Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cancer? But I'm a Capricorn!

I have been putting off visiting a dermatologist for quite some time.  After all, I have a rare form of psoriasis that rears its ugly head about once every 10 years where I am required to see a dermatologist for obvious reasons.  But for general overall health, I have been putting it off.

About 1-2 years ago, I got what I thought was a normal blackhead in the crease of my nose.  I don't typically have acne of any kind but do get an occasional breakout or pimple.  Didn't think much of it.  A few days/weeks later, I thought that it was just a really stubborn zit.  Then a "top" formed over it and I assumed it was something like scar tissue because I had messed with it so much.  When I washed my face, exfoliated, dried my face with a towel, wiped sweat -- it would bleed and scab over.  Granted, it was very small and I kept telling myself it would go away one day.  Add Merritt into this equation - and well, now its almost 2 years later!  A tiny bump on my face certainly did not take priority in my last year and a half!  :)

My psoriasis cleared up when I got pregnant with Merritt.  I haven't been back to the dermatologist since (and I have yet to find a regular dermatologist in Jackson).  I have tried several different ones over the past 10 years and they all have their own rules!  Some don't see new patients, some don't take insurance, some do - but you can only get an appointment 6-12 months away, some are only open a few hours a week, etc... 

I finally decided that I had enough reasons to make an appointment!  Which were:

1)  I still have psoriasis in my hair and have to wash my hair up to 4 times a day to get the itch and flakiness gone.  twice with otc psoriasis shampoo, but that makes my hair dry, so then i have to wash with my regular shampoo and conditioner.  AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!  I've got 3 kids, and I barely have time to wash my hair once!  I wanted to try a prescription shampoo and see if that helped.

2)  I have this tiny bump beside my nose that won't go away.

3)  My dad had skin cancer, so can you do a full body check for anything suspicious?

4)  I have a few pregnancy "changes" that include skin tags, cysts, moles, etc.  Can we laser these skin things off so I don't feel so old?

I decided that was enough reasons to pay out-of-pocket fees because MOST insurances do NOT pay for dermatology visits or procedures. Grrr... plus I have a husband who loves me no matter what kind of "growths" I may or may not have.  Bless him.  He thinks I should never have any cosmetic work done if you know what I mean.  I've never had anything done surgically, but he considered moles and such to be elective/optional as well...   again, bless his heart.  He has no idea what its like to be a female and still want him to see you the way you looked the day you were married.  

I'm not totally vain either.  Just like to look my best when I can.  Obviously most days I am in my pajamas or workout clothes and not a drop of makeup on... and haven't had a shower in 2 days because I'm too busy taking care of kids!

I got the path lab results this morning - the spot beside my nose is basal cell carcinoma = skin CANCER!  Luckily, its the one you want if you have to have something wrong.  Very slow growing.  Because its on the face though, she wanted to transfer me to a Mohs clinic (specialty clinic) for skin cancers of the face and neck.  Which I already knew all about because of my Dad!  My Dad had to go to Memphis for his and his was pretty severe.... IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE AS MINE!  My sister ALSO has a suspicious bump in the same place.  Freaky!  

  • But I'm only 34 years old!?!? Which means it appeared around 30-32 years old!  So I ask everyone out there to stop putting it off - no matter how old you are!  
  • But I wear sunscreen!?!?!?  Yes, I wear sunscreen too.  Even more so since I turned 25.  I've always worked in-doors but I would wear it when I was "suppose" to.   
  • But I take care of my skin!?!?!  Yes, I am somewhat obsessive about clean skin.  I have washed my face a minimum of once a day my entire life and usually twice a day.  I used Oil of Olay products from the time I hit 18 to recently when I discovered Rodan & Fields.  Can I show my support of R&F products here?  LOVE it.    Anyway, my point - it doesn't matter! 
So I'm a little shocked, but not upset.  Its just a new experience.  Of course I made the mistake by putting it on Facebook.  They act like I'm dying.  Or I'll need chemo/radiation.  NOTHING LIKE THAT.  its a bump, people.  They will "dig" until they reach healthy cells.  I'm praying for no scarring and only 1 "dig" appointment.  I have a consult in a few days first though.  I am not worried - just a little disappointed.  Overall, I am glad we caught it when we did!   I have to admit that if it was anywhere else on my body - I would STILL be putting it off.  Which is sad.  The fact that it was on my face is really the only reason I went in (and my hair) (and some skin tags).    So a little vanity - can be a good thing!  It could save your life! 

Excuse the complete and total AWFULNESS of my appearance here - see I'm not totally vain!  (no makeup or shower).  Both of these were taken AFTER the biopsy.   

Just to show you I DO wear makeup.  If you look hard you can see it through the makeup as well.  I couldn't zoom in on this pic for the blog though.  
 Go see your dermatologist!  The end.

Here's a few funny pics I have taken with my phone over the last few days - they always put a smile on my face!
"1st day of 1st grade" ice cream with friends!
Like Father Like Son!
He gets really bored in the car rider line... 
... and very fussy if I don't let him out of his car seat while we wait!  
Secret spy glasses after learning about Joshua and Caleb in Sunday School!
Check out that bedhead! No, we normally don't give her baths in my sink but it was sort of an emergency.  :)

post signature


Lauren said...

Just for curiosity sake....which dermatologist did you see in Jackson and which R&F products do you use??? Ive been looking for a dermatologist and also wanted to try R&F products.

Carrie said...

I used Dr. Shatley in Flowood just past Dogwood on the left in Belle Meade Medical Building. I liked the entire office alot!
I have also used Dr. Burrow. which I just found out he IS the specialty clinic they are transferring me to (he does the Mhos "mapping" technique for cancers). I recommend him too.
I do not recommend Dr. Bolton (I saw him about 20 years ago, and he did not diagnose my psoriasis for what it was and treated me for something that I did NOT have altogether and ended up in the hospital - long story).

I LOVE the R&F products! I use the Soothe line. My husband uses the Unblemish line. Both have worked exceptionally well! I also use alot of the Redefine/Anti-age products (the eye cream, lip serum, macro-exfoliator, and night renewing serum). Wonderful! I can't say enough about all of their products! Its pricey depending on what you get- but SO worth it! Its the first product that has cleared my husband's acne and he tried everything! I have 2 friends that sell it if you are interested I can email you their contact info!

Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.