Sunday, February 3, 2008

The dreaded C-word

The C-word. Probably the most dreaded word to come out of a family member's mouth -- CANCER.

I was taken aback yesterday when my Mom and I were browsing for wedding supplies at Michael's and she casually told me that she has a type of skin cancer called basel cell carcinoma. When she noticed my horrified stare back, she reassured me it was "not serious" and I have nothing to worry about. But, being a perpetual worrier, especially with my family's health, I freaked out on her. "What do you mean not serious? The doctor told you you have cancer! That is not a subject I take lightly!" She further explained how she had an appointment to get the spot removed and how lucky she was to catch it early on. In fact, she called it a blessing from God because she actually had gone to the doctor for another reason and due to her age (early 60's), he decided to look around a bit and that's how he stumbled across the suspicious spot on her back.

Being the web-savvy person I am, I wrote down the doctor's diagnoses right there in Michael's, knowing the moment I had a chance to do a little research, I would. (Praise God for the Internet!) I was able to figure out all I needed to. I learned skin cancer is divided into two major groups: non-melanoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of non-melanoma skin cancer, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, 75 percent of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas (and most are due to exposure to sun). Additionally, Basal cell skin cancer almost never spreads. But, if left untreated, it may grow into surrounding areas and nearby tissues and bone.

Not the most encouraging words... after all, there's not a 100 percent cancer cure out there yet. I am confident my mom's doctor can rid her of the dreaded c-word. Nonetheless, it's a scary thing and it would mean a lot to me if you could keep her in your thoughts/prayers.

Today starts a new thought process for me. When I would come home from college with a bronze tan from fakin' and bakin', my Mom would tell me "You shouldn't do that -- I regret my teen years doing that now." She'd lecture me on wearing sunscreen in the booth and I would just shrug it off as Mom-bable. I thought, "So what if I start with a burn? It'll turn to a tan in a few days!"

Being a pale redhead, I should know better and try my best not to burn. With my mom's recent incident, I really have the fire in me now to protect my skin more than ever, especially because I've been so negligent in the past.

A golden tan may look good now, but a cancer-free future sounds like a much better option to me.

3 comments:

sarah said...

Lynsey's dad had something similar, if not the same kind of cancer as your mom. It's a scary thing. So I guess you won't be tanning for the wedding??

metrogal84 said...

Probably not much! I may need to a bit to avoid completely burning on our honeymoon, but when I do tan, I will be sure to wear sunscreen!

Estrella10 said...

As you know, I've already done a good job for the past few months cutting the fake-and-baking out of my life, but after you told me about your mom and reading your post, I vow from here on out to take more precautions with my skin. I will pray for your mom, but I am confident she will be A-OK :)