A few months ago, I made an appointment to see a Dermatologist to have a skin check performed.
All through high school, college and the early years of my marriage, I was a sun god. Loved it, loved it, loved it... needed it, needed it, needed it. I used the 'real' sun and the 'fake' sun, aka tanning beds.
A friend, who is a few years younger than I, told me she had been diagnosed with melanoma in the past and therefore has to have a skin check every 6 months. She has a long scar on her bicep from this experience.
After hearing her story, I decided I should have everything and everyone attached to me looked at.
Monday was my appointment. I get into the room, strip down, put on a paper gown and wait.
The Dr. comes in and looks me over, charts some areas and notices a freckle on the upper left side of my chest. She says, "Hmm, that makes me nervous."
She continues on her quest for ' free radicals.' I point out a few moles that bothered me, ones that I thought were worrisome. She goes back to the original spot, "Ya, that one is really bothering me." I can tell she is bothered by having to scar my body in order to remove the leach, but has a feeling something isn't right. I just kept thinking, "I am SO glad to be here." And I was serious. I was proud to be taking care of myself whether or not I receive bad news.
Where there is no plan, the people perish and I did not want to perish when I can be proactive.
She finally decides she needs to cut it out. She numbs it, cuts a circle the size of a pencil head and sews it up with 2 stitches. It didn't hurt a bit!
She tells me, "I will send this off to the lab and we will call you when we get the results. Once the results are in, we will make a plan and decide what needs to be done and how often you need to come in."
"OK." I get up, get dressed and head out. Slightly nervous because I'm not sure what the pathologist is going to say.
This morning, while I'm still in bed my phone vibrates. I clear my throat so I sound awake, "Hello?"
"Is Megan available?"
"This is she."
"Hi, Megan, it's Lisa from Dr. Anderson's office. We got the results back."
I begin to feel very nervous and jittery inside, like I felt when Matt and I were dating and he'd call.
"Well, the pathologist said 'it's extremely asymmetrical.'"
She goes on to explain that there are three levels and mine is the third.
"Sooo, is it melanoma?"
"No, if it was that they would have said, it's just extremely asymmetrical. So the doctor is going to need you to come back in and she is going to have to make a larger incision and remove a larger area so we can be sure it is all taken out just in case. It is possible it can turn into melanoma."
"OK, thank you."
I made an appointment, hung up the phone and just laid there in bed. Mainly b/c it was so cold in the house I didn't want to get out from underneath the blankets.
I haven't laid out or gone to a tanning bed in over three years and I am so thankful. I had been contemplating a tanning bed b/c I feel so pale, but I am so glad I listened to that gut feeling telling me to 'run away, don't pass go and do not collect $200.'
If you are a 'sun lover' like I used to be.... run away, don't pass go and do not collect $200. BUT do make an appointment to have your skin checked. See, the spots I thought were questionable, was NOT the spot that bothered her. It was one that looked fine to my naked eye, but to a trained eye, it was not good.
Get a skin check!!