Friday, March 8, 2013

The one where I find out I have skin cancer

I always knew this day would come.
I was born with red hair and I've been covered in freckles for as long as I can remember.  I would almost always get burned any time I would go swimming or play outside all day.  As I grew up, that didn't change much. 
When I moved to college I started going to the tanning bed regularly, like year around.  I would burn the first couple of time after only laying a few minutes but eventually it would turn tan.  Well, at least as tan as I could be.  I would go through spurts where I would try to give up the tanning bed and use sunless tanner or get spray tans when they came out.  It never lasted very long and I would end up going back to the tanning bed.  I always knew it wasn't good for me but I did it anyway. 
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago.  I was at work and one of the girls said her grandma was diagnosed with melanoma.  She happened to have a picture of the spot on her leg and she showed it to me.  I had a spot that looked just like that on my side, right on my rib cage.  I called the dermatologist the next day, on Wednesday and made an appointment for Thursday.  I went on Thursday to have the spot looked at and also some spots on my chest.  I saw the PA and she immediately said the spots on my chest was Actinic Keratoses.  She counted 19 spots on my chest!!  Yeah, 19!  Once again, I'm not surprised.  The plan is to treat those with Solaraze gel but I have to wait till the end of the month to start.  I just stopped going to the tanning bed about a week before my appointment because I had worked the 5 days before and hadn't gone.  She said that I would need to be back to my natural color (pale pale pale) so my skin wouldn't be anymore discolored.  She then looked at the spot on my ribcage and said she wanted to biopsy it. 
A week later, I got a phone call from the office. The results from my biopsy were in and it was basal cell carcinoma.  She went ahead and scheduled my surgery date to have it removed.  That day is today.  I answered my pre-op questions and she told me she would call in my antibiotic ointment that I would need to put on my stitches for 2 weeks.  Yeah, they have to stay in for two weeks! 
I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous, not of the actual skin cancer but of the days afterwards.  I don't think I deal with pain well.  I'm worried about sleeping, drying my hair, working.  I'm off the weekend so that helps.  Hopefully, I'm making it out to be more than what it will actually be.  My best friend is going to go with me so I don't have to go by myself. 
I'm ready for it to be done and over with.
I have to embrace my paleness for the rest of the month but after that it will be sunless tanner and spray tans!!  #skincancerisnojoke



That is really scary, and I'll be thinking of you. Good luck!

PS- Pale is the new tan. Embrace it, honey!


Krystal! You poor girl! I hope everything turns out well for you. You are right, it is no joke. We just lost a very close friend to melenoma. So glad you recognized it so early! Prayers to you!