I love the sun. I love the warmth & overall good feelings it brings. Unfortunately, the sun does not love me back. As a fair skinned-freckled-redhead, I’ve always known that I have a higher chance of getting skin cancer & unfortunately, I don’t know any of my family history either. I’ve been an avid user of self tanners since I can’t get a natural tan in the first place. I’m guilty of using tanning beds more than I should. It was the thing to do when I was in middle school & high school. I even worked at a tanning salon for awhile during my senior year of high school & would tan for free. In college & my early 20s, I would use tanning beds off & on. I loved laying in the warmth of the bed, especially in the middle of January.
Back in December, I read posts by two different bloggers within a week of each other where they had to have cancerous spots removed. It finally hit me that I needed to get to the doctor ASAP. I’ve had these two black spots just above the back of my knee that I knew I needed to get checked out. They weren’t large spots by any means, smaller than the size of a pencil eraser but little bigger than a pen mark. The bad thing is that I just kept putting off making an appointment. It’s not like I didn’t have health insurance or something like that. I was just lazy. I’ve also had another nagging skin condition that I needed to get check out so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone.
I ended up having to go back into the office on January 27th to get the two little stitches removed. Curtis & I both tried to cut them out here at home but didn’t have much luck with it. They still didn’t have my results back yet but assured me that they would call as soon as they received them. I called on Wednesday & Thursday of last week before I finally got a call back from the nurse. The first call was to let me know that my results were still pending. About 20 minutes later, she called me back to let me know she actually found my results.
I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as I heard that. I was so convinced I had melanoma due to my genetics along with the fact that the mole was black & found on the back of my leg.
Since this appointment was just a quick spot check on the moles I thought were concerning, I have a full body scan scheduled for next month. It is possible that I could have some more spots removed after that time. This whole experience has been extremely eye opening. I know I’ve already done some damage to my skin by using tanning beds, not wearing sunscreen all the time, etc. so I fear that skin cancer will eventually come about at some point in my life. I am vowing to start using sunscreen more often (and not just when I’m outside at boot camp during the summer) and yearly body checks.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? Any suggestions on good sunscreen? I’ve been using a sport sunscreen or a generic store brand kind.