Blogging: what we often hesitate to share

Sometimes things happen and we feel as though we don’t want to talk about them.  I really wasn’t intending to share this, but then thought,

If I do will it help someone else out there?   Could my experience actually make a difference? 

Perhaps, perhaps not, but on the small chance that it may help, I have decided to share.

~*~*~*~

Recently I found what I thought was a scab on the top of my head.  I tried to think what I could have bumped my head on, but came up blank.  I didn’t give it another thought.  Then, a month later I noticed the same scab and thought it was weird that it was still there, but was not overly concerned.

Maybe it’s a wart I told myself.

Three months later it is still there, and thinking it was psoriasis, or some form of creeping-crud, I made an appointment with my GP.  She thought it was nothing much, but made me an appointment with the dermatologist.

I told the dermatologist how long it had been there, and that I thought it felt like a scab, but that it felt like it went deep into my scalp, and never went away.

He took one look at it and said,

It’s Skin Cancer

Apparently, this kind is a fast grower, but does not start out evil.  Ignoring it will cause it to continue to morph into something awful that will command more intensive treatment and may cause serious harm.  The following information is quoted directly from the American Academy of Dermatology.

actinic keratoses Symptoms

Most people who get AKs do not have any symptoms. They only notice changes to their skin. Symptoms can occur. A few symptoms to watch for are:

  • Rough-feeling patch on skin that cannot be seen.

  • Rough patch or growth that feels painful when rubbed.

  • Itching or burning.

  • Lips feel constantly dry.

(Clicking on this link will take you directly to the page for more information on Actinic Keratoses)

I have very fair skin and my hair is sparse on the top of my head.  Hence as an adult I never work outside without a wide-brimmed hat.  And while I have never been a sun worshiper, simply because I have always burned so easily, I have nevertheless had some extreme sun exposures in my youth.  Knowing my predisposition, and as an adult taking all the precautions, I still have incurred skin damage.  Hence this post and my encouragement to you to do the following:

No matter your skin type, please take care:

  • Limit sun exposure.
  • Wear your sun screen and a hat!
  • Don’t ignore changes in your skin’s appearance.
  • If you do notice changes in your skin, then go to the Doctor and get them checked.

~*~

Thankfully, I got my condition checked early.  I had an easy in office procedure and a sample was sent off to the lab.  Because of this, I will most likely never have serious trouble.

The consequences of ignoring this condition could have been very serious.

~*~

My friends, please be wise and stay healthy!

~*~

UPDATE!

Sometimes the idiocy of the bureaucracy can only astound you.

A school has outlawed the use of sunscreen on field trips?  Yes, they did!  See the video HERE  (SORRY FOR THE ADD)

 

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48 thoughts on “Blogging: what we often hesitate to share

  1. mewhoami says:

    That is good information to have. Thank you. Thankfully, you paid attention to it and they caught it on time. It’s interesting that even after the protective measures you took, that you still got this. I’m very fair skinned myself, but I don’t burn and barely even tan. Because of that I rarely wear sunscreen. I should though. This was great timing too, because I was going to head out shortly for a long walk with no sunscreen. Maybe I’ll actually put some on this time.

    • Lynda says:

      Hello, *Me Who Am I! When we think of the sun’s rays we generally think of it in terms of the light it emits. However, the solar rays are a form of radiation that is diminished by distance and atmosphere here on our planet. A little is good, and too much is harmful and the damage is accumulative. We all need to be sensible when it comes to sun exposure. One of my worst sunburns was on a cloudy day at the beach. Even with cloud cover the rays can harm us if we are out too long. So yes, sunscreen is always a good idea!

      *Will you share your first name? 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Absolutely, Annie! No matter how much melanin a person may have in their inherited skin type, they can still get skin cancer if they do not take care and avoid sun damage.

      As well, our atmosphere has changed and sun exposure will cause damage to your skin much faster than it did in previous decades. There are many factors involved including geographic location! (Mountains and equator come to mind.)

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Oh my, Lynda; I am SO glad you caught this early!! Many years ago, I had a dear friend who had a skin cancer removed from her scalp; but unfortunately it had gone very deep and, in spite of an attempted removal, eventually led to her death. MUCH love and prayers, Deb
    P.S. I beg anyone who has any strange growth on their skin to have it checked out as soon as possible…

  3. katechiconi says:

    Wise girl to get it checked. Down here, it’s an annual thing because our sun is so vicious and our ozone layer is full of holes. It’s good to share these things; what you’ve told us today may trigger the realisation in someone else that they too have something that needs checking.

    • Lynda says:

      This exactly why I chose to share with you all, Kate! Scary but true; I mentioned skin cancer to my GP and she said it wasn’t… glad she went ahead and made the referral to the Dermatologist!

    • Lynda says:

      Hey, Tom! I’ve been thinking about you and Mrs. T, out in your gardens. Hope you two always remember your sunscreen and a hat when you are out and about! (Though I am certain that you do.)

  4. treadlemusic says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!!! I think we all can say we got excessive sun when we were young. So much was not known then. I am thankful you got it taken care of!!!! Blessings dear bloggy friend!!!!!!!!

    • Lynda says:

      Doreen, we come from an age of sun worshipers, don’t we? I remember so many of my HS friends in the 70s “working on their tan” and comparing the results with each other. It seems in my memory that a deep tan was a sign of health, and a status symbol of sorts too. Thankfully, I was too active to try and lay about to achieve that healthy bronzed glow!

