Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two Words I Never Thought I Would Hear...

Your biopsies have been tested and the spot on your leg, unfortunately, came back positive for 
SKIN CANCER

When I heard those words come through the phone, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Was it a joke? Was I dying? Was she mistaken?

But before I could even wrap my head around those two words, the doctor chimed in and assured me that the type of skin cancer I have is not life-threatening. I have what's called a 


It is the most frequently occurring form of skin cancer and it is typically caused by UV exposure. 

As she was explaining the causes, I could picture my 18-year-old self on a lawn chair at the pool in my college apartment complex, smearing tanning oil all over my body. I could also picture all those trips to the tanning bed and the hundreds of dollars I spent trying to be tan.

While we were on the phone, she also told me that the mole they removed on my back came back "abnormal" and typically these types of "abnormal" moles turn into much more serious types of cancer. And so, I will have to have surgery in two weeks to remove a larger area of tissue from my back just to make sure we have clean margins.

As for my leg, we are going to discuss some other alternative treatments but in the end, that may come to surgery as well. Small price to pay when you consider how much worse this could have been.

When my sis-in-law Dana begged me to get this suspicious looking spot on my let checked out, I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would come back as skin cancer. Never. And now, that routine check-up not only spotted that cancer, but also spotted a spot that COULD HAVE been cancer. I feel like a very lucky girl. 

And as scary as this situation is, I am thankful for it. It makes me realize, once again, just how precious our lives are and how they can be changed in a second. Doctors suggest these routine checks for a reason and we should all do ourselves a favor and GET CHECKED. Be conscious of your body and always, ALWAYS, wear sunscreen and be safe in the sun. 

After I got my diagnosis, I told Eric that I needed to make some changes. Although I am always good about wearing sunscreen at the beach or when we are outside all day, I often forget that even my 30-minute runs outside or trips to the park with the kids are exposing me to the sun. So instead of asking Santa for some of my usual skincare items for my stocking...I have a new list.


A Perfect World™ SPF 25 Age-defense moisturizer with White Tea


Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 70


product image

And because I will never be able to resist a sun-kissed look in the summer...


Clarins - Delicious Self-Tanning Cream
So the purpose of this post friends is to simply encourage all of you to GET CHECKED THIS YEAR! And of course, be thankful for your health every single day :-)

18 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that you went to the doctor! Everything will turn out just fine. Thank you for reminding me to make my appointment. Being a redhead, I've had my fair share of sunburns.

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    1. Me too!! SO many sunburns!! But never again...I need to find a really cute BIG hat :-)

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  2. Jen! I'm so glad they caught this! I need to go to the dermatologist, too, and you've given me the impetus to do that. Praying for you friend!

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    1. Thanks Anna!! And yes...get checked. The peace of mind will be so worth it in the end. Thanks for the prayers friend :-)

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  3. That is great news! I had my skin cancer check earlier this year...its surprising how closely they check you out. Most people think about the main parts of their body...who ever knew it could appear between your toes too!

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    1. Between your toes? It's crazy isn't it...to think just how sensitive our bodies are. That's so great that you get checked every year. I put it off for so long...but now I will be checked ALL the time :-)

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  4. I go every year to my dermatologist too to get checked. All those years of life guarding..... I've had moles removed too. Thankfully nothing serious.

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    1. So glad you get checked cuz...I need to be MUCH smarter now too.

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  5. So scary Jen! I'm glad you got checked our and are getting all fixed up! I need to be better about sunscreen.

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    1. Thank you, Jen!! I have been terrible about sunscreen all my life. But not anymore!!! Good thing fake tan is so easy to get these days. Ha!

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  6. I. HATE. CANCER. But, I love you friend, and I will be praying for you. :-) Also, where did you go? I need to get checked too! :-)

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    1. Thank you Kate!! I know that word has changed your life too. IT SUCKS!!! I went to Rios & Lipinski but I saw their new physician and she was wonderful. Get checked honey...it's a good thing to do :-)

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  7. Thinking of you Jen! So glad you found this early!

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    1. Thank you Jen!!! I am glad too :-)

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  8. That is so scary and I'm so glad you caught it. I am 27 years old and I have had 2 melanomas. I KNOW without a doubt that I can thank all of my hours in the tanning bed for that, and I have a huge ugly scar on my leg to show for it. Skin cancer is no joke. I hope the alternative treatments work for you!

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  9. Oh no!! That is so scary! Amy just had that same thing happen to her this year. I really need to get checked out again! I go once a year, but this is a great reminder to get checked again. I use to tan WAY too much in college. UGH! Glad you are ok!

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  10. Oh my goodness! How scary! I'm glad it's under control, but it certainly is a sobering thought to think that our decisions to be tan could be hurting us :( I know that I am super guilty of this and worried about the potential for future skin cancer diagnosis! Glad you're going to be OK though!

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  11. Oh my gosh! I am so glad you're okay!!! We've had lovely issues with our internet connection lately and I completely missed this post. Again, I am soooooo glad you're okay. And I hope (and pray of course) the surgery goes well. I read your post for Tuesday and read the word surgery and you freaked me out. I started scanning posts until I found this one.

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