I 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.
— phenom1984 (@phenom1984) April 2, 2013
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.
She 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.
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.