Get Checked #FuckCancer

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on April 2, 2013

in Friends

Fight Cancer - Delay is DangerousI often make the comment that I’m so white, I’m translucent. I also say that I’m not tan, I’m healthy.

My dad has had basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. He jokes that he’s been carved up so much, there won’t be anything left of him to bury. But don’t worry about him dying from cancer; he’ll die from curmudgeonry before he lets melanoma get him.

I’ll never be a skin model, unless I’m a “before” model in a before/after campaign. My skin is definitely not my best feature, what with my whole cystic acne issues and being covered head-to-toe in moles and freckles.

Last May while snorkeling on vacation in Cozumel, I got so badly sunburned that my dermatologist suggested pain killers. She also gave me a lecture I deserved.

(In my defense, I had applied a generous amount of sunscreen twice during the day on the water, but with my oh so see-through skin, I should have applied twice that much and worn a shirt over my bathing suit.)

I see my dermatologist every 6 months for overall skin checks and acne treatment effectiveness. Unfortunately for me, none of the acne treatments have worked, and aside from making myself extra super crazy-in-the-head, I’m not going to take Accutane or anything similar. And because of my family history of skin cancers, I am skin checked every 6 months. When she sees something on me that raises a flag, I don’t hesitate in telling her to take it off.

Again, I will never be a skin model.

One of my side jobs is as a content writer for a local dermatologist’s blog. Every month for the last year-plus, I’ve written 2-3 articles about skin care and skin cancer for her website.

She also happens to be my daughter’s dermatologist.

Because my 7-year-old has had a dermatologist since she was 5. I noticed 2 large moles behind her left ear when she was a toddler. When I noticed them growing, I took her to a pediatric dermatologist. Thank goodness the moles are benign, but like all spots on her skin and mine, I have to “keep an eye on it.”

Today, my friend, Dawn, passed away from melanoma.

I’d never met her face-to-face, never talked to her or heard her voice. But here in the world of social media and blogging, none of that makes you any better friends than someone you’ve spent time with outside of the computer.

We shared a love of reading, and I recently sent her two of my favorite books. She told me she loved The Sea of Tranquility, but I don’t know if she ever got to read Hopeless.

Dawn PGoodnessShe was my friend. Her husband, Mike, is my friend. He’s pretty damn hilarious on Twitter, and he’s one of the few husbands I know online.

For as long as I’ve known Dawn and Mike, I’ve known that Dawn has had melanoma and that Mike is an incredible husband.

Today, she lost her fight with melanoma.

What started as an innocuous-to-her spot on her leg in 2009 turned into what killed her today.

Her last round of chemo ended just this past February.

She’s leaving behind two boys and a husband who has doted on her since they started dating in high school.

Please, wear sunscreen.

Please, get checked.

And if you can, donate.

Donate to MRF

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Loukia April 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I’m so crushed by this. So, so sad, and awful and unfair. Certainly a reminder to us all to cherish every single second we have, to live in love, and to be smart about wearing sunscreen, and seeing our doctor when we’re concerned about anything.
An Awesome post on Loukia´s blog … Softsoap Body Wash And An Amazing Giveaway!

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2 liv April 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm

thanks for writing this on this terrible, no good day. a wonderful tribute to a wonderful friend who we all miss greatly.
An Awesome post on liv´s blog … For my friend.

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3 Becca April 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Thanks for posting this. Nice tribute to your friend.

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4 Ally April 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Very nice tribute to your friend. I’m so sorry this disease has claimed another.
I’ve watched someone die of melanoma. I’ve done the research for treatments. It’s awlful. To all: please wear sunscreen. Please stay out of tanning beds. And please get checked. Besides prevention, early detection, VERY EARLY, is the only way.
An Awesome post on Ally´s blog … Silence The Haters

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5 Sara April 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I am so very sorry about your friend. You wrote a very nice tribute to her!

I was 37 when I discovered a lump….just in the shower kind of a night before going out to a dinner with hubby for new years eve. Well, my OB poo poo’d me saying….”you nursed….you are too young…you have no history.” Well, I am very glad I didn’t listen to him and got a mammogram. To make a long long story short, I had a double mastecomy with tram resconstruction and a full course of chemo. Ten years later (I am now 47) and I still get my markers checked regularly and am clear. Living my life! Then…..

About a month ago, I noticed a spot on my hand. I am a dermatopathologist’s daughter who also wears sun screen every friggin day. I am very pale skin, think the lightest foundation color you can imagine. I am considered “fair” LOL I have regular mole checks and lots and freckles. Anyway, got it checked and it’s an actinic keratosis….precursor to squamous cell. I am actually pissed and upset but I am taking precautions and getting it taken care of.

So….never think it’s just a silly spot…you never know and you and you have get it checked early and often!

Again, so sorry to hear about your friend. Its very sad…

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6 Sara April 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I am so very sorry about your friend. You wrote a very nice tribute to her!

I was 37 when I discovered a lump….just in the shower kind of a night before going out to a dinner with hubby for new years eve. Well, my OB poo poo’d me saying….”you nursed….you are too young…you have no history.” Well, I am very glad I didn’t listen to him and got a mammogram. To make a long long story short, I had a double mastecomy with tram resconstruction and a full course of chemo. Ten years later (I am now 47) and I still get my markers checked regularly and am clear. Living my life! Then…..

About a month ago, I noticed a spot on my hand. I am a dermatopathologist’s daughter who also wears sun screen every friggin day. I am very pale skin, think the lightest foundation color you can imagine. I am considered “fair” LOL I have regular mole checks and lots and freckles. Anyway, got it checked and it’s an actinic keratosis….precursor to squamous cell. I am actually pissed and upset but I am taking precautions and getting it taken care of.

So….never think it’s just a silly spot…you never know and you and you have get it checked early and often!

Again, so sorry to hear about your friend. Its very sad…

Reply

7 Momo Fali April 3, 2013 at 11:01 am
8 Brenda April 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I am truly sadden that another person was taken from us by Cancer let alone skin cancer. My first Step-Father also passed away from it and was carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey…….his words. He weighed 85 pounds and had started off weighing 185. I have preached until I am literally hoarse to my Daughters especially as they are almost as fair skinned as I am. (I have Red hair and white skin once name “Death Pallor White” By an Estee Lauder representative. No Lie. The did not have a foundation as light as my skin. I DO NOT go out in the sun period. My skin burned walking from the parking lot to the doors of Walmart. I now don’t go to the store without SPF 100 slathered from head to toe.

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9 Jill Foer Hirsch May 4, 2013 at 12:42 am

I’m so sorry your friend lost her life, her kids lost their mom, and her husband lost his wife. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and sometimes good people forget this. As a breast cancer survivor, just a reminder that women over 40 need to get a mammogram every year. I know you’re busy, I know it’s a hassle, I know it’s unpleasant. But my breast cancer was caught on a routine mammogram, at the exact point where it was getting ready to spread. Nothing is more important than preventive care-get your skin checked, get your pap smear, physical and mammogram.
An Awesome post on Jill Foer Hirsch´s blog … Choking And Smoking

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