My skin cancer selfies could be a lot worse. I know that. At the same time it could be not at all. If I hadn’t spent all those years tanning. If I hadn’t neglected the use of sunscreen. If I hadn’t… But I did. Now I’m left with all the repercussions and the fact that there will be more. Sure that one spot of basal cell carcinoma has been fully removed. I’ll just heal up and have to live with the scarring. No big deal. But it is a big deal.
Unfortunately there will be more spots. The damage has already been done. More visits to the dermatologist. More procedures to fix that which I caused years ago. More Mohs. More disfiguring. More scars. This is my new normal.
As raw as it is I want to bring awareness to others. I’m putting myself out there. I’m sharing the ugly side of tanning. I’m saying that to be tan is not beautiful. Being tan will eventually fade and the scars will be forever. I want the young girls who think they need to tan before Homecoming and Prom to skip the tanning bed. I want the men and women who play all summer long at the beach to protect their skin. I want parents to be vigilant about putting sunscreen on their children. I want society to really think about what they are doing to their skin.
And so to help others I’m going to share daily skin cancer selfies to document just what the healing process looks like. My type of skin cancer isn’t deadly and I’ll forever be grateful for that fact but my type of skin cancer IS a permanent reminder. The skin cancer might be gone in that spot but the effect is still there. It’s still visible and it will be for a long time.
After the Mohs surgery.
After the reconstruction surgery.
The bandages are now off and the healing begins.