I know I’ve been acting like kind of an Emo lately. Cryptic blog posts and woah is me, going a little over the top, being a little meta. I acknowledge that. I wasn’t going to write this post, but seeing as I don’t know how to open an actual dialogue about the subject (my parents don’t even know), I figure just blurting it out to strangers is as good a way as any.
It started with me noticing a strange mole next to my belly button. I don’t have a picture of said mole, because, I didn’t think this would be something I could tactfully write about without coming off whiney. Anyway, it looked kind of like this:
It had an irregular border, was multicolored, and was bumpy in places. It also hadn’t always looked that way, at least from what I could remember. This epiphany, of course, occurred on a Saturday night at 4 am where I really couldn’t do much about it except google myself into a state of psychosis. First thing Monday, I called my doctor, and she saw me Tuesday. She decided to take it off then and there, which was a pretty painless experience aside from the sound of the crunching of scissors on skin. She stitched me up and sent it off for a punch biopsy.
The following week was kind of bipolar in general. Part of me was just happy I got it gone and am moving forward with my life, the other part of me worried about potential outcomes. I quieted my concerns with cupcakes, a ball busting 25k race, indulging and engulfing myself completely in my schoolwork, and being a total asshole at work.
Tuesday, the day my results were to come back, I took the dogs to the vet to get spayed. All afternoon, I knew a random 814 number would call me and tell me either my dogs were fixed or that thing I don’t want to say. I got the puppy call, and then my phone stayed quiet otherwise. Minor celebration right? When it comes to medical stuff no news is technically good news.
Wednesday… I got the call.
The bad news is, it was there. And it was bad.
The better news, though is that it’s not there anymore. Clear borders for this girl, which means, I caught it in time, I did the right thing, and in the future, I just need to be watchful, mindful, and precautionary in my skin care/sun exposure.
Pardon the French, but what a mind-frickin’ experience that could have been prevented had I stayed out of the tanning beds. If you were ever a chubby girl like me, trying to do anything to feel good about yourself, sometimes having a tan was my answer. Not doing things to change the problem itself, but masking the issues with a layer of ozone-induced “healthy glow.”
My heart goes out to those who actually do suffer as a result of skin cancer. My little insignificant brush with it is nothing compared to those who actually go through stages of it and those who have it even though they did nothing wrong. I cannot emphasize enough how fortunate I am, that I can now go about my business and never think about it again, aside from when I slap on my sunscreen or do monthly mole checks. There are millions out there who are not that fortunate.
So why even write about it?
Because I want to keep you safe. If you have a weird mole, don’t brush it off. Get checked out as soon as possible. If you have unhealthy tanning habits, stop it. If something doesn’t look or feel right on your body, there’s a reason, and you have to be proactive about taking care of it. For further reading, I recommend you check out The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention’s website.
Today I count my blessings, and go back to being me again. And I can sleep at night knowing I made the best decision. I feel like I dodged a huge bullet, and it makes me even more grateful for the life of health and happiness I strive for.