I'm white. Really, really, white. Regardless of my mom's best efforts (I spent more than half of my childhood even a shade or two whiter than normal because I had so many layers of sunscreen coating my skin), I've had several major sunburns. Once, during a kayaking excursion with my parents on a cruise to Mexico, my feet were burned really badly. It turns out that it's a bad idea to apply your sunscreen before removing your socks and shoes. Anyway, when we got back on the ship, we all took a nap. I woke up in a panic, sure that I was being attacked by fire ants. I threw the covers off, then stared at my feet in horror. I spent the groggy next few minutes trying to figure out why I had such a terrible rash on my feet before I finally realized what had happened. The next port of call was Jamaica, and I couldn't walk to get out of our state room, much less off the ship. I've still never been to Jamaica, but from what I've heard, I didn't miss much.
Before you read any further, I should tell you that the rest of the post is about my visit to the dermatologist. And it grossed me out. I give you a free pass to hit the "back" button on your browser, just be sure to come back over tomorrow!
Still reading? Well, don't say I didn't warn you!
I've been dreading this visit to the dermatologist since I decided to set it up last week. I figured if anyone was going to have skin cancer at 24, it would be me. Thankfully, all is well. So far, anyway. My dermatologist did remove three spots, only two of which really concerned him. There was a mole (it looked like a freckle to me, but I guess if the derm. calls it a mole, it probably is) on my shoulder blade, and another (freckle) mole on my leg. Since both were oddly shaped and one of them had two colors, he wanted to take those off. The other one was (ewww) an angioma on my calf. That was the one I was most concerned about going in, both cosmetically and medically. It turns out that they are almost always benign, but it was still a shaving hazard. Eww, ewww, ewwwwww.
One thing my doctor said that really scared me was this: with our fair skin and living where we do, Madison and I will get skin cancer at some point. He said we just need to try to make sure we get it at 95 instead of at 30, and that we get basal cell carcinoma and not melanoma. Of course, we have to try our best to protect ourselves. Wear hats, long sleeves when possible, and always wear sunscreen. I asked him to recommend a sunscreen for her, and he wouldn't. He said his kids use Aveeno, but that's just based on a scent preference.
His statement (we will get cancer) got me pretty worked up. I've decided I'll just have to show him how wrong he is! Which is probably exactly what he wanted me to do.
Madison, I'm sorry you're going to have to deal with me lathering sunscreen on you before you leave the house. And I'm sorry I'm going to make you come out of the pool/lake/river/ocean every thirty minutes to dry off and reapply. And I'm sorry you'll never be allowed to use a tanning bed. But I will not ever be in a position to apologize to you for not doing everything I could to protect you from the sun.
In other news, we're at T-minus four days to the beginning of our Christmas festivities. Exhale, Kelli. No, exhale all the way.
Have you checked your skin recently? What was your worst sunburn? Are you ready for...<gulp> Are you all set for...<hyperventilating> CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE! Heaven help me.