I have always been a sun worshipper. Growing up on the beaches, I continue to live a life that involves spending heaps of time in the sun. I am ashamed to admit that in my younger days I used to slather myself up in baby oil and roast myself to a nice crunchy golden brown for hours at a time.
These days I am a little more responsible and fastidious about sun care for my kids, but obviously not enough for myself.
This week I booked the family in for a skin check at our local skin cancer clinic. I bravely went first, partially cause I wanted to prove to my kids that it was a walk in the park but mostly because I just wanted to get it over and done with. Somewhere in the back of my mind or in my heart I knew something was coming. I have had a small mole on my back on the bikini line that had been dodgy for a while. I have been having it checked semi regularly but when the Doctor looked at it this day and pulled that face, you know the one where their nose scrunches up and they get all frowny - I knew it was time to deal with it once and for all.
I told him just to cut it out right now, I didn't want this time bomb attached to my back for another single day. It is most likely benign, we will know for sure when the results come back, but it doesn't stop that little doubt eating at your mind and causing your stomach to flip every time you think about it.
I had a nice little Indian Doctor, very sweet, and he told me that I was lucky I had dark pigmentation in my skin as I was more protected from the risks. I didn't have the heart or the courage to tell him that I'm not really Mediterranean or from anywhere in the slightest exotic, I have just spent way to many hours in the sun, and my skin colour is the result of my poor Irish heritage skin being fried for too long.
Now I stupidly thought it was a great idea that we all go in to see the Doctor as a family but it was much to my kids disgust, that I was stripped down to my bra and undies for the mole to be cut out. I was given the local anesthetic (which is torture in itself) and lay there with a grimacing smile on my face to prove to my kids that I was ok and this didn't hurt at all *cough Bullcrap cough*.
Well I felt every damn thing and as he stitched me up I lay there with the most delusional smile on my dial telling my teary 4 year old that it tickled. I didn't dare ask the nice Doctor for more local as I was just as scared of that in itself as I was the needle going in and out to stitch me up.
My older two boys watched on with fascination, one because he aspires to be a Doctor himself and the other because he currently has a morbid fascination with blood and gore. So glad I can be a source of entertainment for my squidgins.
Job done, I got up and sat down as I waited for my hubby to be checked over. I get a bit of bragging rights now, because he squirmed like a little girl when they had to freeze a couple of sunspots on his face. Even the Doctor had a go and teased him about how brave his wife was in comparison.
As I sat there joining in the teasing, I became aware that I was beginning to itch, all over, like really itch. I looked at my arms and noticed the familiar rash working it's way to the surface.
I interrupted the nice Indian Doctor teasing my hubby and said "Ummm I think I am having an allergic reaction to something". Having told him at the beginning of our appointment that I have anaphaylaxis allergies, this was enough to send the nice jovial doctor into a bit of a frenzy.
As he checked my heart rate he said to me (*insert Indian accent) "Oh my your heart is beating rather fast, should we just stab you with the epi pen now". I replied by telling him no I think I will be okay, I am just a little anxious and that's why my heart is racing. I wasn't ready for his response of "yes I am a more than a little anxious too" (*insert very nervous laugh from the doctor). Just the calming words I needed to hear at that moment.
After dosing me up, everything settled down and eventually after giving us his private number on a card in case we needed to contact him after we leave (more reassurance) we finally got to leave. What happened for the next 14 hours ??? I have no idea...man I love Phernergan.
And so we await the results, which I am sure will be fine. But the whole experience was a very good reminder of just how dangerous the Aussie sun can be and that we mums are NOT invincible. We are just as vulnerable as anyone else so we should be just as careful with ourselves as we are with our kids. After all those kids need us to be here for them, for as long as we possibly can.
Have you had a skin check lately???