Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keeping The Dermatologist In Business

So today I made my annual trek to the dermatologist. We have Kaiser insurance which has turned out to be way better than I anticipated... mostly b/c the folks at Kaiser understand and promote preventative medicine better than what I experienced when I had a regular open health insurance. Anyway, they know I am a crazy triathlete who spends too many hours in the sun my health history and consequently send me appointment cards in the mail telling me I have an appt to come in b/c they want to make sure to get rid of all my little pre-cancerous spots before they become a big deal.

Anyway, I took Moana with me and she was just awesome the whole time. She loves going to the doctor! Go figure. At her 3 year appt she got 3 vaccines and a TB test and didn't even flinch when the needles went in (and she watched! Brave girl!)... so today while doc was freezing my spots off I was totally pretending to be as brave as she was... though I was not watching... not that I could have seen anyway. Most of my spots were on my upper back and neck and, um, that freezing stuff stings. And then it burns. And then it blisters. OUCH. In all I had 7 spots that he thought were pre-cancerous and one that had developed further into a basal cell on the back of my neck that he actually numbed up and cut out today. Of course my first/only question before I let him cut was Am I going to be able to swim because I have a swim race in less than two weeks so if not I can come back after and you can cut away all you like but he assured me I could swim tomorrow no problem. Phew.

In more good news, he said I didn't have anything else that looked serious, though he did move me up to the 6 month appointment slot vs the annual one so clearly I'm not off the hook here. Now all of you who live where the sun don't shine all winter can give a little nod of thanks that you don't have to worry about this stuff as much as we do here in the land of year round ocean swimming and sleeveless bike jerseys and zinc sunscreen.

(And before any of you go ape shit on me about not wearing enough sunscreen, you should know that 100% of my basal cells and pre-cancerous spots have come on my upper body where I was exposed to mantle field radiation 12 years ago during treatment for Hodgkin's Disease. I can lather on sunscreen all day and I am still going to be at higher risk than you due to this history.)

6 comments:

Angela said...

Glad they got everything! Keep safe. We are not so lucky here with shots and kids not reacting. When Ryan got his 5 year shots it was worse than any others, mostly because you see a 5 year old literally begging you to stop after the first one...I felt horrible.

Molly said...

Oh gosh, that is SO something I need to start doing this year. I kept thinking I would make the appointment after IM so I guess that means I'd better get on it!

GoBigGreen said...

Glad you are getting things checked. I know my mom had melanoma and that put me at a higher risk, but she had the basal cells before the big one appeared. Just stay on top of it, I know my Derm always says that you cant stop living just bc you had a melanoma. You can keep an eye on spots that look odd and just go in and get em checked!
Happy Thanksgiving!

cherelli said...

I think that's wonderful you have access to a place where they actively try to prevent illness/cancer. Glad they knocked off a few more spots of concern! Moana sounds tough...wonder where she got that from...???? (haha, you obviously.)

Kim said...

so so so important for folks like us who spend so much time in the sun (well new england doesnt get as much sun as hawaii) to check our skin checked out! so glad to hear you are AOK!

idropboys said...

With you on the run......2012 is going to be my running year. Although breaking 2 toes set me back 4+ weeks and now I am at a snails pace for 3 miles max- ugh! slowly build up and then it is game on for the run.

I am thankful for the winter months and less sun.....so easy to wear a jersey, arm + knee warmers and not worry about the sun!

All the best in the off season- which does not really seem like an off season but good luck in the swim!