Skin – Your Body’s Largest Organ

I’d put off the ‘body scan’ by a dermatologist for a while. But when someone my husband and I both knew died as a result of a malignant melanoma, we knew we needed to make the appointment. He’s 60, I’m 59, and like many people our age, we’ve had more than a couple of blistering sunburns.

I could never tan, but it didn’t stop me from trying. And the result for me was a melanoma on the back of my thigh, where I’d never see it. 

It will be removed in ten days, the earliest available date. Thankfully, it’s still in an early stage, and hasn’t affected my lymph nodes. Numb me up good and take the damned thing out, I say.

No one I know likes these preventive procedures. Colonoscopy prep is inconvenient. Mammograms hurt. And having someone inspect every inch of your skin, well, it just underscores the fact that loss of elasticity and gravity are cruel reminders of aging. But that’s how you find out. I’m glad I found out.

29 thoughts on “Skin – Your Body’s Largest Organ

  1. I’m so glad to hear that you caught it at an early stage. I need to convince my husband to go a dermatologist. He’s had several sunburns. I’ve only had a slight burn once in my life (I don’t burn easily), but I should probably get checked too. Thanks for the reminder!


  2. I’m glad you caught it in plenty of time that it didn’t cause too much damage. My stepfather died from it, and didn’t go to the doctor until he was at Stage 4. Poor man was miserable. Make sure you do whatever followup there is, and keep an eye out for other ones cropping up. I wouldn’t wish melanoma on anyone…


  3. Best of luck, Martha. Many people I know have had it on the leg (I understand the lower, the better). Was removed and they are all fine. I’m guilty of everything you described. I need to do better. Keep us updated.


  4. I’m totally guilty of too much sun. From childhood through college spent on RI beaches to watching 3 kids play outdoor team sports for many years. Soooo much sun.
    I have been going yearly to the dermatologist for 10 years. I’ve had my share of rough spots frozen off and 2 excised. Glad they caught it early Martha! Praying all goes well! XO


  5. Good luck. I’ll be you didn’t do like most of us foolish high school girls back in the sixties and seventies and lather yourself with baby oil pre-suntan.
    Good luck with the procedure. So so happy your checked it and found out early.
    Please let us all know how you fare. (Insert love emoticon here).


  6. Good luck Martha. Glad to hear it was caught early. Mike and I have done it once, a couple of years ago since we are both fair. Luckily we were clear but probably should go again soon. Crazy how we were about getting a tan or in my case trying to. Now who cares! White legs unite!


  7. Glad you caught it early!!! My regular doc checks me all over every year when I go for my annual exam. (Well, except my butt cuz I’m sitting on it. Bit my ass has never seen the sun so hopefully that’s not a problem!) But my I should go get checked by a dermatologist once in a while… Thanks for the reminder!!


  8. My dermatologist references my “cheap Irish skin” at every checkup. So glad you found your melanoma early, and having one puts you at top of the pecking order for appointments from now on.


  9. Back when we were kids, sunscreen wasn’t available nor recommended as it is today. Therefore, many baby boomers are dealing with the consequences of sun damaged skin.
    I am glad you chose to get that whole body examination and to get that melanoma excised!
    Be well, Martha@


    1. Thank you, Gail. I remember my mom would have me put on a t-shirt (after hours!), and Noxzema was there for the inevitable sunburn. Ugh! But thanks. You know. Thinking of you and Bill πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ


  10. What ceases to amaze me is folks who have had skin cancer and continue to go lay in the sun. Even with sunscreen on, I don’t like taking those chances. Good luck with your removal.


    1. Thanks, Denise. I try not to regret much, figuring even the mistakes I made as a young adult have helped to shape the person I am today, but I do wish I’d been more diligent about wearing sunscreen. β˜€οΈ


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