October 22, 2020: When I was growing up, and when my mom was growing up..we didn’t really know much about skin cancer.
She was a “gimme all you got” sun goddess who used baby oil and iodine.
And when I came along, the sun was a non issue. In my teens, I used to go to the tanning bed. A few times a week. Mom went, I went. I looked great. Then, around 17 or 18, I stopped. I went on and off a few more times, but never like before.
I have ALWAYS been an outside person. But I don’t remember even really using sunscreen until my mid 20s. Maybe even 30s.
But that is when it became a public campaign about skin and skin cancer and sunscreen. I worked more than I was outside, and would burn a lot faster. So I used it just to prevent a painful sunburn.
When my son came along, I started using sunscreen on him. And started using it on myself more. It was just a natural progression as knowledge about the sun and skin cancer became more prevalent.
Now, in the last few years, I have become a sunscreen demon. Bottles everywhere. When I’m out in the sun, I’m applying it, lathering it on, every hour or so.
But, its too late. My skin has severe sun damage, and I’m not even 50. My skin looks 10 years older than it should. Things that are happening to my skin, usually happen to much older folks.
I have skin cancer. Not a biggie, could be a lot worse. Its not the deathly melanoma, but 2nd to it. Squamous cell. It’s ugly
Its grows fast, and can metastasize. Honestly, I feel like I put off going to doctor way to long.
Until I looked at the photos side by side, I did not realize how quickly it changed. It started as a small little flesh colored bump. That was, April or May 2020. I thought it was a bite, or infected hair or some other random bump. It was hard. But it never went away.
Then, about July or August, it was a little more noticeable, a little red, and not going away.
I realized i needed to pay attention to it. I think I clipped once or twice shaving, may have picked at it because I thought it was a dry spot or something. It just kept coming right back. Didn’t really change much though.
I have talked to a lot of people, and it seems they aren’t that uncommon. Squamous cell certainly aren’t as bad as melanoma, but they aren’t as innocent as Basal cell carcinomas. And everything is ALWAYS worse when its happening to you. Your pain is worse, your cost is worse, your time is more valuable, the urgency is worse.
Unfortunately, I really don’t have anything else to compare it to, other than how it feels, or appears to me. I’m not sure how fast these things are normally grown. Maybe I missed the early warnings when it was a little dot, that didn’t go away and I would never have made it to this point. What would have happened if I had not paid attention to that little red dot?
Yes, its a squamous cell carcinoma. Biopsy confirmed. Awesome. I have to have the Mohs done, but can’t get it until Dec 2. AND THE STUPID THING HAS ALREADY GROWN BACK. 2 weeks, and it barely looks like it was removed.
November 12, 2020: Holy hell! Just my luck. New insurance October. New deductible. And a deductible that starts over in Jan.
Thankfully, I was able to get my procedure moved up, so this thing won’t keep growing. Lucky you, just keep reading. Me? I have to wait 2 more weeks…🤪
And its $800 for this procedure. Out of pocket, towards my deductible. I’m seriously considering 🤔 rescheduling for January. Holy hell. But, its a freaking cancer. Surely the doctor won’t advise it, since they moved me up. My brain is trying to rationalize that it probably won’t be that bad if I wait until Jan 2nd. I really want it gone. And its growing fast. But holy hell, just to pay 800 and start over.
I wonder what happens to people who don’t have the money, or the 800 co pay? They just let it grow? Not really the ER type of thing…but what the hell. Even if they set up a payment plan, they want $500 up front. I get it, they are a business. In business to make money, but damn. This isn’t botox, or a sinus infection. I wonder how they work that out. If would so bad for everyone who has some sort of cancer and can’t pay, I would never make any money. Sigh. Guess I need to suck it up and do it.
Update 11/21: Surgery done. Almost 2 inches wide, and a fingertip deep. Now the fun part. Stay off leg for a few days. Right when planning Thanksgiving and working. House won’t get cleaned, laundry will sit, bags won’t be packed and pies won’t be made.
But, if it doesn’t get done, then, it doesn’t get done. But, I no longer have a cancer on my leg…so there’s that.
Updated 12/4: coming right along. Stitches come out Wednesday. Its starting to annoy me. Getting red, and the stitches rub against every pair of pants I have.
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