Friday, July 25, 2014

The Mysterious Mole

I wanted to blog about this topic because I think so many of us out there are taking our skin health for granted. How many of us actually take the time to check our bodies for new or unusual moles or skin imperfections? The answer should be all of us, but unfortunately that is untrue. Back in May of this year I discovered a small but very dark in color mole on my right side. I had never noticed it before, it just sort of "popped up". Considering my family history (I have a brother who has had to have moles removed) I thought it would be smart to get myself to the dermatologist to have it checked. I should have been having annual skin check-ups for a while now, but I just kept putting them off. In my own defense, the idea of letting a doctor look over my entire body was so embarrassing, but I decided that it was worth it to keep myself healthy. I had my appointment in June and my doc decided that he wanted to biopsy my strange mole and get it checked to be on the safe side. I am so glad he did. The results showed that it was a severely A-typical mole. That simply means that it was not melanoma, but if let on my body it had the potential later on to become melanoma. This news was upsetting to begin with, but then I was very relieved to hear that they could remove the rest of the mole and hopefully take care of the issue. I had to see a surgeon earlier this month to have the mole removed and get myself all stitched up. My incision is a little over an inch long and has seven stitches in it. It has been a little tender and some days it is so itchy it almost drives me crazy, but I have to say I am healing up very nicely. I go back in a few days to have the stitches removed and get my lab results. I am going to have a nice scar, but it will serve as my reminder to get my skin check-up every year. I am so glad that I got over my foolish pride and had myself checked out. I mean, what if I had just not gone, left the mole there and a few years from now found out I had melanoma. I want to be around to watch my girls grow up and live their lives. Plus, I want to finish out living mine to the max. Why write about this you might ask? I want everyone to be aware of the dangers in ignoring something that needs to be checked. I have not been in a tanning bed in 20 years and I have not been in a bathing suit (without being covered up) in 15 years. I did so much damage to my skin as a teenager. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to take better care of me. I know my family history puts me more at risk, but you should have yourself checked every year even if your family has never been affected. It may be the smartest decision you ever make and it could save your life. "That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"