My Skin Cancer Scare

Yep, I said the C word. The word we all don’t ever want to hear for ourselves or our loved ones.  I know I am getting a little personal here but I am hoping to help others by this PSA.

For the past 15 years I have seen a dermatologist every year due to an autoimmune issue that tightens and discolors my skin.  After seeing a specialist at Emory in 2005 to figure out what the skin hardening and discoloration was, I was diagnosed with Morphea   It happened right after I had Riley.  My skin started slowly discoloring on one side of my stomach and the front of my legs.

Shortly after the morphea diagnosis my dermatologist noticed some other issues I was having with my hands discoloring especially in the winter.  I also have suffered from Raynaud Syndrome where your hands get so cold they turn purple, then white, and when they finally warm up they turn red.  It is not fun but I deal with it and have for a long time.  She then sent me to a rheumatologist for further investigation  and after several visits and blood work,  I was diagnosed with Scleroderma  which is part of an autoimmune issue called CREST syndrome.  Each letter in CREST syndrome stands for something. 

From WedMD:

  • Calcinosis — Painful lumps of calcium in the skin. These can happen on your fingers or other parts of your body.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon — White or cold skin on the hands and feet when you’re cold or stressed. It’s caused by blood flow problems.
  • Esophageal dysfunction — Problems swallowing and/or reflux. This is caused by scarring in the esophagus, the tube that runs from your mouth to your stomach.
  • Sclerodactyly – Tightness and thickening of finger or toe skin. It can make it hard to bend your fingers.
  • Telangiectasias — Red spots on the hands, palms, forearms, face, and lips. These are caused by widened blood vessels.

You only need 2 of the 5 letters to be diagnosed with CREST and I have 4. There are 2 types of Scleroderma.  The bad one that affects your organs and the good one that messes with your skin which I have (the morphea)  and joint inflammation.  But I finally have it under control due to my weight loss, eating keto, taking collagen and daily exercise.

I went in for my yearly full body skin check in January. Remember when I posted this picture?

She took a biopsy of a spot that looked like a wart on my hair line and wanted to be sure nothing else was going on.  5 days later she called and told me this:

I went back 3 weeks later as she wanted to see if that area she biopsied grew back.  It didn’t but there was another spot she was concerned about right below it. You cannot see it with a naked eye but under a magnifier you can.    Due to what the lab said she wants to treat it with a drug called Picato.  It is a 3 day treatment. Each day I put one tube on an area on my forehead and let the medicine do its thing. From what I have read on the internet, it is going to burn and be uncomfortable for 3 days.  You are supposed to put it on before bed and wash it off 6 hours later,  but from what I have read I will not be able to sleep due to the pain.  I am going to start the treatment today at 3 pm and wash it off at 9 pm so hopefully I can sleep.   My forehead is going to turn red and possibly blister.  It is going to hurt.  I am to take Motrin, use a fan or cold compress to help with the burning and cannot use moisturizer and wear a hat when outside.  And yes, I can still work out!  Phew!!  #mystressreliever

Yes, in my younger years I was a sun worshipper… Weren’t we all?  #maybeifyourmyage #thisis52  You name I did it… I used olive oil, baby oil, sitting in the sun for hours… SO STUPID!!! #ifiwouldhaveknownthenwhatiknownow   If you know me now, and for the last 20 years, I wear nothing less than 50 on both me and my kids. When I am on our boat or at the pool  I always wear a visor and  swim rash guard and sit under the umbrella as much as I can. Every year when I went  in for my yearly skin check I would be fine, until this last visit.

I am going to do this and get it over with and I’m taking you all with me.  I am going to take pictures along the way and do videos that I will post in my stories on both Instagram and Facebook.  If you see me and I look like a ‘burnt’ tomato on my forehead,  I probably will.  I am not one to sit and let something like this hold me back from doing anything.  Life will go on and I will get through it. I don’t dwell on the negative, never have and never will. Full blog post soon with pictures.

So here I am as of yesterday ….  the last day of makeup on my forehead for the next several weeks until it heals.

img_0341

Has anyone else had experience with this product? I’d love to hear.

Stay tuned!

XXOO,

Fran

The post “skin cancer” first appeared on Busy Fit Mom Life

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