Monday, August 1, 2011

Melanoma

Warning: this post is honest and graphic with photos.

I try really hard to protect myself from the sun. I am so fair skinned that I feel like it's just asking for trouble if I don't put a max effort into it. Sometimes the sun beats my efforts and I get a little too much. But it's not for lack of effort! My husband on the other hand has that type of skin that tans like crazy. I always offer him sunscreen because I know what the sun can do. My Mum had skin cancer on her nose years ago and had surgery to remove it. But that was basal cell.

This past week, Mum had melanoma removed. I remember seeing the suspicious mole a few weeks ago and asking her about it. At the time, it looked like a small mole with a black spot on it on the edge. She told me she was getting it checked out soon. Before it was checked, she says it bled and scabbed and that fell off.

She had her appointment and it turned out to be melanoma. According to the American Melanoma Foundation, 1 American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 61 minutes). How do we get melanoma? From the sun or tanning beds.

You do NOT want to go through this. Trust me. If you don't believe me, look at the pictures below.


BEFORE:

AFTER:


They take a strip out of your skin an inch and a half wide. They dig down an inch. They sew you up and leave you with a large scar. Then you wait. You wait to see if it has spread to your organs, your lymph nodes. Then you find out if you need chemo or not.

Is it worth it for a little tan that is so temporary? Brown skin is not healthy. It's a defense mechanism of your skin. It boggles my mind how much value people put on a tan and how people will use tanning beds in this day and age. I did it too in college. We all have. But there is time to change that. And what better reason than your own life?

4 comments:

Jessica

Oh!! How is your mum doing?? Thanks for the reminder. I try hard to stay out of the sun, but it is hard to not want to be just a little tan!!

Mum

Very well said, Julie. I truly hope that whoever reads this will heed the warning and take care to prevent it from happening to you.

Heidi

I'm glad you posted this. This is good reminder for me. I'm sometimes not very good about making sure my kids have on sunscreen. I just forget, it's not that I don't care. I need to make a better effort with my kids! Thank you! (And a better effort with myself!)

Liz

The pictures made it very real. Thank you for sharing - Hope the best for your Mum!!

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