I stare at the skin on my arms as I wash the dishes. I stare at my skin when I look in the mirror in the morning to see if I am still here. Are the dark spots on my skin changing? Is the mole Asymmetrical? Is the Border irregular? Has the mole changed Color? Is the Diameter of the mole larger than the erasure on the end of my pencil?. Is the mole Evolving?
Yesterday I asked a woman,”Do you wear sunscreen?”
“Sometimes,” she replied.
Her skin was pale and white, dotted with several small, light brown moles. I showed her the purple slash on the back of my leg where I had a malignant mole cut off earlier this year.
“Women usually get melanoma on the backs of their lower leg. Men on their backs.” I said.
She pointed to a dark spot on the back of her left calf. ” What do you think about this mole on the back of my leg?” she asked.
I knelt on the ground and took off my glasses to get a closer look at the mole that was just above her ankle. It looked like an ugly duckling. It was darker than the rest of her moles, the borders were uneven, and it was larger than the width of a pencil erasure.
” I think you should get that looked at.” I said.
The American Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you look at your skin once a month for the ABCDE’s of Melanoma. When you look at your skin, look for any new growth, or any changes to existing moles.
Have you looked at your skin lately?
I was just going to end at the above sentence. Writing a story with the cute little question at the end to get you to think or to change your behaviour. I was just going to ask you if you have looked at your skin lately. But I really want to know if you brushed your teeth before you went to bed tonight. And I want to know when was the last time you went for a walk. I want to know what book you are reading. I want to know if you have gone for your yearly physical exam at the doctor.
“Hey,” you say. “Those are personal questions, I am not telling you anything. ”
I don’t mind. You don’t have to answer my questions.
I haven’t brushed my teeth yet. I went for a walk this morning. I am reading a book on the Second World War, and I have an appointment with my family doctor the end of September. I looked at my skin last week, and this afternoon I had two ugly duckling moles cut off my right arm at the dermatologists.
I wear sunscreen.
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