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What was your initial reaction when you found out that you had skin cancer?

We all deal with bad news in different ways. Some of us may deny it. Others of us may panic. A few may deal with it very calmly. What about you?

  1. I was at work when I got the call about my first melanoma. I remember going numb and not being able to concentrate. I texted my wife and let her know. I was able to deal with it since it was caught so early but it was still a gut punch to hear "cancer" on the phone. I decided not to tell anyone else and just deal with it and move on. Not advisable in hindsight. People need to reach out and share and get whatever support they can. The second time I was home and my derm called to let me know it was melanoma again. I definitely panicked that time but still didn't tell anyone except my wife. The second one got me thinking that cancer would eventually get the best of me and I went into a dark place for a long time. After many visits without biopsies or concerns I've finally relaxed a bit and can enjoy life far more. I won't let my guard down but I'm not hyper-focused on mortality anymore.

    1. I really appreciate your transparency about your journey and where it has taken you emotionally. I think being able to talk about things is healthier than stuffing it in. I also appreciate the way you are diligent but not obsessed. I think that's a good place. Scott moderator

  2. With my first set of biopsies and subsequent MOHS (this August), I went into "get all the information I can get" mode. Formerly of the "it's just skin cancer" mindset, my own diagnosis, treatments and lectures from my dermatologist (kindly yet firmly) have changed my perspective entirely. Although I'm not doom and gloom, I am highly conscious of, creating awareness for others, and definitely advocating for more prevention among those I reach. I'm not embarrassed by my scars, they are great conversation starters but I hope to spare others from enduring the same.

    1. I think you have found a good balance in your concern and care and I think people appreciate that about you when you talk with them about skin cancer. Scott moderator

  3. Calm as a cucumber. Never missed a beat that first time. In my mind it was like the common cold, and it would pass soon. Unfortunately, that is not how it has played out. And with each additional skin issue, it seems harder for me to deal with. I no longer have a case of skin cancer. Rather, it is a skin cancer problem. And my mind recognizes that distinction.

    1. Do you mean cool as a cucumber? Although I do think cucumbers are calm as well. I am sorry that what started as something that you would pass has become a problem. What does your mind say in its recognition of this problem? How do you handle this emotionally and mentally? Scott moderator

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