I have fair, freckly skin. Very freckly. In fact, I don't look as fair as I really am because of my number of freckles--kind of like a red and white striped shirt which, from a distance, looks pink.
Anyway, because of this fair and freckly skin, I have always been super nervous about skin cancer. I also haven't had insurance for most of my adult life. (Well, I've had insurance to have babies, but none for other kinds of doctor/dentist visits.) Since I also don't have money, I've always had to worry about my skin.
Many of you probably have some kind of issue like this. If your husband has a dangerous job, you worry about his safety. If you live on a busy street, you worry about your kids and the traffic. If your mom had breast cancer, you check your ta-ta's a lot. For me, it is my skin. This issue keeps me up at night--wondering if something is wrong and not having the money to find out.
This summer, a small sore developed on my forehead. I thought it was a bug bite or a zit or something. It didn't go away--in fact, it got bigger. It was making me sick. With all my nerves have been through this year, it was pushing me over the edge. I finally told Justin I had to go to a dermatologist or I would go crazy from worry.
Yesterday, I took a credit card and I went. I had him look at every one of my worry spots. He looked me over carefully with a practiced eye. He measured the dark spot under my eye that was a gift from my first pregnancy. He felt the odd lumpy spots and he completely reassured me that I was cancer free.
Then he looked at the spot on my forehead and called it Actinic Keratosis. Pre-cancerous cells. (I'm not going to show you a picture because it's gross.) It was a quick procedure of burning it off with liquid nitrogen. (Yes, it hurt, but not for long.) Then, they commended me over and over for coming in. That this kind of thing can become dangerous. That this quick procedure was simple, but it could become complex if let go for too long.
I left his office and cried . . . from relief and gratitude. I am 34 years old so I know there will be many more visits like this, but I now I know what to look for!
Thank you, VISA. I will pay you back. My peace of mind is worth every penny--including interest.