Im freckly… VERY. I wasn’t always as a child…. but I started to get MORE freckly as I aged… and yes, I have them too.. age spots, I think there is a difference?
As a kid growing up 70’s/ early 80’s ( my teen years) and living close to the Jersey Shore.. you KNOW I used Baby oil to attract the rays.. I think my mom even bought it for me.. Seriously! Then came the late 80’s/90’s.. my 20’s and 30’s I lived in Miami… by this point, I actually wore an SPF ( maybe 8).. but never did the re-apply(ing) and well, I was a sun – runner too.. yep, I ran… sunny, hot, sweaty, non protected miles.. that at the time.. felt oh so good… I was tan.
I was never a Sun worshipper, if you asked me… which to me only meant someone that would go out and specifically “lay out” in the sun… NO, I had to be MOVING ( running, cycling, walking, swimming, just playing..).. I thought that was good.. right? OH, and I was proud that my daily face moisturizer had an SPF 15 in it.. and I wore it ( still do ) daily.
My 40’s (Im now 50) .. I never thought much of skin cancer.. just watched the fine lines and new (age) spots appear on my face, hand, legs and arms.. knowing the sun had some part in their appearance.. but never once considering it a bad thing and very accepting of the fade from youth… gracefully.
okay.. fast forward.. because Im losing my thought process but wanted to give a ‘back’ story.. ( I am not a writer.. as you may see, but I have a story .. a message, I promise) ….
I would never have gone to the Dermatologist for JUST a skin check… but my brother asked me to, yep, he didn’t like the look of a freckle on my face.. which he noticed after one of our sweaty gym workouts together.. My hair was sweaty and pushed away from my forehead.. which is where the freckle was.. he said it looked “funny”.. Seriously, what are brothers for? if not to tell you , your face looks funny.. .LOL I made a promise to get it checked.. turns out, Dermatologist thought it looked just as funny.. and biopsied it. The funny spot …turned out to be squamous ( skin cancer) cells.
While having what is called MOHS surgery ( a procedure where they check for cancer cells while you are in the middle of the procedure to ensure they get them all ) by a surgeon , he noticed another ‘spot’ which he biopsied while I was on the table. .. turned out to be basal cell.. so he removed it too…. woo hoo.. I walked out with a few band aids/stitches and was prepared to have two tiny facial scars.. but I felt good. I GOT it.
2 years later.. I now think I know what skin cancer looks like ( I don’t fyi ) …. I look for “it” on friends, family and because Im me.. strangers too. LOL and I urge them to get their “spots” checked..
So during my regular ( yes I now do this every 6 months) SKIN check just two weeks ago.. I had a biopsy of a “Mole”. A mole I never even saw, but my GREAT Dermatologist did .. it was on my back.. how can I see that?.. which is just another reason to get a skin check.
Anyhow.. I was fine with getting the biopsy, its painless ( they locally numb it and scrape it ) .. I thought , heck, just another spot, squamous, or basal cell no doubt.. which while I know they are skin cancer.. for some reason, those words do not bother me.. If that is the case. . we’ll get it out.. All good.. right? THEN the report came back from biopsy … right there next to my name.. I saw the word … MELANOMA. Funny (or not) that one word has suddenly changed my game.. I HAVE skin cancer.. why did the other two names for it not make me feel that way?
OMG.. That one word on a page some how made me feel so sad too , very emotional.. (I even cried for what I thought was no reason.. LOL ) all day… Im not usually emotional… Im strong LOL
FYI.. in my true nature.. I could not just feel SAD.. I felt sad and guilty….. Yes, I felt GUILTY. .. really guilty, for feeling SAD. I keep telling myself.. its just a little spot on my back.. people are dying from big spots, big tumors, big lumps, in their lungs, breasts, blood, organs… well, you get the idea… I have a little spot on my back. Its ONLY skin cancer… right?
Just in case your curious.. at this point in my writing.. Im not even sure why Im writing this blog post , honestly ..
I Just know that my message today, my plea to YOU…. is to motivate you.. yes, YOU, the very pale, dark, medium or black skinned person reading this.. YOU with freckles or perfectly clear skin.. you the sun worshipper, sun hat wearing, umbrella hound…. YOU … NEED to get your skin checked… Please !
I know I could have written this post message a lot quicker without all the ‘drama’ as many may think.. but its MY blog.. and this is ME.
Go get a skin check…. thanks
NOTE: I am not saying the sun is bad, I love it, and try to get a good dose of it daily for Vitamin D.. The sun has so many good qualities .. it breeds life .. Im just saying .. get a skin check and like everything else, take the sun in moderation AND protect yourself as best you can.
And in case you are curious.. I caught this VERY early on, I WILL be just fine.. scheduled for MOHS surgery in a few weeks.. just another scar… nothing this brave body can’t handle. ..
Create a great day !