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Sunday, July 1, 2012

That really should come off!

Well, here is a post that I never thought I would be writing.  This is also not the post I had planned for this week.  If it stays hot, I will write you a post about putting up prairie hay last week.  I even took some videos of the equipment running in the field.  But I thought this topic was more important and time sensitive.

Last week, I visited my doctor to have a growth looked at that was concerning the Farmer.  It was behind my ear where I really couldn't see it, but it really bugged him.

My doctor described it to me as a wart that was smooth on top.  After one look, she said that really should come off.

Looks a little gross, but nothing terrible.

Two days later, I went back to have it removed.  Here is what the incision looked like.

The worst part of the incisions being located there was turning to look behind me on the right pulled the stitches.
4 stitches!!

The pathology report came back Wednesday and showed that my awesome doctor did get all of the growth and it is what she suspected-Basal Cell Cancer...  CANCER!!  How could I, a 36 year old, have skin cancer.

I did what all good educated people do-I Googled it.  :)  It turns out that Basal Cell Cancer is the most common type of skin cancer and is not a form of melanoma.  Whew!!

The lesions develop from sun burns early in life.  So, as a good responsible older sister, I called my little brother to make sure he kept an lookout for suspicious spots on him.  After all, we did grow up on the same farm and worked side by side.  Right?!   His response was simple, "YOU always had sun burns.  Not me."  What?!

Then I went to mow and rake hay (in an air conditioned tractor that can steer itself) and had a lot of time to think.  He was right.  I am the older sister, which means I could drive a tractor before him because I was stronger and taller (until I was 16).  That meant I got to rake hay and he-well, I am not sure what he did.  I raked hay on a tractor like this.  We were a small farm.  My parents owned 4 tractors and they all were busy during haying season.

That's right no cab, canopy or even umbrella.  I didn't need any of that.  I was one tough farm girl and was (still am) proud of it.

I wore long sleeve shirts and a ball cap.  I put on the morning.  My hair was always in a pony tail or braid, because the Kansas wind does blow and tangle your hair.  OK, here is the take home message I hope you get.
  • Yes, I do work out in the sun. 
  • Yes, as a kid I worked outside a lot and still do. 
  • I see a lot of kids that spend their entire summer at the swimming pool.  I sure hope that they are wearing their sunscreen and you parents are making them reapply!  They are outside in the sun as much or maybe even more than I was as a kid.
In the last week, I have went from the sun kissed tank top wearing Kansas farm wife to the long sleeve shirt, long pant wearing farmer. 

The Farmer always wears a cowboy hat in the summer.  I ran away from the farm last week with a couple of my friends and found my own wide brimmed hats to wear.

When we leave the house, my kids now assume the position to be sprayed with sunscreen.  I am lecturing the baby sitters about too much sun.  I am sure they aren't listening to me, because I obviously didn't listen when people told me to be aware of the sun's powerful rays when I was a teenager.

Please share this with your friends and family.  I believe that everything happens for a reason.  If I can prevent one person from suffering from skin cancer by telling my story, I have done my part.

Want to know more about skin cancer?  Check out a California Dairy Farmer's story of finding Melanoma at the age of 34 in Skin Cancer?? How Can That Be...

Have a great week everyone!! Try to stay cool and enjoy Independence Day!

-A Kansas Farm Mom