Thank you so much for all of your support regarding my last post about my recent health issues! I get my lab results back next Friday, so I will let you guys know what is going on in the health department at that time. Your comments and stories of similar health issues have been so inspiring and I am trying my best to keep my head up and keep moving forward.
Sorry I’ve been a little MIA for the past couple of days. I have not been feeling well at all. Still pouring over here in Catherine’s world! Ugh. I just got home from the dermatologist and I have a foot update:
Good News: Stitches are out!
Not Good News: My skin biopsy came back showing abnormal cells. It wasn’t melanoma, but it wasn’t normal or “ok” either. This means that if I left the mole and didn’t have it removed, it had a potential to turn into melanoma. Luckily my doctor removed the surrounding borders of the mole so I don’t have to have another surgery. All of the bad parts are gone! I am so thankful!
Bad News: Since my biopsy came back abnormal, my dermatologist wanted to check the soles/pads of my hands and feet for other suspicious moles. He saw another dark oddly shaped mole on the opposite foot and insisted that he remove it and have it biopsied. My eyes started to tear up. Was this really happening? I kept it together and thought about the reality, I would rather suck it up and deal with the pain, crutches, or even a wheelchair than leaving a possibly cancerous mole.
Skin cancer is something that runs in my family, so it’s important to check my skin (you should too!) for new and changing moles frequently. Three years ago I felt a bump on my scalp while combing my hair. At first I thought it was an ingrown hair, but a month later it was still there. I made an appointment with my dermatologist to check it out. While observing the bump on my scalp, he also noticed a strangely shaped flat light brown mole about an inch down. He decided to biopsy both moles since one had irregular borders and one was raised. When my biopsy came back, I was informed that the flat mole was pre-melanoma. I went in for another appointment to remove the mole and surrounding borders completely which left me with a little bald spot on the crown of my head. Missing a little patch of hair didn’t even matter, I was so happy to have that spot removed! Better safe than sorry! Ever since then, I have been more cautious of new and abnormal looking moles.
This summer I noticed that a once tiny small dot of the pad of my left foot had turned into a triangular shaped blurry spot about the size of a pencil eraser. I already had an appointment with my dermatologist since I was experiencing breakouts, and decided to show him my foot. The instant he saw it, he said “this needs to come out, this has three different colors and a fuzzy border.” He also explained that moles should not be found on the soles/pads of feet or hands, which is a big red flag. There is a very serious kind of skin cancer called Acral Lentiginous Melanoma that is found in these spots. I am so glad that my doctor decided to schedule a surgery and remove the mole because it definitely needed to go.
I don’t want to fill my food blog with disturbing photos of skin cancer, but I think it’s an important subject to address. A couple of my family members have had melanoma and basal cell carcinoma which have luckily been removed in time, but we have also lost friends from skin cancer. Of all the cancers that humans can get, skin cancer is the most common, but when caught early, skin cancer has a 98% cure rate.
ABCs of Skin Cancer
Asymmetric: If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match.
Border: The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.
Color: Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, blue or some other color.
Diameter: Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil (1/4 inch or 6 mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.
Evolving: Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.
“1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer. Don’t be the 1.” -The American Academy of Dermatology
My Motto: When in doubt, cut it out!
Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter how dark or tan you are. If you see anything suspicious, make an appointment with your dermatologist and get that sucker removed!
After I got home from the dermatologist I was super excited to see this book waiting for me! My grandma dropped it off while I was at my appointment, thanks Grammy! So excited to have something to look at since I’ll be back on the couch haha
I was even more excited to receive this gorgeous little box in the mail. One of my best friends from college asked if I would be her bridesmaid! FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW!!!! I am soooo excited and honored. She is going to be the most gorgeous bride and I cannot wait for her big day!
Although I had a little setback today with my
foot feet, things are looking up. I have the most amazing friends and family in the world! I can’t wait to get back on my feet and start posting some recipes again!