It’s Just One

With most of us experiencing early spring-almost-summer, it’s tempting to head back outside and soak in the sun without care. A coworker said she was outside this past weekend for about 20 minutes and sunburned her back. It was hazy that day, which is especially deceiving.

I had my third mole-check after I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and while the last time I went scott free, today I am sporting a simple bandaid on my left forearm. I wait two weeks for the results of the biopsy.

I’ve had friends and family explain how they’re afraid to get their moles checked out. They have so many! They’d be covered with bandages from all the biopsies!

It doesn’t work that way. Sure, if you have lots of moles covering your body, then yes, you ARE at higher risk because your body is funkifying the pigment in your skin. But it’s not the one-hundred moles on your right shoulder you need to worry about. It’s the ONE that doesn’t look like the others that you need to have looked at by your dermatologist right now.

Me? I don’t have a lot of moles. I have ‘sun-spots" on my hands and I have a very faint pregnancy mask. My dermatologist loves me because it takes him just a couple minutes to examine my skin. That ONE he took yesterday stood apart. No bigger than a mark made by a Sharpie pen-tip and dark. He may have decided to take it just because I asked about it. Why wonder later, he said, so it’s gone.

After having had seven biopsies, I do have two major scars. However, they are both direct results of surgery, not biopsies. Scars are ugly, I’ll give you that. But radiation therapy and chemotherapy is uglier. Dressed up in your Sunday best lying on a bed of white satin and air-brushed to look semi-human even though you’re dead is Ugliest, even if you haven’t a scratch on you.

5 thoughts on “It’s Just One”

  1. The problem with trying to let teenagers (and even some older folks) know what the dangers are, they’ll tell you there is no danger. In fact, they’ll tell you that tanning (tanning beds especially) is healthy! Prevents skin cancer! Sigh.

    Glad you are getting that mole checked, Dawn. Hope it comes back negatory.

  2. I had a mole biopsied a couple of years ago – it did leave a sizeable scar, but who cares! It came back as slightly abnormal so I’m getting it checked again every year… definitely better to catch these things early than late!!

  3. Word… I shake my head ruefully at my 25-yr old self, who wasted an immeasurable amount of my PRECIOUS IRREPLACEABLE TIME agonizing over the big ol’ Frankensteinian (I made a lot of jokes in years past, how they tried to cut my head off but sewed it back on) thyroidectomy scar across my neck.

    I was so far over it, by the time my surgeon had to go back after a bad lymph node below my L ear, I cut him short when he started talking about elaborately going in through old scar, flapping the skin back etc, – I told him just incise right over it, I don’t mind another scar on my neck! I treat ’em like badges of honor 😉

  4. This post should be given to every teenaged girl (I know boys too, but girls are worse) along with photographs of what that sun-worshiping, tanning bed loving, exposure will do.

You can say it here.

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