Forgive me for a blog post with a serious tone today, but I wanted to share a video I recently (and purely coincidentally) watched at a Social Media conference in Toronto, that in all likelihood changed my life.
It's 5 minutes long, and I promise you it is five minutes extremely well-spent, especially if you have fair skin that is prone to things like moles.
It's called Dear Sixteen Year-Old Me. It consists of brave and loving people sharing the advice they wish they could give their younger selves, or friends, to help them avoid a growing health problem many of us will face in our lifetime: Skin Cancer.
I watched it, I cried, and I honestly took it as a sign. I have hundreds of moles, and while I had a couple removed in my teens, I haven't given them a single thought since then. That's over 20 years ago. Something about this video made me look more closely in the mirror that night, and one particular mole immediately caught my eye right smack in the middle of my chest. I don't know why, but it did. It didn't look particularly odd, and it is similar to a few other ones I have, and I've clearly seen it every time I look in the mirror in a tank top, but it spoke to me for some reason that night. Again, I took it as a sign.
I looked back through photos and found that it really wasn't there until about 6 years ago. I made an appointment with my Doctor. Another Doctor removed it for biopsy later that week. I just got the results back today and it was something called Dysplastic Nevi. This isn't cancerous, but it isn't a plain old mole either. It is the type of mole that has to be highly watched for signs of change. It had obviously been growing over the past 5-6 years. It has a chance (albeit small) of turning into something cancerous. It had to go. It could have caused me some trouble not too far down the line. More importantly, through the advice of my Doctors, it has better educated me on the risky type of skin I have, and why I truly need to minimize my direct sun exposure to avoid getting skin cancer. I want to be around to mother my children for a long, long time. So shade, hats, and sunscreen are now going to be my BFFs, even if it means pasty legs every summer for the rest of my life.
Sometimes when you are quiet, and really listening to what the Universe is telling you, you can hear messages and see signs. I believe that just happened to me, so in the spirit of awareness, I now share this video with you, and wish you all the very best of health. xo