Sunday, August 31, 2008

If I would have known then....

Being a life long sun worshipper, I've begun to notice a lot of changes taking place on my body - in a not so good sort of way...

In the last 14 years, I've had several moles removed and imperfections looked at by the dermatologist at my annual 'skin exams' and this year was no different. However, my new doctor decided he didn't like the look of this cluster of freckles I've always had on my right cheek. They were wispy, different colors, and different shapes. If you know your ABC's of moles, (Assymetrical, Border, Color) I knew that this needed to go - which is what I had done Friday morning.


I thought it was going to be scraped off, but since I've had it for so long, he had to cut it out. He made a diamond shape on my cheek and gave me two layers of stitches - 10 on the bottom and 10 on the top. All will dissolve on their own, but the bottom (inside) layer will take 3 months and I'll have a bump under my skin until then. I should find out by the end of this week if it's benign or malignant melanoma....hopefully it's nothing though...

Seeing my incision for the first time at the office, I burst into tears - literally. It was standing straight up like the stitching in your jeans and it was a funky color. My cheek was swollen all day like a little melon and I had a hard time smiling or laughing. My roommate was nice enough to go get me some extra strength Tylenol and antibiotic ointment once I got home and then Dipna stopped by with ice cream after work - everything is cured with mint chocolate chip :)

As of today, the swelling has gone down and there is just a little bit of bruising, but nothing too major. I have to keep telling myself that I'd rather have this little cut and scar on my face rather than going through chemo in the future because I wasn't proactive now.

Two days later

And another little interesting sun fact, I now have a thing in the corner of my eye that looks like yellow chicken fat that is caused by UV rays - I guess it's very common, but just another reason that I feel like a fool for laying out and using tanning beds as often as I did.

I think I've learned my lesson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart. Yeah, thank God my mom always made me stay out of the sun. I have always slathered myself with sunscreen, used sun glasses, wore hats, etc. I was in a wedding a couple years ago and I couldn't believe the freckles on the chests and shoulders of the other girls in the wedding!! I did a little internal, "thanks mom." Working for a dermatologist made me realize the importance of sun protection and annual exams. You wouldn't want to step outside again, let alone use a tanning bed if you could have witnessed some of the horrific cases I saw. I have had some moderate-severely dysplastic moles removed so I know how scary the process can be. Even if we have been protective about our skin we are not safe from cancer. Perceptions on beauty are so strange. I always wondered why the immediate gratification of a tan overshadowed the desire to retain LONGEVITY with one's looks. And, the ballerina in me admires beautiful, white, porcelain type skin. People have chuckled at me under my unbrellas, huge hats and BIG glasses but I just smile back and think, "let's compare mugs when we are 40, 50, 60 - ya know? I am so, so glad you had your "freckle" removed. Please let me know what your pathology determines!! The scar is a clean one and should heal rather nicely. I think we girls need a "I feel your pain" moment every once in a while so if it makes you feel any better I have a wart on the side of my nose I am having removed and I have to pluck chin hairs quite often!!! lol So, don't worry about your looks - you are GORGEOUS and a tiny little scar just adds character. Hey, think of some great story to go along with it - ya know, something to tell the grandkids!!! ;)