I’m more than a little obsessive about moles or any new marks on my body. Whenever I see anything, my first thought is that has to be something. It’s understandable because I’ve now had three procedures for skin cancer. In 2015, I had surgery for Melanoma. Since 2019, I’ve had two Mohs surgical procedures for skin cancers on my face. No wonder I’m neurotic and anxious about this.
Last month I found something that looked suspicious on my forehead…at least it looked that way to me. I took a selfie of it and then emailed the photo to my dermatologist. She said she couldn’t be certain, but to come in for a check-up just to be safe. That suspicious mark turned out to be dry skin. But, she did find some other precancerous things. Nine of them. NINE!!!
She burned them off and we made an appointment for the next time…because with this there always seems to be a next time.
A few days later, we had a beautiful day in Chicago. There are so few of them at this time of the year that I had to take advantage of it. I decided to go for a walk along the lakefront. I also brought along a book to read.
The mile-long walk was great. Lake Michigan is beautiful and peaceful. Afterward, I found a bench in a shaded area where I could read. It was a wonderful couple of hours.
I began the next day, as usual, with a shower. While I was washing my hair I noticed my scalp was painful. I thought it might be that the water was too hot. I tried cold water, but even that made it ache.
When I was drying off afterward, the towel was hurting my face. Even patting it dry caused pain. I looked in the mirror….
In my hurry to get outside the previous day, I left home without putting on sunscreen or a hat. I beat myself up a little over this because: (a) I’m usually very careful about this due to my past history. (b) I often write about sun safety.
Today is the first Monday in May. To paraphrase the song, it’s just another Melanoma Monday. This is the day we focus on bringing awareness about melanoma and other skin cancers.
I usually end my columns about Melanoma by giving some advice about how to keep safe from sun damage. Here are a few tips:
Use sunscreen, the higher SPF the better. Always wear sun-protective clothing, including sunglasses and hats. Check your body for suspicious moles on a monthly basis. Visit your dermatologist regularly for full body checks.
On this Melanoma Monday, I’m making a vow. I’ll try not to just talk about sun protection, but to practice what I preach. I vow to do better.
Related Post: Just another Melanoma Monday
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