed it: I found another spot a couple of days ago, right beside the first one.

Sun block, sun block, sun block. I was a fair skinned, freckle prone kid who did not believe in sun block. So for many summers in my youth I burned then tanned every year. I practically lived at the Camden Country Club swimming pool. I loved having a tan. We all look better with a tan, right? I was one of those crazy people who used baby oil to improve my chances for a great tan. Brilliant, huh? Now I am paying for it, I guess.

Protect yourself, but especially protect your children. I am convinced the cancer that is showing up on me now was caused by damage 20+ years ago.


MDM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MDM said...

Thank you, Thank you for a timely post. I was just beginning to get annoyed with my "pasty white" winter look...even thinking of entering a dreaded tanning bed. I WONT.

jettybetty said...

Sorry to hear about your "spots". In your defense, I don't think we knew all that much about skin cancer when we were slathering on all that baby oil. I do agree with you--apply sunscreen SPF 30 generously if going into the sun. Now, we do know. I will pray you have had your last "spot" removed!

Mae said...

I do hope that all goes well. Who knew all those years ago, huh? Prayers for you and so many others in the same predicament.

SG said...

You didn't call me about this? What did he say about the new spot? Is there something you can take or do now to keep these spots from popping up? I don't like my best friends having any kind of cancer..... Must call you now! You are so in trouble..........dialing.....