The C-Word: Skin Cancer Awareness Month

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Skin Cancer Awareness

A few weeks ago I shared on Instagram about going in for a biopsy on my face. (See bandage above.) I recently received the news from the biopsy that I do indeed have skin cancer. I’ve been mulling the news over for a while before deciding to post about my experience.

I’m a pretty even-keel person publicly. While I am privately very much an advocate for different topics and causes, on-line I keep things pretty neutral. Live and let live. I don’t typically get on my soap-box for things. But, life sure does have a way of changing things quickly, doesn’t it? I got this diagnosis at the end of April and low-and-behold, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. (See me stepping up on the soap box now?)

I’ve decided to share about my experience and focus on Skin Cancer fairly often this month. It won’t take over every post, and some of it will be a lot of fun. But, know that from now on… I’m an advocate for sun safety and skin care, and I won’t be neutral on this topic.

A bit about my skin cancer diagnosis:

  • I have Basal Cell Carcinoma. As my doctor says, “If you have to have skin cancer, this is the one you want.”
  • I’ll be having a Mohs Surgery this month to remove the cancer cells. It is an outpatient surgery that has very good results in removing skin cancer.
  • Even with good insurance this is a very expensive surgery and will be difficult (but, not impossible) for our family. This may impact the blog for a few months.
  • I’m scared. But, I know I’m going to be okay.
  • Buy stock in sunscreen now because I’m buying it out. All the sunscreen. :)

A few facts about skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed EACH YEAR.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (the kind I have) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCC cases are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. (gulp.)
  • Skin cancer can be deadly.
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. (Remember your last sunburn?)
  • More skin cancer facts may be found at skincancer.org

Throughout the month I’ll be sharing about my biopsy experience (no pics!), more information on skin cancer, crafts for sun-safety and some great sun-safety products.

I’d love to read, listen to or share your stories about how Skin Cancer has touched your lives as well!

Comment below or email me at jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot]com.

Jenni

Written by Jenni

Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Website: http://awellcraftedparty.com

21 Comments
  • Carlyjcais says:

    Oh my gosh, Jenni! I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re facing. The worst things seem to happen to the best people! I know you are strong and you will be able to get through this, and emerge even stronger than you were before. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
    Sending love & warm thoughts your way~
    Carly
    Carlyjcais recently posted…Save the Planet by Recycling Your Clothes at H&M and DoSomething.orgMy Profile

    • Jenni Jenni says:

      Thank you Carly! I am sure that this will be just another experience that helps shape a long life. I just hope to be as amazing as you are through your health struggles (that you recently blogged about)– bringing light to a struggle that many people may go through alone otherwise.

  • Lindsey says:

    Jenni – thank you for being so brave to share your diagnosis with your readers. I personally have not had any experience with skin cancer (although my mom is a two time breast cancer survivor), but I do understand that personal things like that are often hard to discuss in a public forum. I think sometimes we are all caught between a desire to keep personal battles close at hand, yet also wanting to bring awareness to certain subjects that don’t get a lot of lip service and need to be discussed – like skin cancer – and others abuse/bulling or infertility (did I just type that out loud??? I must be getting brave…). Kudos to you for speaking out and sharing your story so that others can know the importance of sun protection. Thankfully, I think our society is moving toward a much less “tanned” state of being… Hahaha, pale is the new orange! Many well wishes on your road to kicking this in the a**!!!!

    P.S. Screw that band-aid, you are gorgeous – I didn’t even notice it on Sunday until the last second before leaving! And not to make light of it, but I honestly thought you were like me and covering up a particularly yucky zit – LOL! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do… I swear my complexion is worse now than when I was a teenager!
    Lindsey recently posted…Hallmark “We Love You Because” Pics ‘n’ Props Kit + GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    • Jenni Jenni says:

      Lindsey… you are too sweet! It was so good seeing you at the event. I always feel like I never really get to talk to anyone. But, then I blog stalk like crazy afterwards. I am very glad that society is going leaning less towards the baked look. I’m also hoping that my new found dislike of the sun will help keep my skin looking younger throughout the years. I never really thought about daily sunscreen (or moisturizer for that matter) until now. Thank you for sharing about your mom. Cancer sucks on so many levels and can be super scary. I am fortunate that mine is a cancer that is rarely fatal and that has pretty great success rate with surgery. I can’t even imagine the fear that comes with breast cancer…. or those other very real but rarely discussed subjects you also shared. Good luck in your struggles as well. :)

  • Rachel says:

    Jenni,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your medical struggles right. Please know that you are in my thoughts and I hope you get through this quickly.

