2 years ago, after much insisting from my boyfriend, I went to the dermatologist to have that small (size of a pencil eraser) spot on my temple checked out. Sure enough, it came back suspect. I was referred to a cosmetic dermatologist for further exploration and testing.
They took separate layers of tissue, testing each one (on-site) before going deeper to the next layer. Three hours later, they felt they had gotten it all. The doctor said she had found 5 cancer "clusters" in total and her estimate was they had been growing there for approximately 3 years!!
I asked to see the spot before she stitched it. She was VERY resistant and when I looked in the mirror, I understood why!! I burst into tears at the sight of this hole in my face. A cancer hollowed hole, that was just that morning, a little raised pink patch. Yes the doctor used the C word, cancer. I was shocked and scared.
I remember her asking me to hold still as I sobbed, so she could stitch me up aesthetically. So many thoughts raced through my head, as I laid there. I should have worn sunscreen on my face, I should have listened to my loved one and seen the dermatologist sooner, skin cancer doesn't discriminate, this could have been so much more advanced...
Then doctor said "it's okay, you'll still be pretty." WHAT?! I hadn't even thought about that part yet! Tears flooded once more; I cried for my vanity, not knowing what the appearance of the scar would be and I cried knowing that vanity, is exactly what got me there in the first place.
May is melanoma/skin cancer awareness month. I share my story in hopes that you will learn from my mistakes. Wear sunscreen or a hat, protect your skin. Don't be stubborn (like I was), get checked regularly by a dermatologist. I am incredibly thankful that this was caught when it was! The scar has healed well and serves as a subtle reminder that I am not invincible. I choose health over vanity; not just for me, but for my kids and those I love❤️