For some reason when your doctor calls you and says, “we got the lab results back,” the pause that follows seems to linger forever.
Being diagnosed with skin cancer in March, more specifically Basal Cell Carcinoma, just didn’t seem right.
I’m 37 years old. If I’m going to be honest, I thought skin cancer was for older people. But after that lingering pause, I found out here I was about to pay for my years of sun worshipping.
I tried to be positive by telling myself that Basal Cell Carcinoma is the best skin cancer to have. It has the best survival rate and best success for removal when treated early. The one problem was the two spots my dermatologist found were on my face. They were smack dab in the middle of my nose and another on my right temple.
Sadly, my first thought was not about survival, but how disfiguring was the plastic surgery going to be to my face. In a day and age when our viewers watch us every night on their big screen, high-definition TVs, I wondered would my scars standout for the rest of my career.
Maybe that was something I should have thought about in my teens and 20’s, but let’s face it what kid thinks about their future? We live for the now! From the time I could remember, I never wore sunscreen. I can remember summers spent all day on the golf course. I had sunburns, that at times, would blister on my face.
I didn’t know years later they would find out a single sunburn can nearly double your risk for skin cancer later in life. I attended college in Arizona. I would lay by the pool when it was 110 degrees out and then hit the tanning bed at night. In the winter, I bought monthly unlimited sessions to whatever tanning salon was the cheapest.
Even into my early 30’s, I hated using sunscreen because it felt greasy and made my face shiny. It is one of the biggest reasons why so many people don’t use it everyday like they should. I sadly fall into a trend in our country that is going in the wrong direction.
Doctors and dermatologists are treating more and more patients in their 20’s and 30’s for skin cancer than ever before. It was once told to me that your present will soon become your past, which will affect your future.
I wish I had listened.
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