    Rachel

  • Sarah says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. I am so glad you are sharing your struggle with the world, that is really brave and I know your story will make a big impact to help other people who are struggling with it and also inspire others to be more aware of skin health. It’s amazing that you are trying to turn such a hard thing around and make it positive by educating others! Sending you best wishes for your recovery! If there’s anything I can do to support you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    If you feel comfortable, I would love to learn what it was that made you decide to see a doctor…like was there something in particular about that spot that raised a red flag for you? I’ve seen some of the charts a the doctor’s office and of course I just went and googled it, but I’d love to hear about your experience if you wouldn’t mind.
    Sarah recently posted…Mango Sticky Rice Inspired Tart with Coconut & Cashew Crust!My Profile

    • Jenni Jenni says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words. It means a lot! I will be sharing more about what made me go to the doctor and finally get checked… as well as the biopsy process. I actually waited WAY too long to go to the doctor which scares the be-jeezus out of me in regards to my surgery. I don’t know how much it has spread or how deep it goes. But, two years ago I noticed a mole that I didn’t remember having. I went into my general practitioner for a regular checkup and included it in a laundry list of other things that I felt needed attention (I have a really bad habit of just saving things up until I go in and then springing it all on a poor doctor at once.) The doctor said that I should keep an eye on it, but didn’t recommend anything further. So, I ignored it. After about 7 months the mole would sometimes break open and bleed. I thought I was just scratching it and not letting it heal. It would bleed after I got out of the shower, etc. A friend of mine even described the EXACT SAME THING when she was talking about her skin cancer. I KNEW I had it after she described her situation. But, I still didn’t go. Finally, this past month I went in to get a complimentary facial for Portland Fashion Week. The lady giving the facial asked me about the mole and I totally lied and said I had an appointment. Haha.. I felt SO bad about lying that I then made the appointment the next day. I am so glad she said something. I am sure I would have kept putting it off and then things would have been much, much worse. Ah…. sorry for the novel! I will be writing more about it on the blog this month. But, wanted to share now… just in case you had one you are looking at!

  • Laura says:

    Wishing you all the very best with this Jenni! The fact that you are already blogging about it and advocating prevention shows just how brave you are. After my dad was diagnosed with melanoma last year, my family and I have been fundraising and awareness raising for the British Skin Foundation (where my family live). We were astounded by how common – and yet unknown – skin cancer is. I follow a blog called Melanoma Rollercoaster (UK) which you may be interested in reading too. The author is also very inspiring. Here’s wishing you all the strength in the world to fight this battle. L.

    • Jenni Jenni says:

      Wow! I will have to go check it out. I am so on-board with raising awareness as much as possible. I don’t feel brave at all.. but, rather scared out of my gourd and just want to share with people so I don’t feel so darn alone in it. Because, this is one that I KNOW I’m not alone. Would you like to share some about the foundation here on the blog? I think I want to have a post with paragraphs about “Why I can about sun safety” from bloggers and friends. I’d love to include you!
      Jenni recently posted…Featured: DIY Sunscreen Station at Today’s Creative BlogMy Profile

  • Kayla says:

    Jenni, I’m glad to know that you are all right and that it is something that should be cleared up with the procedure! Thank you for sharing!
    Kayla recently posted…Song of the Year!My Profile

  • I just want to reach through the monitor and give you a great, big, huge hug. Please keep us posted.
    Beeb Ashcroft recently posted…Baby Shower Gift Idea: D-Link’s Wi-Fi Baby CameraMy Profile

  • You know how much I love you girl. I keep re-reading this and feeling so proud of you for voicing your story. Cancer is a scary thing for anyone no matter what kind. I am in the big C survivors boat myself and even if it seems minor it feels major. I am glad you are catching and treating this early my dear and me and mine are thinking all the good thoughts of you and yours.
    Shannon aka Kungfoofeltus recently posted…Manic MondayMy Profile

    • Jenni Jenni says:

      Thank you, Thank you, thank you. I needed to read this today. I’m sorta not handling things well today (tomorrow is surgery day and I’m freaked)… just, thank you for commenting today.

  • […] after my skin cancer diagnosis I had the opportunity to meet the owner and creator of the sun safe fashion line SummerSkin. […]

  • […] after my skin cancer diagnosis I had the opportunity to meet the owner and creator of the sun safe fashion […]

  • […] can’t manage to swipe on some moisturizer! I’ve gotten much better about this since my skin cancer diagnosis because I’m now applying a moisturizer with SPF 50 nearly every day. I’d like to also […]

  • […] after my skin cancer diagnosis I had the opportunity to meet the owner and creator of the sun safe fashion […]

  • […] before my Mohs Surgery to remove my skin cancer I really needed a good excuse to be distracted for the evening. I invited friends over for a big […]

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