On a personal note... Skin Cancer Part I

(This is me, Wendy, and my little guy!)
Hi friends! I wanted to write a quick note and share something personal with you, I ordinarily would keep this to myself. I know this is a cupcake website and you come here to see lovely cupcakes and happy themes; I have so much to catch you up on, but in order for me to do that, I would like you to understand what I have been doing (besides moving) in the past few weeks. Please bear with me; I will try to keep it short and to the point. If this helps one person to not get blistering sunburns, then I did not share my story for naught.

I noticed a mark on my neck about a year ago, but in my haste to get my son to soccer practice, skiing lessons, PTA meetings, working on homework with him, being classroom mom, working 35 hours at my job and being an overall over-achiever, I did not go to the doctor and have the "freckle" checked out. I did "check it out" myself each morning in the mirror and gave it a "Pfft!" I was simply too busy to bother to go in. The mark changed shape and color, it hurt and I stopped wearing necklaces. Justifying to myself, I was over accessorizing with necklaces.

The truth is... freckles do not hurt; my "freckle" was killing me. I finally made an appointment to see the Dermatologist who took one look at me and in the most gentle way, told me he would immediately do a biopsy so we could take care of this growing problem. I am certain he was trying not to alarm me, but I cannot tell you the feeling of my heart sinking in my chest.

I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, but yet I did not take the time to follow through on what I knew I was seeing but was not fully aware of what was happening to me. I am really good about applying sunscreen (SPF 70) before my make-up. I apply it especially on my face, neck and chest and my arms. My make-up has an SPF 30 protection. I do not lie out in the sun. I am a Scottish girl with red hair and green eyes. I put on sunscreen several times a day and am obsessive about sunglasses and covering up. Yet, I have been diagnosed with skin cancer.

In this day when we have any color ribbon or rubber bracelet to wear for a cause, skin cancer is somewhat over looked. In my quest to spread the word about skin cancer prevention; I am listing a few of my favorite items I use and endorse this extremely worthy cause. Please, take care of your skin! Use sunscreen, whatever brand you like, just apply it often and liberally! Go to the doctor about ANY concerns you have! We only get one life. I have learned we only regret the things we didn't do; not the things we do! I will be making cupcakes with this in mind. Anyone who has an idea to share, you can email me at the.cupcakery at yahoo dot com.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has a wonderful website with a traveling road tour! The American Cancer Society list skin cancer facts and what to look for.
The American Cancer Society rule of thumb is the ABCDE Rule:

A for asymmetry: A mole that, when divided in half, doesn't look the same on both sides

B for border: A mole with edges that are blurry or jagged

C for color: Changes in the color of a mole, including darkening, spread of color, loss of color, or the appearance of multiple colors such as blue, red, white, pink, purple or gray

D for diameter: A mole larger than 1/4 inch in diameter

E for elevation: A mole that is raised above the skin and has an uneven surface

Click here to print your Body Mole Map. If you find anything suspicious or of concern you can take it with you to your doctor. I would also encourage you to take a look at the American Cancer Society Facts and Figures for 2008. Remember early detection is the key! Please be well, wear sunscreen and above all else, smile! Thank you for your support. I will keep you posted on my progress and I do promise more cupcakes!


Sephora Brand Sun Safety Kit. It's packed with a travel-size sunscreen and skincare for the face and body. 100 percent of the net profits (that's $21.55 from every kit sold!) will benefit The Skin Cancer Foundation. Sephora will make a total donation of up to $430,000.00 before 12/31/08. Supplies of the kit are limited and will be available while supplies last.

UV Skinz UV Skinz sun protective swimshirts are stylish and carry a UPF rating of 50+, which blocks out over 98% of the sun’s harmful rays, protecting delicate skin from damaging sunburns. Marcia Cross is on the website and endorses this product for her babies. Products range in sizes from children to adults.

Speaking of Marcia, she has the most beautiful creamy, fair skin, which needs serious sunblock! Oil of Olay, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and Marcia Cross have joined together to invite you and your girlfriends (or any friend! Skin cancer can strike ANYONE) to get a free skin cancer screening. This particular link touched me very deeply -- click here to see videos which will absolutely motivate you to get a screening. Please, please take this seriously.

What probably has to be my favorite sport, baseball, MLB endorses skin cancer safety! Click here to watch the Play Sun Safe video. What is really great about this organization, Play Sun Smart, and the American Academy of Dermatology is they help you find a free screening location in your area, as well as offering resources and informing you of local events.

Finally, because I believe every penny spent on research will eventually lead to a cure, there is a bracelet for Melanoma Awareness. Join SpaFinder to raise awareness about early melanoma detection & prevention by buying an "I Will Reflect" bracelet. It changes color when exposed to harmful UV rays. SpaFinder is a proud sponsor of the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is available through Spa Finder for $4.94 (does not include shipping).


CB said…
Oh wow. I don't know what to say except that I think your post was amazing, touching, strong and informative. I will be getting myself a "reflect" bracelet. Thanks for sharing your story.
Bridgett said…
My husband has skin cancer on his head, so we know very well the sinking feeling you had. Please take care of yourself and stay on top of those "freckles". I think the reflect bracelet is a brilliant idea and will be purchasing one. Best wishes to you!
The Cupcakery said…
Hi CLARA! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and please know from my heart, I appreciate your support! Best! xoxo
The Cupcakery said…
Hi BRIDGETT: Thank you for checking in and sharing your husband's story with me. I hope he is doing better. The one positive part of this ordeal is the cure rate is quite high so I remain very positive about that. I also liked the idea of the reflect bracelet, so I am glad you got one. (By the way I added your blog to my link list.) Best! xoxo
Emiline said…
How did I miss this? I'm so sorry..
I'm in shock. You sound like you're so careful in the sun. Please let us know about your progess.
If there's anything you need...seriously, let me know.

This makes me want to be more careful. I've been wreckless this past summer.
And my family has a history of skin disease.
Luisa said…
Wendy~ Girl, I can't believe that you had to go through this! At the same time, I do thank you for sharing your story. I am going to definately be getting a bracelet for every one of my girls and some other family members! Hugs!
Anonymous said…
With a family history of skin cancer and being pale and freckled myself..I check myself DAILY for unusual spots.. of course, I tend to get a bit paranoid, but that is not such a bad thing.... Thanks for sharing your story...more people need to read it.
TheMonroe6 said…
I just read this post for the first time. Oh my goodness, how are you doing? My mom has had numerous cancer's on her face and body, but hers were basil cell. It runs in my family too. Please take care and let me know how you are doing. I pray all is well.
Email me.
Colleen said…
I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, and wish you all the best for treatment and a complete recovery!
The Cupcakery said…
Hi EMILINE: Thank you for you concern - I guess you can't be too careful! Thank you for checking in!

Hey LUISA: Thank you for supporting the REFLECT bracelet. I thought it was a really neat idea!

Hello HEATHER: I know what you mean about checking constantly! I encourage you to keep doing that and questions ANYTHING which doesn't look right. Paranoia over your health is not a bad thing!

Hi AMY: Thank you for your support! I know things are going to be just fine... they have to be! I have too many cupcakes to make, right?! :-)

Hello COLLEEN: Thank you for checking in and leaving me a note! I love reading messages. It means so much to see how many sweet people care!

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