I remembered sitting in the waiting room of my skin cancer specialist and noticed a room filled with older men and women who were around my grandparent’s age. My doctor had referred me because she felt I had a basal cell carcinoma, skin cancer on my back.
I said to myself, it can’t be, I’m only thirty-nine.
Then thoughts filtered back to my childhood when I was a little girl running around in my frilly little nickers in the sun and having fun. My mother was an avid sunbather, and of course, in those days sunscreen wasn’t talked about nor heard of. I can’t remember how many times I had blistered shoulders, nose and forehead. I do remember my sister and I used to love peeling each other, the longer the strips, the more excited we became. Thinking about it today grosses me out a little.
Having the specialist check my spot confirmed that I did have a small BCC and I found myself booked in for a procedure to take it out. I didn’t completely understand what they were to do, but apparently, they took out the size of a large olive and then stitched me up. For a period I had six-monthly checks, and during that time they found four other BCC’s and one squamous cell carcinoma on my face.
Then, I was back to annual checks, and last year I went for that yearly skin cancer check, and they found five solar keratosis spots, which are classified as pre-cancerous and likely to turn into squamous cell carcinomas. I know them well because I do self-checks and I’m in at the doctor’s straight away because I believe in prevention rather than cure, but these were on my back upper shoulders, and I hadn’t noticed them. He diligently used cryotherapy – freezing with liquid nitrogen which destroys the abnormal cells within the solar keratosis.
At the time they also found an aggressive squamous cell carcinoma on my upper arm, so I was back in surgery. I was freaked out. I am each time. I don’t think anyone likes the idea of being cut into, but I was incredibly grateful that I had continued to take responsibility and looked after myself and not allowed the fear to put me into denial.
My doctor put me on a three-month alert, this was last year, and to my shock, I was in surgery once again but this time, for a suspected melanoma. I’m grateful to say it wasn’t.
So now, back to six monthly visits.
I’m sharing this very personal journey with you today because I want you to know that skin cancer is REAL especially here in Australia because of our harsh sun and our damaged ozone layer. When I asked the doctor how skin cancer affects people today compared to ten years ago, he stated that they are getting younger and younger.
I remembered seeing a young man in his early 20’s leaving the surgery before my appointment. My doctor shared that a young person who was only nineteen was diagnosed that week with a high-grade melanoma.
No longer is the waiting room filled with older people!
So please if you notice anything unusual, such as a dry skin patch that doesn’t seem to heal, a mole that changes colour or you choose to have a skin cancer check for the reason only of prevention knowing we are in a harsh climate. Then follow your intuition, do your research and get in there and have a full body check, that part doesn’t hurt!
Remember that some skin cancers are preventable and when picked up early are easy to remove, such as mine!
Until next week,
Maria Lacey was born in Australia. She has travelled extensively overseas being led by visions, dreams and spiritual guidance.
Maria writes about life (the human and spiritual path), the adversity, learning, musings and triumphs. A successful entrepreneur with over 18 years in her own business, Maria humorously states, “I am my greatest case study.”
Maria is a qualified Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Teacher, Meditation Teacher, Healer, Channel and Speaker.
Maria is currently writing her second book about her spiritual travels overseas.
For further information about the author go to: http://www.marialacey.com.au/