So…I’m reporting back with an update from my dermatology visit back in July in hopes that it encourages you to get your skin checked annually if you don’t, or to go see your doctor if something feels off to you.
Earlier this summer I decided to make an appointment (outside of my annual skin check) to have my doctor take a look at a small, flat itchy freckle on my back. While she wasn’t too concerned about it, my doctor suggested we remove it just for peace of mind, and while I was already there she wanted to take off 2 additional spots — one on my tummy and one on my leg. Y’all know I am all about cutting/removing parts of my body that give me concern so off they went!
I tried not to think about it too much but in full transparency, I was kind of freaking out while waiting for the biopsy results to come back from the lab. I just had a really bad, sinking feeling that all my years of tanning beds and sunbathing in baby oil in the Florida sun were going to finally catch up to me.
Finally, after 10 excruciating days, I received the call from my doctor’s office. The spots on my back and tummy were clear. But unfortunately, the TINY freckle on my leg was in fact skin cancer — specifically melanoma.
The good news is that we caught it early enough that it had not grown deeper than the top layer of the skin (the epidermis) and thankfully could be treated with a quick outpatient surgery. While this is truly the best-case scenario for melanoma, just hearing the word “cancer” is extremely triggering for me and I had some pretty bad days leading up to the procedure.
If you’re a newer follower: Cancer runs rampant in my family — especially breast cancer. I have lost both of my parents at very young ages to it (my birth mom, Caroline, at age 30 and my dad at 62 after a grueling battle). Because of the long history of breast cancer in my family, I had a prophylactic double mastectomy in 2015 shortly after having Thomas. So I tend to sweat when I hear the 6-letter “c” word.
Anyway, I had my surgery a little more than two weeks ago and was relieved to receive the call earlier this week informing me that the path report is ALL CLEAR! So no further treatment is necessary and I’ll be seen every 3 months for skin checks for the rest of my life (totally fine by me). The hole in my leg is healing nicely and I am just SO grateful that all is well and I can stop working on my folder with all my passwords for Matt.
Again, I share this scare because I really wavered on whether to make an appointment or just wait another 6 months for my next annual skin check. I don’t know if/how things would be different if I waited and I just want to encourage you to MAKE THE APPOINTMENT if you are on the fence about getting something checked out AND to schedule your annual skin check if you don’t already do this. Skin checks take 15 minutes and if you’re local to Charlotte I will gladly share the information for my amazing dermatologist with you.
Oh and WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN — daily. My dermatologist recommends this one from Supergoop!