It would mean the world to me if you took a few minutes to read this..
Let’s start with picture #1: Somewhere along the way, I was taught that tan skin was pretty skin and pretty girls had tan skin. So last summer I decided that I wanted to be one of these pretty tan girl. As you can see, I ended up pretty tan for a blonde, blue-eyed girl. It was the tamest I’ve ever been. This came about by working out in the sun all summer (forgetting sunscreen most days) and occasional visits to the local tanning bed. A few weeks after I took this picture I realized something was wrong. A mole by my collarbone that I had for as long as I could remember, had started changing shape. I decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so off to my doctor I went. She decided to take a biopsy and said it was probably nothing to worry about. A few weeks later I got a phone call telling me I had to come back in.
Picture #2: After countless doctor and specialist appointments, I found out that I did NOT have skin cancer. But what I did find out, was that the mole I had was in the stages of turning into it. I was in the ‘precancer’ stage and they wanted to get everything out before that changed. So for a mole not bigger than a pinky fingernail, they cut me 6.5 cm wide, 3 cm across, and 3 cm deep, then sewed me all up. They took no chances and wanted to make sure every bit of that mole was gone. And that’s how I ended up with picture #2.
I cannot even imagine what it would’ve been like if I actually had skin cancer… I hope I’ll never have to find out. I also hope none of you have to find out. This is why I am absolutely begging you all, everyone of you not to tan. Or at the very least, stay out of tanning bed. Also make sure to pay attention to your skin and if you notice any changes get to the doctor ASAP.
I am now about 5 shades lighter than I was in that picture. And I am totally fine with that, because you know what’s prettier than tan skin? Healthy skin. You only have one chance with your skin, take care of it.