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wasn't going to post this but....

cameragirl21 wrote: something i wanted to share only because i hope it may be able to save someone. basically, i have a small nodule on my arm that's been there for quite a few months now and i thought little of it until a friend of mine, who is a doctor told me yesterday that she thought it was a basal cell carcinoma...a type of skin cancer. it's not a dangerous or deadly skin cancer in that it doesn't metastasize or spread BUT when you live in South Florida and are outside shooting ALL THE TIME it's no good to be prone to any kind of skin cancer, not to mention that if you're prone to basal cell then that makes you much more prone to melanoma which can and will kill you and will metastasize if not caught early enough.
some of you may remember the red headed twins i have photographed extensively, their picture is in my slideshow and they are the youngest of four daughters in their family, ranging in age from 13 to 6. their mother, who is half italian and half dominican told me shortly before they left South Florida permanently and moved to NC that she hopes to study photography and that it's her passion. she said that she told her DH that she's afraid she's going to die soon, now that she found her passion. turns out she has melanoma and luckily it's under control but she has to get moles removed and stay on top of it constantly. and i said, "but you have four children who need you, you can't die, you can't even think in those terms." and just at that moment, her twins came outside (it was nighttime and they were getting ready for bed) and she said they can't go to sleep without her. then she turned to me and said if she can just live another 15 years, she'll be satisfied.
i bring this up only because i saw a thread on another board about tanning beds. i'm not pointing fingers or trying to lecture but i can tell you, because i am quite close to a single mom who is dying of a terminal illness and leaving a little girl an orphan that i hope none of you ever go thru what i went thru this morning, at the doctor's office waiting to find out if i have skin cancer. so many thoughts went thru my head--how can i stay in South Florida if i am prone to skin cancer? but i have a business here, how can i just pick up and leave? i do so much shooting outside, how can i suddenly spend all my time in studio? i got lucky, what i have is not cancer but i can assure you i will not be stepping outside without at least an spf of 30 on me from head to toe because i consider this to be a warning from above.
some of you i have come to consider friends and many of you i don't know well but since many of us are here talking and sharing our lives everyday, i have come to care about each and every one of you, even if we don't often or ever see eye to eye. please give this some thought before the next time you step inside a tanning booth or bed, it's way more harmful than the rays of the sun and ask yourselves if you want to go thru what i went thru this morning, wondering if you will have to tell your kids you have cancer because you spent time in a tanning bed. i know this may upset some of you and i'm not accusing anyone, i just thought of some of you when i was waiting for the doctor this morning and i figured if can post this and get at least one of you to think twice then it will be worth it.
no mother should have to tell a photographer or anyone else that because of her skin cancer she'd just be happy to live to see her youngest get into college. and who would have thought that someone with latin american darker skinned heritage would have skin cancer?
in my case, i'm middle eastern so that was one of the first things my doc pointed out--that i'm not a likely candidate BUT if you have fair skin and light blue or green eyes please think about what happened to me this morning and this mother of twin girls and think twice about tanning...the results can be devastating.

MyBrownEyedBoy replied: Thanks, Jennifer for sharing. I personally am fair skinned with what my mom calls 'golden eyes'. But I burn faster than you can say sun screen. Which I never leave the house without from April through October. Even my moisturizer which I use year round is SPF 30. Sunscreen is important for everyone. No matter what color their skin.

CantWait replied: You're very right Jennifer.

DH has a nudule on his arm that he's had for a couple years. I've told him repeatly to go get it checked. He's done so twice, and both doctors (with so much as a looksie only) has told him it's JUST a cyst. Not good enough for me. He's got another appointment in 4 months just to have it looked at again (that's the military for ya). I begged him to make sure they run a biopsy on it after they cut it off whenever that happens.

He's latin american, so very tan skin as is, and he works out in the sun a lot, hence why I'm so worried.

coasterqueen replied: Jennifer - it is very odd that you mention this because last night Dh found a rather odd looking nodule on his forearm last night and it kind of freaked him out. He said he was going to go get it checked out, but who knows if he will. rolleyes.gif Dh spent many years outdoors building houses for a living as well as he spent his fair share of time in the tanning beds. He doesn't use them anymore as he was starting to get that fake leathery look. He mostly did tanning beds for his acne.

My grandfather was diagnosed w/skin cancer so I know first hand how this feels.

