Tag Archive | skin

The Skin I Live In

blur-body-care-161608Every so often I like to remind my readers to take care of their skin. Since I went for my annual full body scan this morning, today seemed like a good day for that reminder!

Several years ago, a group of women I worked with and I decided that we needed to go for a skin exam. We had seen an advertisement for free exams at a facility about 30 minutes or so from work and we all signed up. During that exam, an “atypical” mole was identified and it was suggested that I see a dermatologist for follow up. The suspect mole was ultimately removed without any issue, and thus began my commitment to annual full body scan. I never miss it.

Let’s face it, we’ve all done some stupid stuff — hot sun, no hat, no sunscreen, or worse yet, application of baby oil. I’ve had some super painful burns in my past and, given my cancer history, I think it’s prudent to get checked regularly. Even if you don’t have a history of cancer, it’s a smart move.

We all know that we should have our skin checked if we see a change in size, shape or color of a mole. But there are many parts we can’t see by ourselves! My problem mole was on the lower middle of my back; I would never have seen it on my own. And just because you may have burned your scalp, as an example, it doesn’t mean that’s where skin cancer would appear. It can show up anywhere. I have have peace of mind knowing that I was checked by a professional who knows what she’s looking for.

Today I learned that I should look at my toenails before reapplying polish. Not for the discoloration that may come from applying nail polish too often and without break, but to look for any spots that might show up under the nail! I would never have thought to look there. So next time you go for that pedi… take a look!

Another great suggestion I had heard previously (but have yet to implement…my bad…) is to have your spouse, best friend, significant other, mother… someone… take a picture of your back every six months and compare to the prior for any changes that might need a closer look.

If you don’t have insurance or don’t want to pay a co-payment, you can look for free screenings like my co-workers and I did all those years ago. Check out: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/programs/screenings/find-a-screening

In the meantime, take care of your skin! It’s the only one you have to live in.

IMDb: The Skin I Live In (2011)

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Six Degrees of Separation

Radiation countdown:  6 to go!

Today was my last day of regular radiation of the right chest wall, including lymph nodes under my armpit and around my collar bone.  From this treatment, I have some “tanning” on the collar bone, as I mentioned, and also in my arm pit, which I only noticed tonight.  The arm pit is a weird dark color.  At least it’s still winter in NE PA, so no worries there.  Hopefully it fades before the sleeveless shirts come out!

The remaining six treatments are all the boosts to my scar.  Apparently, if the cancer were to recur locally, the scar area is one of the main areas it would return, hence the boost.  According to the doctor, though, they only do this for “younger” patients.  (I love him!)  My favorite techs said it will all go even faster than my regular treatments.

My hair continues to make some progress.  When I looked in the mirror tonight, I was reminded of Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.  Ok, so maybe that’s pushing it, but it’s getting pretty close.  Looks like it’s coming in dark…so much for my wish for red!  Eye brows and lashes are still mostly MIA.

G.I. Jane (1997) Poster