  5. Littlesundog says:

    Lynda, I think it was very wise for you to share your experience and inform us about AK. I have to admit, I’m one of those people who might poo poo a change in my skin and chalk it up to my aging skin. I am glad to know you got treatment quickly and that you are doing well.

    You are always teaching, my friend. I’m glad of it! 😀

    • Lynda says:

      You know how I love to share, Lori! And yes, you do need to be aware; you are a blondie! As for the treatment, well, the worst part of this is the healing. It itches miserably! I constantly find myself reaching up for a quick scratch and then have to delay that relief! However, I have found a workaround; I simply lay a tissue over the area and pet it very gingerly. 😉

  6. evilsquirrel13 says:

    Oh my, I hope this indeed goes away completely.

    I’m on Vitamin D supplements because I don’t get enough exposure to the sun. Thanks for pointing out the dangers of getting too much of the solar rays…

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Bill. We always think it happens to someone else, but not me… until it does. We really need to be aware and careful. I recently read that “One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.” (ref: http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sunburn ) My very worst sunburns were as a child! 😛

  7. Kathleen Clark says:

    A close and very good friend of mine died last summer of skin cancer that started on his head. It really was a fast spreader. They thought they got it all, but didn’t. What he went through was really horrific. Be careful with this. We’ll be thinking of you and, yes, I finally got your birthday card off to you! Sent Bob’s too while I was at it. I’m slowly getting back into a routine now that John is on the mend from his operation. Massive HUGS!!!

  8. Vicki says:

    Thanks for sharing Lynda.

    I hope it has been dealt with and is ok.

    I’ve had two spots on my leg (shin & thigh) cut out and sent off for pathology inspection. I’m super fair too.

    I believe too many people disregard odd spots and then suffer the consequences, so its imperative that everyone should query anything unusual looking on their skin (or even a peculiar thickening or lump).

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Vicky! In my research I read that the thigh and lower legs are common spots for skin cancer to occur. I am so glad you caught yours in time too!

    • Lynda says:

      Absolutely true, Julianne! We have a tendency to become blasé about our skin and its condition simply because it takes so much abuse. There is always something happening on its surface, and unless it is looking really scary we tend to overlook its possible significance to our health.

  9. LB says:

    So it was an AK right?
    Those are the early warning signals that often make us start taking better care. So glad you were seen. and yes! we all need to be checked!!

    • Lynda says:

      Laurie, that is what he said, though the tissue sample will be the final word. The patch on my head was the size of a pencil eraser and came up really fast! I have similar very much smaller hardened spots on my arms and hands too. These are to be dealt with on my next visit. 🙂

  10. shoreacres says:

    I’ve been very fortunate, given my occupation, but as my dermatologist has said, I have two things in my favor: good genes, and the fact that sunbathing bored me out of my skull when I was young. I was well over 20 before I got a sunburn. When I first presented myself at the doctor’s office about five years ago, I’d never been checked — and there was nothing to be concerned with. Now, I’ve had one tiny spot taken off, but I still watch. Anyone who’s in the sun 8-10 hours a day needs to be careful.

    And, I need to start thinking about my head, because I hate and despise hats and don’t wear one. But, age is bringing thinner hair, so….

    I believe I’ll go ahead and schedule my yearly look-see. Self-diagnosis never is a good idea with skin cancers!

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, I never liked hats until I bought this one

      Scala brand

      when my hair started to get to thin on top (the principal at my last school loved to have all the assemblies out on the blacktop in the SUN… He was a jerk). Anyway, these are not heavy, last almost forever, are sun rated to UPF 50, and packable. Though I wouldn’t recommend putting it into your suitcase if you are flying. That’s how I lost my previous, and brand new one, when my bags were inspected. Grrr…

      They aren’t cheap, but last a really long time. Although it doesn’t say that you can I have gently hand washed and then blocked mine on a towel when the sweat band needed it. 😉

      Be safe and buy a hat. Oh yes, and I do recommend straw types because they breathe better than fabric. 😀

    • Lynda says:

      It has been a long time, Connie! Glad to hear from you! Yes, from time to time we all need reminding that it is always a good idea to take precautions when out in the sun, and always better to be told instead of having first hand experience. Right? 😉

  11. Boomdeeadda says:

    I’m really happy you took early action and are ok. I’m good about always wearing a hat but have slacked off on daily sunscreen. I will be more vigilant now that our sun is back after a long winter. Thanks for the good reminders

  12. Mary Strong-Spaid says:

    I had several of those “actinic keratosis” removed from my left arm, when I lived in Hawaii. Now that I live in Virginia, every year the military clinic here keeps telling me that they don’t see anything wrong. But I see things on my left arm that look very familiar. Not good.
    I tried a few times to get a referral from my primary care doctor, to see a dermatologist, but I was denied (because there is nothing horribly obvious to them). However, when I left Hawaii….I was told to see a dermatologist every year (its been years). Reading your note, I guess I am going to save up the money and pay out of pocket for a dermatologist on the “outside” of the military clinic system. Otherwise, I may never see anyone who knows what they are looking at.

    • Lynda says:

      Mary, can’t you get your records transferred to the new Docs? Specifically the ones suggesting that you get checked every year? How frustrating it is when you aren’t listened to!

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