Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Week In The Life....

For the greater part of the week, I was certain I was going to die.

Let me explain.

I love the sun, I love the heat, and I love the bronzed glow that comes with a day spent in the sun. I loved it so much that I have even gone into those creepy little coffin-beds since around the age of 16.

Exhibit A- Highschool

Lately, I have been starting to notice more and more moles on my skin, some of which were following the ABCD’s of melanoma. Naturally, I lost my mind. Combine this with those commercials that are on the radio non stop about the 75% increased risk of developing melanoma if you were exposed to tanning beds, and well I was a bit of a nervous wreck.

I finally got in to see my dermatologist and after scanning my whole body, I showed him one I was nervous about and he replied

“Yes. I’m very glad you came in today. Good catch. Let’s take that one right away. Once I take this off, you stop worrying, ok. I will worry about it once I send it in”.

Here is what I heard:

“Yes. You have the worst kind of skin cancer there is. Say good-bye to your family now. Please worry, you should.”

Now, let’s all take a moment to think about poor Mike in this situation. I got into the van after he picked me up and basically told him it was all over. Our lifelong love affair was coming to a crashing halt because I loved being tanned more than my own life. I couldn’t even look at old pictures because all I could see was poor orange decision after poor orange decision. I silently worried and didn’t sleep about what was going to happen to my kids, how everything was going to be affected because I chose vanity over pasty skin. I was not overreacting. I called my parents, my sister and my aunt and had near nervous breakdowns with almost anyone I talked to who all basically told me the same thing.. ‘You’re fine. They take moles off all the time’.

Exhibit B- University
(Please notive my Sister in Law's beautiful fair skin.  In my natural state, mine is not this radiant)

But I was sure that this was my penance… this was my time to pay the piper. Years of looking like I was fresh off the beach had came to bite me in the ass. I did the one thing I tell EVERYONE not to do.

I googled it.

If I wasn’t convinced before, now I was certain. I educated myself on the stages, and how it can spread to other parts of the body. After looking at the symptoms list, I embraced my curves for possibly the first time ever when I read:

Unexplained weight loss

Ok, things were going my way. This, was definitely NOT my problem right now. But, just to make sure I got a big bowl of ice cream.

Again, let’s have a moment for my dear husband. He had to hear this anxiety ridden diatribe against the sun (more pointedly tanning beds.. I cursed Fabutan on the way by everyday), and had to calmly assure me I was fine.

Finally the day came to get my stiches out. I asked if they had the results yet and they said they didn’t just yet. A week had gone by now, but sometimes it can take a bit longer. You can only imagine where that took my nervous mind.

That night, laying in bed I started to stress out again. Mike was just trying to sleep… but my brain was on overdrive so he had to listen to my hearty banter with.. myself.

Finally, he slowly rolled over, looked at me, and said,

“Brittany. .. I love you. But shut up and go to sleep”.

Yesterday I found out everything is fine.

I promptly drank wine and ate chocolate, and apologized to both everyone around me, and to my central nervous system for the completely unnecessary workout.

For the record, I have sworn off tanning beds.

Jamaica- Still gonna happen, just with sunscreen

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