Life's Short. Wear Sunscreen.

It all started two years ago when I found a strange bump on my face.

08/17/2016 03:27 pm ET | Updated Aug 18, 2016

Warning: images below may be graphic to some readers.

It all started about two years ago. I had a strange bump on my face. It looked sort of like a pimple, but a very persistent one. It lasted a couple months, then transformed into what looked like a raised, slightly-discolored scar. My husband had been nagging me to get it checked since he first saw it, but I shrugged it off.
You can see the bump about an inch under my left eye in this photo from our honeymoon in 2014.
I kep thinking the bump would eventually go away, but it was still there and larger at the end of 2015.

Three weeks ago, I finally made a visit to the dermatologist. Despite not saying anything about that spot, the doctor saw it right away and immediately wanted to do a biopsy. He took a razor to my face right then and there and shaved a big chunk off. Then he sent me home with a bandaid on my cheek.

A week later, I got a call that the sample had tested positive as a Basal Cell Carcinoma, and they would have to do Mohs surgery on my face. Basically, one layer of skin about 2mm thick is removed all around the cancerous spot. Then they put it under a microscope. The process is repeated, removing layer after layer until there is no more sign of cancer cells.
What my face looked like after removing just one layer of skin during the Mohs surgery.

I was super lucky that the dermatologist only had to remove one layer. It is bad enough as is! I can’t imagine doing more.  After I was declared clear of carcinoma, they had a plastic surgeon come in and stitch me up. He had to stitch quite a ways on either side of the circle in order to keep the skin from puckering.
Not a pretty sight. I guess my pirate costume will now look much more authentic.

I’m currently on the mend. Just like when I had a broken foot, dealing with the repetitive questions is the worst part. I like that a lot of people have looked worried though, and asked me, “What did it look like?” or “How do I know if I should get checked?” My answer is, if you’re worried, get it checked out. I had no idea that irritated skin spot could be cancer.

I’m currently in search of the perfect hat if anyone has suggestions.

And most of all, my message to you is ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN!

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