Tag: SKIN CANCER

THE OVERWHELMING SENSE OF GUILT

THE OVERWHELMING SENSE OF GUILT

Last week, I was at the hospital. It was supposed to be a very easy appointment, one where I should of left with a slight spring in my step knowing that my scars of previous operations were healing well. Because of this, I was in […]

WHAT SKIN CANCER LOOKS LIKE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

WHAT SKIN CANCER LOOKS LIKE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

I read an article the other day and it made my blood boil. It made me so cross I threw my phone out of my hand and took a few deep breaths. That article was about how British people were parading around on social media, […]

KEEPING YOUR SKIN PROTECTED IN THE SUN

KEEPING YOUR SKIN PROTECTED IN THE SUN

Since I was diagnosed with Skin Cancer I now take extra care all year round. I apply a factor 50 cream 365 days of the year. Sounds extreme, but the winter sun is just as powerful as the summer sun. There are two different types of rays that the sun gives off and before I was diagnosed I didn’t have a clue about them. Now I have a better understanding and it really is simple and easy to understand.

UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkling (photoaging), and suppression of the immune system. UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.

Most of us are exposed to large amounts of UVA throughout our lifetime. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. They are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass.

UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin’s DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer.

UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photoaging. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day.  UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice.

This is where the all important keeping you skin protected and using sun lotion comes in. No sunscreen will give the protection it claims unless you apply it properly. People often apply much less than they need to. When your risk of burning is high, ensure that all exposed skin is thoroughly covered in sunscreen. As a guide for an adult this means: Around 2 teaspoonfuls of sunscreen if you’re just covering your head, arms and neck. Around 2 and a half tablespoonfuls if you’re covering your entire body, for example while wearing a swimming costume. Reapply sunscreen regularly including ‘once a day’ and ‘water resistant’ product. Some products are designed to stay on better than others, but beware of sunscreen rubbing, sweating or washing off. It’s especially important to reapply after towelling dry. And reapplying helps avoid missing bits of skin.

Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to avoid getting caught out by sunburn. Along with shade, another way to protect your skin from the sun is with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and good quality sunglasses. Hats are great for protecting the whole face and head. Choose a wide-brimmed hat for the most protection.

Its always nice to spend time out in the sun, but you must remember that its so  very important to keep your self covered up and protected.

 

 

A LITTLE UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

A LITTLE UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

Its been a while since I last updated my you all about my melanoma journey. Its been a strange few months and I just haven’t wanted to blog about it. When things get on top of me I find it quite therapeutic releasing the thoughts […]

THE STORY BEHIND THE SCARS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

THE STORY BEHIND THE SCARS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

Its taken me quite sometime to get this post up. I am not sure what took me so long. I’ve been hanging out till I got the results but then I just couldn’t bring myself to type it up. Its so hard, even now a […]

THE WAIT BEGINS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

THE WAIT BEGINS | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

So here I am again. Waiting, waiting for those all important words of “all clear.” This is the worst bit about my journey. I can just about cope with them telling me I need more surgery. Its a shock when they do but I come to terms with it in my own way. The waiting for the results is quite understandably the the most nerve wracking time. The will it be good news or bad, will they call or will they write. I have learnt that the telephone call is always bad news and a letter is the best news. I do not want that call.

Ever since I found out about my skin cancer, my mantra has been “punch fear in the face” but over the last few days I’m finding that a little difficult. On Saturday I was back in for another op to remove two new moles that have appeared right next to the original melanoma and punching fear seems more scary than ever before

I laid on the table and every thought process imaginable went through my head. In the 40 minutes that I was being cut into I had visions of me being bought back in. Receiving that telephone call, relaying the results onto family which in all honesty is the worst thing I have to do. Relaying bad news is never nice but when it comes to health its just a whole new level of scariness.

Its hard to bury your head in the sand when it comes to something so important. Never did I think I would ever be facing anything like this. Nor did I ever think I would be in the system as a cancer patient. Never did I think it would get me.

Again I am struggling to see past the good and thinking the worst. The moles they removed were new, brand bloody new, not even a year old and right by the original melanoma site. Obviously a huge concern when you have previous history of skin cancer. They were itchy, which I confused with the old scar as they said that would itch whilst it heals. They were actually the moles that were itching which is never a good sign either. The odds are not in my favour and I am scared I am going to get that dreaded phone call and not the letter.

Its hard, so very hard. Its scary, so very scary and all I can do is wait.

 

JUST WHEN I THINK EVERYTHING IS OK, THEY COME UP TRUMPS AND KNOCK ME BACK AGAIN

JUST WHEN I THINK EVERYTHING IS OK, THEY COME UP TRUMPS AND KNOCK ME BACK AGAIN

Its that time again where I made that fateful journey to the hospital. Friday was mole check day, and these are the appointments I hate. These are the appointments I stress over for weeks in advance. These are the appointments I wish I never had […]

A QUICK UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

A QUICK UPDATE | MY MELANOMA JOURNEY

I have been quite vocal about my Melanoma journey on the blog. I was diagnosed with Skin Cancer last year and although everything is going well its still an ongoing battle. Last month I was back in hospital having another mole removed {3 in total} […]

THE ENEMY

THE ENEMY

Most people love the sun, I rather like it, but I don’t love it. The sun is my Enemy, it isn’t my friend anymore and it won’t be for a very long time.

Its been a whole year since I first found that suspicious looking mole. Its been a whole year since I went in for my first operation and in just a few short weeks it will be a whole year since my melanoma diagnosis. Its been such a whirlwind year of cancer doctor appointments, scar treatment and plastic surgeon appointments and it still does not get any easier.

This week I was back in for another operation, this time on my back. It was quite a large mole and one I wasn’t bothered about, but it sparked concern with the consultants. I am now on a three week wait for the results and its a nerve wracking time. The wait for results seems like a lifetime away and its something I really do not enjoy. I try and put it to the back of my mind, but the potential of it coming back and having yet more surgery to clean it up scares me.

I am unable to do much at the moment. I can’t drive, I can’t pick up heavy things, I can’t lie on my side and most definitely cannot lie on my back. Sleeping is something that just isn’t happening as its awkward and I find myself snapping as I am so tired. My head is constantly in a spin and this operation was a big blow which does not hep my anxieties about skin cancer.

We all live in fear of cancer, but to be told you have skin cancer is terrifying. Even though it has the most successful survival rate, its still a scary time when your facing it. Its still the unknown of what ifs, and you still go through a whole range of emotions that leave you feeling low and deflated.

I feel battered and bruised. I now have 3 scars over my body due to this horrible disease. I still find it hard to get my head round it all. Each hospital visit feels me with dread. I am grumpy because I still feel angry that I got it. I still feel angry that it chose me. I was not a fan of the sun before and now I dread the sunny days. I dread having to make sure I have all the protection necessary. I shouldn’t have to dread the warm sunny days, but I do. I sit in the shade and basically shy away from it. I am scared, it was the sun that did this to me in the first place, so why should I like it? Its not exactly my friend? In fact its my enemy.

Damn you sun, Damn you..

 

 

MY LIFE IN LIMBO

MY LIFE IN LIMBO

I didn’t think I would ever be in a situation where I would need more surgery but last week I was told it was needed… Again… I could literally scream with anger, shout from the roof how frustrated and scared I am. It’s an overwhelming […]