Melanoma: Signs and Effects

For most of my life, I’ve been in the sun- either for employment or for exercise.  I am (and have been) covered in freckles since I was 10.  When my second son was born in ‘06, I resigned from teaching after having been given the “your skin is in danger” lecture by a doctor.  Now, almost three years later, I’m back teaching outdoors and have been concerned about skin cancer – since forever…  I’ve had doctor’s appointments but have never followed through with getting checked until now.

Why did I wait so long to get checked? 

However, I had one spot on my leg that was A) Itching B) Red C) Elevated and D) Changing shapes and sizes.  Basically, it was annoying me, so I went in and had it checked.  My Doctor, who also happens to be one of the parents at my school, wanted to do a biopsy immediately because it was “suspicious”.

I did not freak out until 3 minutes before walking in the doctor’s office on Friday (follow me on twitter?).  Fear of the unknown was killing me!  They were going to STICK A NEEDLE in my leg and pull out a chunk of the mole to send in for examination.  Sounds like a blast to me.

20 minutes of waiting in various offices before the actual needle insertion.  That was the hardest part.  Oh, the mole is on the back of my leg, so I couldn’t watch.  And, then, she said, we should check that one too.  What?! No way, you get to stick one needle in my leg today and that’s all you get.  The actual insertion of the numbing medication, thankfully, was all I could feel- after that it was gravy.  But, according to my doctor, since I was SO TENSE, my skin was so TIGHT, that it took two stitches to close me up.  Oh well.  They itch, but, they haven’t slowed me down at all this weekend.

15 days before I get the results.  I’m not worried.  But, am now completely annoyed and worried that there are more needles in my future.  Since, I’ve been in the sun SO MUCH in the last twenty years, it’s no wonder that I’m not covered in hairy, nasty looking moles…and why not on my face?  I’m sure that’s coming.  It runs in the family.

In case you’d like to read up on the causes and signs of skin caner, here are some links of interest:

1.Four Types of Melanoma

2.The Ugly Duckling Tool

3.Prevent Melanoma Naturally

4.Guess I better get that other one checked, heh?

On a side note, I’ve been reading that SOME amount of sun exposure daily without sunscreen can be good for you – Vitamin D, people.  But, that the key is to not get sunburned.  Believe this?

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