The C-Word

No, not that c-word.

At 27, I was diagnosed with skin cancer.  I cried, of course.  It was scary.  Just a few weeks after I purchased a beautiful, open-back dress for my wedding, I had a large chunk of my back removed.

Then at 32, I heard my doctor say this word again. This time it was not as simple as cutting out a chunk of skin, and being unable to work out for a few weeks.  No, this time I was sent to MD Anderson Cancer Center. I was told that I could possibly never have children again, and that I will have to be monitored for the next five years even if my first surgery went well. To make things more interesting, sometimes the chemo nurse calls to confirm my bi-annual test results and my heart skips a beat waiting to hear if I am all-clear or starting treatment soon. (They really shouldn’t let her make phone calls to non-chemo patients).

I’m lucky to have caught both cancers early.  I should be just fine.  It gives me pause, however that I am arguably really young. But, what can I say? I’m an overachiever.

As to skin cancer: the fact is that Floridians must be super careful. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Check your entire body for changing spots. Remember the ABCDEs of skin cancer: asymmetrical? Are the boarders ever? Is it more than one color? Is the diameter larger than a pencil? Has the spot evolved? If you answer YES to any of those questions, you should go to your dermatologist or MOHS doctor.

And as to other cancers, establish with a primary care provider.  Ask what examinations and check-ups you should have based on your age, gender and family medical history.  Cancer will likely touch all of our lives if we live long enough.  Catch it early and live long.

XOXO, Mrs. Make It Rainka

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about Shannon

I'm an award-winning, expert lawyer with a life and style in Jacksonville, Florida helping professional women and their families after an injury or arrest.

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