I'm German and Irish....I burn just being indoors and looking out the window at the sun. tongue.gif

ETA that this is not funny, but my sister and my father are what I call religious tanners. They go to the tanning beds quite often all year long. Sadly to say both of them got that fake leathery look a long time ago - not sure if they can help themselves anymore . rolleyes.gif My dad has also spent almost his entire adult life outdoors 7 days a week for work. sleep.gif So I'm just waiting for the day that one of them tells me they have to deal w/skin cancer.

I also have two cousins that spent 24/7 outdoors all spring/summer long and my cousin was diagnosed with some type of skin problem to where he's been told he can never go outside again w/o lathering sunscreen on his nose. His nose used to get burnt so badly it got gross looking.

sparkys2boys replied: Jennifer, first I want to send some hug.gif hug.gif your way. I'm so glad that you are ok. I know first hand the emontions that go with this type of thing. We are still dealing here with DH's situation and waiting. I think you are right to be on the cautious side of things with this and be thinking about how much time you do spend in the sun. We all need to look at our lives and make changes.

coasterqueen replied:
I hope everything turns out alright Marie. hug.gif hug.gif

Hillbilly Housewife replied: Thanks Jennifer, for that.

I don't use tanning beds just for that reason. Although I don't wear sunblock...i hsould. I put it on my kids, but I can't be bothered with it. unsure.gif

CantWait replied:

Oh Rocky..... smash.gif smash.gif smash.gif emlaugh.gif

Calimama replied: I'm Italian and Dominican as well! wink.gif Thanks for the heads up. I used to be big on tanning beds but got out of the habit when I got pregnant. wub.gif

Crystalina replied:
I also hope everything turns out alright. hug.gif

Does anyone have a picture of one of these things? I only ask because I have something on my arm that I've joked about for years (with my luck it's cancer was the joke). It's not so funny anymore because it isn't going away. And it's not a mole. I'm Puerto Rican so I have pleny of moles to compare it to. It has a differant look and feel to it. Maybe I can get a pic of it and see what you guys think. Sorry Jennifer, I'm not trying to highjack your thread. I'm just really curiouse about it. I had severe sun poisoning when I was 12 (visiting Florida) to the point where I was in bed and couldn't walk. My entire face was swollen from the burn. A day in the pool and on the boat and lying to my mom about putting on the sunscrenn. dry.gif Wasn't very smart. Then when I was 23 I again got a severe burn from a tanning bed.
I'm glad you are alright Jennifer. And thanks for posting this. hug.gif

luvmykids replied: Thanks for sharing that Jennifer. I'm a "classic" for these kinds of things, fair skin, blue eyes as are my children. I don't tan anymore other than in lotion form and my kids wear sunscreen year round, our desert sun and altitude make it a must even in the winter.

CantWait replied:
Thank you.

They can all look different really. DH's looks like a big hard pimple which has grown in size.

That's the big big, if it's growing, changing shape, or the colour changes, you need to get it checked out ASAP.

boyohboyohboy replied: Jennifer I am glad that every thing turned out ok for you. I know that there are times when I think that a spot looks funny, but I never manage to get it checked out. I was an avid sun bather as a teenage, baby oil and all....and then as a young adult when I wasnt in the sun I was in the tanning bed. and its the idea now of having to leave children behind that makes me think how could I have ever done that...
I also warn people that I love not use tanning beds...

MyBrownEyedBoy replied: I've posted this before, but here it is again. From

redplaydoh replied: I'm so glad everything's ok... thanks for posting that.

redchief replied: A good picture of a fairly innocent looking skin spot (basal cell carcinoma), as requested:

gr33n3y3z replied: I'm sorry you have that
I'm glad everything is ok
hug.gif hug.gif

Crystalina replied:
That is a good spot? It looks like mine. I wont be able to get a pic up until later tonight when dh gets home because it's on my right forarm and I can't angle the camera to get a good shot since I'm right handed. sad.gif That looks like mine. Mine is not as light though. The coloring is darker but it's "bubbled" like that. Nothing like a pimple or mole at all.

cameragirl21 replied:
Crystal, don't panic, just get checked out. Basal cell does not spread at all, in fact, in theory it can be left untreated and it's unlikely to spread. but get it removed regardless.
and don't go outside without sunscreen. hug.gif
don't worry yet either, it can be anything.

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