Daily Digest: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Several years ago, I went to the dermatologist for a rough patch of skin on my nose that wouldn’t go away. I was worried it might be skin cancer.  I’ve lived in Florida most of my life and got too much sun when I was younger and didn’t know any better. The doctor did a biopsy, which turned out to be negative, and he burned off the patch of skin and told me everything was fine.  I also told him I was experiencing unusual redness on my face after being outside and also on a daily basis even without being in the sun. He pretty much dismisssed this complaint and told me to talk to his nurse, who it turns out was selling her own line of facial cleansers. I did not go back to him.

In hindsight, I realize the daily redness was probably the butterfly rash from my Lupus and the sensitivity to sunlight was another symptom of Lupus (photosensitivity). If that doctor would have paid more attention to my complaints, maybe I could have been diagnosed earlier and started treatment for my Lupus, but I can’t change that now. Since then, a few other medical issues have popped up and I was busy taking care of them, but the rough patch of skin on my nose never really went away. Recently, I showed it to my Oncologist and she recommended I get it checked out by a dermatologist she knew who specializes in skin cancer.  In the back of my mind, I was a little worried, but after going through breast cancer, I figured I was prepared for whatever diagnosis I received. Fortunately, when I went this week, the dermatologist was much more thorough than the previous one I had gone to.  He told me the rough patch was not “fine”, as I was previously informed, but it wasn’t terrible.  It was pre-cancerous but very easily treated. He also did a complete body check and, fortunately, everything else was actually fine.  I have to use a special cream for 20 days and go back to him in a month. I’m glad I followed up on this issue and not just let it go, as I was tempted to.  At one point, I felt I had been through enough with my recent bout with breast cancer and didn’t want to deal with more medical treatments and doctors, if it turned out to be something serious. But, I made the right decision to get it checked out and now feel relieved that it’s something that can be fixed.  So, if any of you reading this have a medical issue you’ve been putting off getting checked out, I urge you to make that doctor’s appointment and find out what’s really going on – it might even save your life.  Have a wonderful day, everyone.

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