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So… Close… Freedom!

March 8, 2012

Hey everyone! It’s almost the weekend, can you feel it?!? I’m really excited about this weekend, but starting to feel anxious about getting everything done that I need to do. On Friday I’m off to South Carolina for my friend’s wedding! I absolutely cannot wait to see her and all my other friends and join in the celebration!

Lucky for me, this weekend also happens to be the beginning of my Spring Break! I love that I’m a 24 year-old who still has a spring break, one of the perks of being in law school! After the wedding, on Sunday, I’ll be headed to Colorado Springs for some quality time with my parents! Haha, not exactly like the Spring Breaks I had in college:

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(The bride is the second from the left! Love you, Mary Frances!)

But it will still be plenty relaxing! And you know what? I miss my parents. Yep. I actually kind of like hanging out with them. Plus I LOVE Colorado Springs. I was just there in January with my mom and we had a good time!

 

Speaking of Spring Break, I know that many of you readers are still in school and have spring break coming up as well! And even those who aren’t, I’m guessing you’re dying for some sunshine to come your way, am I right?

We all LOVE the sun! It’s good for us (vitamin D) and it just makes you feel better! Whenever I’m standing in the sun I can’t help but enjoy it and have a smile on my face (especially here in Chicago). However, I’m now going to be popping your bubble and talking about some of the negative aspects of the sun.

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(Me, in San Diego, probably 2? How cute am I…)

Growing up, I’ve always been fair-skinned and I burn CRAZY easily. Just ask… ANYONE that I know. I almost always had some sort of sunburn and my nose was permanently pink from April through September. Whether I was vacationing somewhere warm, or going skiing, I always ended up with a sunburn. Let’s take a look at the same picture from above:

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See the triangle of red that continues over onto my chest? Horrible sunburn. But to me, it was normal. Since I’ve been burnt so many times, I’ve tried to play off the possibility of skin cancer by downplaying the disease. I’ve been known to say things like, well I know I’ll get it at some point in my life! It’s coming, too many burns!

But you know what? Skin cancer is not funny. Not at all.

Here are some skin cancer facts from The Skin Cancer Foundation:

– Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; over 2 million people are diagnosed annually.

– One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

– About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

Another important fact about skin cancer is that it is also the EASIEST TO CURE, but only when diagnosed and treated early! So be sure to keep an eye on any spots you may have and schedule an appointment for a head to toe exam with a dermatologist. To learn more about skin cancer, here are some Melanoma Warning Signs and Images (no, I didn’t want to post images of moles on my blog…).

 

The reason I am bringing this up with all of you is that skin cancer has been a big thing on my mind lately. Someone very close to me recently was diagnosed with skin cancer, and it gave me the final push I needed to see a dermatologist. That and the fact that I’d developed several new spots in the past 6 months, which had me a bit worried.

I went to the dermatologist a few weeks ago and she found some concerning moles. I had to go back and have them “scooped” out. YES. SCOOPED. I won’t get detailed, but let’s just say that for someone who has never had surgery, stitches or a broken bone it was quite a traumatic event. I’m still totally freaked out by these holes in my body. Not fun. Reason # 365 to wear sunscreen.

Although none of them turned out to be skin cancer, one was moderately atypical, which apparently is bad? Well, bad for me because now my doctor has to take out more skin on my chest. Reason # 789 to wear sunscreen. And from now on I have to go in for a check up every six months. Reason #265 to wear sunscreen.

(source)

Are you catching my drift? WEAR SUNSCREEN. All the time, not just at the beach! Wear a hat, don’t lay out for too long, and DO NOT use a tanning bed! Pale skin is beautiful, there’s no need to be tan if it means you could have holes and scars and skin cancer. It’s just not worth it. Plus, I have super pale skin and I mean, come on, I look good, right?

 

Have you, or anyone you know, been affected by skin cancer?

What was your best spring break vacation ever?

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 8:37 am

    Oooh you’re gonna have so much fun! It’ll be worth the wait 🙂

  2. March 8, 2012 8:40 am

    Have fun! 🙂 Enjoy your week off!

  3. Maggie permalink
    March 8, 2012 8:58 am

    I never wore sunscreen in high school and went to the tanning bed until my freshman year of college…one of my friends had a cancerous mole and it scared me so much that I went to the derm! Luckily my moles were ok buy a few have to be watched so I go every 6 months now as well! And you better believe I’m just as pale today as I was when I got to Florida Sunday! Addicted to sunscreen now haha

    • March 8, 2012 11:36 am

      Haha gotta love sunscreen! I’m so glad you checked out okay, it can be a scary thing since no one really thinks it will happen to them!

