It was a quick visit. Routine really.
It was more of a vanity issue to have one ugly mole removed than a health concern.
The ugly one and a few others were frozen with liquid nitrogen and one removed and sent in for a biopsy – just to make sure, the doctor said.
I got dressed, gathered my purse, paid the receptionist, took the brochure the doctor gave me about skin cancer and went on with my day.
When I got home I cleaned out my car and the brochure went in the recycle bin. After all I thought, - it won’t happen to me.
There have been many times in life that I have been surprised. This phone call was one of them.
“The biopsy came back positive,”
the nurse said.
She scheduled an appointment for me to have a larger section of skin removed for another biopsy.
Where was that brochure? I hadn’t even read it.
“Melanoma is a BIG DEAL,” the doctor said, as she sat down next to me in the examining room.
We read the lab report together.
This had been found early and the hope was that by removing a larger section it would capture all of the Melanoma cells.
This was a longer visit. Numbing of my leg. Stitches.
The one titled, “SKIN CANCER.”
This time I read it.
It outlined three types of skin cancer. I scanned through the first two and came to the third. I read -
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The brochure went on to outline all the things you should do to Prevent-Detect-Live.
I have pretty much done everything it said I shouldn’t do.
I remember so many years ago splashing on baby oil to lay in the sun to gain the perfect tan. The years of water skiing, swimming and hiking. And yes, visits to tanning beds.
As time went on I heard about skin cancer and sunscreen was added to my life, but not in the intensity it should have been.
I always thought it won’t happen to me.
Now I know – it can happen to me.
It did happen to me.
Regular dermatology appointments will now be a must in my life. Being self-aware of changes in my skin will be routine. Encouraging others to do the same will become my advice.
I will wait another week for the results of this second biopsy, optimistic that the expectation of a clear report will be correct.
The minor ache in my bruised leg is a gentle reminder to love myself enough to take care of ME!
A reminder that if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“Love yourself enough to take care of YOU!”
My intent in sharing this with you is to encourage you to take care of yourself - schedule regular dermatology appointments - if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone!
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