Friday, May 30, 2008

Yeah, I'm the party pooper...

I just wrote a comment on my friend Jen's site - Dust Bunny Hostage - and I feel kinda bad about it. She had a great, funny post about a wasp and her tanning bed. But, I was such a party pooper, a downer. I thought about going back and deleting the comment. But instead, I think I'll explain. I don't talk about this a lot, because...

A couple of years ago, I got a 'spot' on my face. Just a ring of dry skin on my upper lip, between my nose and where the color begins. I asked my doctor about it and he said it was just dry skin. I am prone to that. This 'spot' (I don't know what else to call it) was just a small ring of dry skin. It would be red and scaly, clear up, get red again...a continuous cycle. The doctor prescibed creams and kept telling me it would clear up. I trusted him...for a year! Finally I went to a dermatologist. She took a biopsy. I waited 3 weeks for the results, not thinking it was really anything. Well, it was cancer. Not melanoma (thank goodness), but squamous cell carcinoma (still scary...sounds even scarier, huh?)

So...I had to have it removed. The dermatologist sent me to a plastic surgeon. She said it had to be removed immediately. I had a friend take me to the hospital, because hubby was working out of town...not that he wouldn't have come home...but I hate surgery (have had 5 in the last 2 years) and would rather do it alone...I'm not a good patient! The surgeon did a MOH's surgery on me. He removed one layer of skin at a time, looking at each layer until he saw no more cancer cells. Then...he had to take a skin graft from my neck and sew it onto my face. Really...not pretty. Just a big piece of meat sewn onto my face. I have pictures, but I don't want to gross anyone grosses me out! Now, I have a big scar the size of a half dollar on my face (not to mention the scar on my neck). But, thanks to God and Mr.'s gone.

Please don't take this wrong. I'm not writing this for pity (that's why I don't talk about it), but mainly as a warning. Don't let your babies go into the sun without a really high SPF sunscreen, don't let your teenagers tan for hours at a time, and YOU-check yourself out! I got cancer from burning and blistering as a child and that is how most of us (older folks!) get it.

And yes, the self tanners may smell, but the alternative is...

So, if you see that stinky, orange woman wandering around the drug store looking for's me!

(I'll post a happier, though remodeling woe post tonight if I have time!...Gotta go call the plumber (another sad story!).




  1. I agree too, Debbie. Unfortunately, we didn't know that much about the harmful effects of the sun when we were kids.

  2. Hi,
    First I want to thank you for visiting me. It means a lot to me since I'm so new to blogging.
    You are right about the skin cancer warning. I had the same thing on my arm. I have about an inch long scar on my arm which is OK but it was indented quite a lot for many years. The "hole" bothered me more than the scar. Your doctor should have referred you to a dermatologist much sooner.
    I'm sorry they had to do all that to your face. My surgery was an out patient thing.
    Hugs, Susan from the Little Yellow House

  3. I have a friend who thinks she has to lay out in the sun and get a tan to look good. I have warned her for years about skin cancer. I have fair skin and burn easily so I always use sunblock. Not only does too much sun cause skin cancer but also causes wrinkles.

  4. I totally understand where you are coming from regarding skin cancer, having had a couple of friends who have had to deal with fun. I have been tanning for 23 (yes, 23) years in a bed, or out by the pool, etc. I need to stop I am sure, but I get checked out all the time and I have slowed down alot. I start tanning in the spring and quit by July...

  5. That happened to my mom, in almost the same place. Except hers was basal cell. I am so scared of skin cancer and I go and get checked every year. But I am afraid they are going to miss something. I tanned mercifully as a youth and worked at a tanning salon (got to tan for free....) It is never too late to use sunscreen and help prevent further damage. Especially on kids! I also always wear a baseball cap when outside or riding my horse, to protect my scalp and help shade my face.

  6. Do you know I JUST found this?

    Listen, being concerned is NOT being a party pooper. I wish like everything that I had never enjoyed being tan. Had never seen how much better I like my looks with a tan. Truly, I wish that.

    AND I make my kiddos wear sunscreen. It's a MUST. I promise! I worry about skin cancer actually, and I think that I could very well face it one day. How pathetic is that? That I can admit that and still get in the tanning bed occasionally?

    I appreciate what you wrote and I wish that I had seen it sooner. I have got to get through this month and the first of next month so that I can visit my Blog friends regularly.

    Please don't think that you have to delete anything you say to me, unless you call me fat, because I value your opinion, unless it is that I am fat. :)

    Be blessed my Friend!!