Saturday, February 20, 2010

ME for a change

Gage has been working out, as we left for school yesterday he told me that was a 100 lb weight and he could lift it w/one hand....







Brook came to me w/a speaker cover (someone gave Gage a large speaker he could use for his custom built toys)and she held it up in front of her mouth and said,"okay, say mmmm". I just laughed and thought...you know this kid's had plenty of audiology...





Under my clear band aid is basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) and if you look closely, I have a new spot next to it which will have to be checked out. Surgical removal is scheduled for Mar 12. But, I have to tell ya, the story behind this. I've had many spots I've questioned over the years, all look different, some brown/black, most red, some flesh colored, a knot, so when several popped up on my chest 3 weeks ago, I said to myself...my kids are in school, IF anything should really be wrong w/me, now would be the best time to take care of these things before summer comes and we are home for 2 1/2 mos when I typically don't have time, or baby sitters which would allow me to run back and forth to a bunch of ME appts. As soon as I saw the spots, I told myself looks like basal cell, just like my sister has had and I went to the computer, found a doc I liked, called and made an appt. Just like that. I'm my main obstacle when it comes to taking care of myself, so w/out hesitation I decided, I needed to take care of ME. Glad I did too, I lucked up and all spots were cleared except the one under this band aid, so glad we biopsied several though, eased my mind and the doctor's as well! And I've already started w/advocating (I'm turning into that woman I guess, people will eventually avoid, lol). So I was standing in the check out line, two teen cashiers were talking back and forth, both wanting Spring to hurry and get here so they can start their tans (both were very fair) and I listened to them talk about using accelerators to try and tan, all kinds of other products but burned their skin instead of tanning it. I walked up, between them, pulled the top of my shirt down an inch or two, showed them all my bandages and smiled and said, "and when you get my age, you'll be finding yourself scheduling appts. to have skin cancer dug out of your body." Their eyes widened and they immediately had question after question after question. Let's just say, they may be using SPF 30 this year. I assured them they could still get some color but w/out so much burn and thus less damage. I've used SPF 30 for the past couple of years, but before that, less protection or even none at all and all those years of burning in the sun is exactly why I have skin cancer now........learning to have controlled advocacy here, careful not to become some know it all pushy lady!  Assertive not aggressive when dealing w/people, assertive and aggressive when dealing w/cancer, any form of cancer. I will continue to have the full body checks as often as needed, I really like my doc and feel very comfortable w/her! Don't put off going to the doctor...especially you busy mamas out there! Sometimes we have so many appts with our children, the last thing we wanna do for ourselves is schedule a doctor's appt...just do it!

And finally, Gage is doing wonderful on his new dosage of Concerta for his ADHD, we slightly upped it and he's back to being focused and doing well. His teacher could tell a big difference yesterday!!

4 comments:

Lauren said...

I'm so sorry Val! I'm 25, and I had melanoma at 18. I have to be very cautious too, and it stinks! I have found a self tanner that works, and sometimes I'll get a spray on tan. I'll be praying for no more spots to come up!

Laura's medical journey said...

i watched a programme on tv last week about the dangers of getting a tan in tanning salons. i was a bit horrified at the fact no one mans these kinda places and they are so easy to get to. why do some teenagers have to go for a real tan?? what is wrong with spray tan or tanning lotions you know? they are safer than tanning salons! i hope you get better soon

Debbi said...

Val, Neutrogena has an SPF 100 that I use. Some day I will be brave and share a photo of my back. My back looks like I was beaten black and blue. My doctor tells me it is sun damage...nothing cancerous...not spots...it's like my capillaries exploded every place my swimsuit did not cover on my back. Now, I wear a tank top...but I've noticed the "webbing" is starting on my shoulders (I wear a lot of tanks at the coast!). I now have to wear sun screen every day, not just to the beach. If I could show it to people it would make a lot of fair skinned red heads think twice (I grew up in the days where we sunbathed with baby oil with iodine in it...yikes!). Good for you for advocating. I should do better with that myself.
Hugs,
Debbi

Val said...

yes, do the tanning lotions! We are usually outside a good bit in summer so I typically use spf 30,..but I may go up to 45 or so, now that all this has come up!