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a woman in sunglasses poses like model in a nice dress with bandages on her face and a big scar on her chest

After Skin Cancer, Not Always Feeling So Pretty

I’m a little what some would call “over the hill,” but still I feel pretty good about myself.

I feel pretty good that I have a nice boyfriend, but sometimes I worry about not looking pretty.

It looks like I have a bulls eye on my chest, but really it’s a spot that my dermatologist froze. It looks like I have a bullet hole in my calf, but really it’s an actinic keratosis that she zapped.

I’m pretty sure that the little dot of blood from where I scratched it does not make my leg prettier.

More than skin deep

I’m pretty sure his love for me is more than skin deep, and that’s a good thing because sometimes my skin looks pretty bad.

The skin on my hands is pretty mottled, a pointillist canvas of possible pre-cancers and spots that are who-knows-what.

A dermatologist once did a pretty bad job of freezing a spot on my hand, and the loss of pigment does not look pretty.

The other night, I was pretty sore from getting three biopsies on spots that were suspicious for squamous cell cancers of the skin.


I’m pretty sure that the bandage on my cheek did not help my appearance, and the same goes for the bandage on the back of my chin and the one on my wrist.

Bandage on my lip, bandage on my nose after Mohs surgery for squamous cell: I’m pretty sure that these things did not make me pretty.

I’m pretty sure that some flakey little areas will turn out to be squamous cell and pretty sure that they don’t make me prettier. I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t pick at them, but I have to say that sometimes I do, and that doesn’t help the picture.

I wish I could sing, like Maria

I feel pretty
Oh, so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn’t me tonight
I feel charming
Oh, so charming
It’s alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I’m real.
See the pretty girl in that mirror there
Who can that attractive girl be?
Such a pretty face
Such a pretty dress
Such a pretty smile
Such a pretty me!
I feel stunning
And entrancing
Feel like running and dancing for joy
For I’m loved
By a pretty wonderful boy!

Looking at old photos

When people look at old photos of me, they say I was pretty enough to be a model. (I wonder if “You were so pretty then!” is a compliment or not.)

I’m pretty sure that after skin cancer they wouldn’t say that model thing anymore.

I could sometimes substitute, for pretty, a word that rhymes with pretty and starts with the sound “sh.”

On the other hand, I sometimes feel like running and dancing for joy, because the spots are in situ – on the skin – and not a serious danger to my health.

But he loves me

If women can be girls, then men can be boys, so I can also say that I’m loved by a pretty wonderful boy.

I’m pretty sure he takes me as I am, and I’m pretty sure that it’s a good thing.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • wseverin
    6 months ago

    Yes, I understand well what you’re talking about. On the 7th of August, my doctor removed 3 possible cebacious carcinoma spots in my eyelids. A week now, two are swollen and apparently infected, even with the meds doc gave me. Now, Thursday I’ll be back for more treatment. It’s my wife, family and friends that told me my eyes were swollen, and that I needed to go back. Had it not been for them, I might have been in trouble. Then I took a close look at my eyes, yep, ugly as hell. I was embarrassed for sure.

  • Ronni Gordon moderator author
    6 months ago

    They probably loved you anyway! Good thing they caught it!

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