Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dermatologist Appointment Approaching

In September, my dermatologist moved me from the 3 month follow up schedule to the 6 month schedule.  I expected that to happen in December, so she did catch me off guard.  She told me that I didn't have many moles and the few I did have weren't concerning to her and that it had been over 2 years, so she felt comfortable making that conversion.  She made it very clear to me that if I had any concerns to call in, and that I should call her advice nurse and remind them that I've had melanoma, rather than just call the appointment line, so that I would get in faster.

I was anxious and around December, I did convince myself that one of my moles was getting bigger.  I knew it wasn't, but it is amazing the tricks you can play on your mind at times.  Once the stress of my husbands entire family visiting for almost 3 weeks passed, my mind also calmed.

I also was struggling with an important decision regarding my health coverage.  Since my diagnosis, my premium has gone from a figure that was about 30% to about 60% of my part time income.  I did explore changing insurance companies. I knew which dermatology group I would switch to, highly recommended by others who have experienced all forms of skin cancer.  I got quotes and applied.  I was told that melanoma was quite common and normally not a big deal. Since I was able to have my site removed and no further treatment, I was hoping he was right.   Needless to say that same agent was surprised that I was ineligible by both applications I sent in, and said he would have to find out why.  I haven't heard from him again.

So after admitting that I would have to suck it up and pay the higher premium, I decided yesterday to call and schedule my skin check.  I would be due in March, but due to work schedules, I asked if I could come in February even though it would be 5 months instead of 6..  I basically got to pick my date.  So I get to go on Thursday.  Even though I am not concerned about any spots, I do have a list already made of questions for her and I will be asking her about the spot I allowed to get in my head in December along with two others that we have discussed before.

I was overheard scheduling my appointment and was questioned by a co-worker about why I have to go for follow ups.  We have talked about melanoma before, his wife recently had several pre-cancerous places removed, so I do appreciate that he is asking questions.

Face Mapping

One of the many excuses (notice I didn't say reasons?) people give for wanting to tan is that it gives them a clearer complexion when it comes to the dreaded acne.

I do have to admit that in my early 20's, when I was not living the healthiest of lifestyles, that was one of my excuses too.  I have always been lucky, most of my breakouts are thanks to female hormones and are usually just one or two a month.  However, at that time in my life, my depressed overeating and   the fact that my social life consisted of crashing my friends company happy hours took it's toll on my skin, acne-wise.  My answer? I went to the tanning bed.  Luckily, I went to a place with sub-par beds and after a month, I quit because I didn't like having stripes down my back.

So the other day I came across this article on face mapping.  Basically it is saying that where your acne appears can be linked to your health.  I haven't done any follow up to the accuracy of this article, but I do find it very interesting and worth cautiously sharing.  I know there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, a healthier lifestyle and less acne do run hand in hand. I also know that looking back at what was going on in my life at times that my face has broken out at various places, this is definitely worth exploring further.