  4. March 8, 2012 9:23 am

    Great post for reminding us all to take care of our skin! I have a few moles so need to keep a close eye on them too. Hope you enjoy your break!

    • March 8, 2012 11:37 am

      Definitely keep an eye on them! I loved my doctor because she “mapped” out my moles and measured them, so that she’ll know if any have grown in 6 months!

  5. March 8, 2012 9:23 am

    I’ve been bad about sunscreen my whole life but have cleaned up my act due to the heightened attention given to skin cancer lately. You’re absolutely right, it’s one of the most treatable type and it’s easily diagnosible because it forms on the skin. Good for you for going to the doctor and having it checked out.

    Also, have a great trip! My spring break isn’t for another week and I have no idea how I’m going to get everything done beforehand. Yikes!

    • March 8, 2012 11:38 am

      Haha, you’ll make it! I’m sitting in my second to last class and am SO ready to get home and get packing!

  6. Jen @nutcaseinpoint permalink
    March 8, 2012 9:27 am

    I went to an all girls Catholic high school and we had a father/daughter mass & brunch one weekend. I was so embarrassed to take pictures with my dad because he had all these fugly bandages over his nose and ears. In fact, I didn’t speak to him the whole morning. Come to find out, he had just had a ton of skin cancer removed and skin grafts done. He didn’t tell me about it because he didn’t want to scare me. Jeeze, how selfish was I?!?!

    • March 8, 2012 11:39 am

      Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, I hope it all turned out alright. Haha, and don’t worry about it, we all do bratty stuff as kids, he should have just told you! I always hate it when my parents try to not tell me things, lol even now! I’m 24!

  7. Sienna permalink
    March 8, 2012 10:10 am

    Ugg, I have pale skin like you and have also often said I’m just bound to get skin cancer. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just enjoy the sun without worrying about getting burned? The worst is when you actually try to put sunscreen on and miss a few spots and still get burned! I’m actually headed to the doctor on Monday to have a mole checked out. Guess all the cool kids are doing it these days!

    • March 8, 2012 11:40 am

      Good luck at the doctor! and I know what you mean, I always doused myself in sunscreen but still managed to get burned somewhere!

  8. March 8, 2012 10:21 am

    my grandfather grew up on a farm in the low country of SC, and he has had a couple of bouts with skin cancer, just small pieces that have been removed. Years of working on a farm, and enjoying the lake.

  9. March 8, 2012 10:54 am

    I totally need to get better at wearing sunscreen. I don’t usually burn, so… I usually just put on tanning oil. haha I know that’s SO bad!!!!!!

  10. March 8, 2012 12:01 pm

    Ah yes I was one of those teenagers who loved going tanning, because skin cancer only happens to everyone else! ha I am glad I wised up, but am worried about getting it later in life because my mother and grandpa both have mild cases of skin cancer. It is a scary, very preventable thing! I now only buy makeup with spf already in there, helps me to remember! haha
    My sister is a red head, has that same beautiful fair skin! I love it! 🙂

  11. March 8, 2012 12:23 pm

    I know a few people affected by skin cancer.. scary!

  12. March 8, 2012 3:26 pm

    I now wear sunscreen. ALL.the.time. I never used to. I do not, however, have any moles–so for me, it would be harder to see any real problems. Crazy, right?!

    Have FUN at the wedding–so exciting!!

    • March 8, 2012 4:11 pm

      That’s lucky you don’t have any moles! I have plenty of normal ones but some still make me nervous! And thanks, I’m so excited to leave tomorrow!

  13. March 8, 2012 7:35 pm

    I’m so scared of sunscreen…unless it’s a natural brand. 🙂
    I think the best summer vacation I have had…was just a summer of playing volleyball for hours over the whole summer. Best summer of my life! 🙂

  14. March 8, 2012 8:58 pm

    That stinks that you had to have so many moles removed, but it’s great that you’re being proactive and getting them checked! I actually just made my first dermatologist appointment and am going during my spring break. I’m a little nervous, but glad that I’m finally going so I can get a few weird spots checked out. And I think it will make me much more motivated to stay out of the sun this summer!

    • March 8, 2012 9:18 pm

      It was hard to make that first appointment, but I’m glad I did or they could have gotten worse! I’m sure your appointment will be fine, it’s good to go earlier rather than later!

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