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