Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun. Please Shine Down on Me!

Yippee! It is Spring! The air is warm. The sun is shining. And, we get to play outside!

But, all this excitement leads me to my PSA about sun safety: WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN!! (Yes, I meant to yell that.)

Just recently (as in, last Wednesday), I went to see a dermatologist for the very first time in my life. I don't know what prompted me to go. I don't know if I read an article, or saw something on television, or what it was that put it in my mind that I should make an appointment. Maybe it was because I turned 35 this year and suddenly felt like I was getting older (perhaps that getting older feeling is related to all the gray hairs I keep plucking from head- aack!). Whatever the reason, I made an appointment for a well-visit mole check on my entire body.

At my appointment, the doctor did a thorough examination of my skin. This particular doctor is known for being aggresively preventive, so he recommended that I have a few moles removed - just in case. To the untrained eye, these moles looked like any other. They weren't big or irregular, but apparently, they were darker than the rest, and that is why he selected them.

Anyway, as it turned out, one of the moles on my arm was melanoma in situ - a.k.a. Cancer! That's right, I have skin cancer.

Fortunately, we caught it in its earliest of stages, and the treatment is simply to thoroughly remove the mole, making sure to go deep enough and wide enough around it.

So, today, I sit here as an official cancer survivor. I have a 4-inch incision on my right forearm, and I have to go back for check-ups every 6 months (a pretty small price to pay for my life, in my opinion).

Praise the Lord for putting it into my head that I needed to go to the doctor! Praise the Lord that the doctor found them and made the decision to remove them as opposed to monitoring them!

So, as you head out into the sun this spring and summer, remember your sunscreen and your hats. And, if you have never been to the dermatologist for a mole check...I highly recommend it!

Yes, we are wearing sunscreen in these pics! =)

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