I have often advocated regular visits to the dermatologist for “mole checks” on this blog. Until my brother-in-law, who has melanoma, urged me to be checked for suspicious moles, I’d never seen a dermatologist. But his situation (Interferon treatments for an entire year, hoping for a 10% chance of a more positive outcome) jolted me out of my procrastination and I finally found a dermatologist and went in for a “mole inspection.”
At that first appointment, Dr. Voss found four suspicious moles. She removed and biopsied them and called me back to take deeper tissue from two of them that showed irregular cells. I have quite the scar on my chest, which affects the necklines I choose to wear these days, but I do NOT have cancer.
A few months later, I returned for a follow-up check and lo and behold, another suspicious mole was removed. My latest follow-up appointment was scheduled for January 5th – the day after my accident – so obviously that was cancelled. Now, normally I’d probably space and not re-schedule (after all, it’s just a check-up…), but in this case I knew better and I rescheduled for when I knew I’d be mobile enough to get to the office.
Good thing, too. Because yesterday FOUR more moles were removed, and today my forearm looks like this:
That wound is nothing – and yet, fear of that silly superficial scratch is what had prevented me – a redhead, no less – from being checked in the first place! How stupid is that?!
So this is your call to action. Pick up the phone and make an appointment with a dermatologist for a mole check NOW. Do not wait. Don’t wait till you read just five more blogs. Don’t wait till after dinner. Don’t wait till you’re near a phone. Don't wait till you feel like it.
Just do it. NOW. Right this minute!
And if you’re in the Seattle area, I can recommend Julie Voss at Northwest Face in Kirkland. You’ll even have this view from the parking lot (bring a sandwich and have a picnic!):