Get Naked (!!!), Get Checked
"Get Naked, Get Checked." I've said this statement multiple times, trying to encourage people to get a skin check. I don't know if I'll ever stop saying it. However, we all know it's way easier to say it than to do it.
Not knowing what to expect at a skin check
I remember my first dermatology appointment that involved a full body scan; the nurse handed me a gown and said, "Everything off but your underwear. Put the gown on open to the back; the doctor will be in soon."
I stared intently to make sure that door latched closed, I silently and carefully got undressed, put the gown on and quickly jumped on the bed making sure my gown fully covered my backside.
Naked and afraid
As I patiently waited for my doctor to come in, many thoughts came into my mind: Can anyone see me outside those windows? Thank goodness she didn't come in sooner. Should I fold my clothes on the chair?
***For all those wondering: you don't ever have to take the gown off completely, just in parts and sections and then you cover back up. Dermatologists pay attention to moles and skin abnormalities, not bodies.***
Confident in skin check routines
It's comical to me to remember how far I've come with these appointments and my outlook. I've gained a huge amount of trust for the second pair of eyes judging if my body is turning against itself (cancer) or if it's not. It may take a couple of appointments, or just one.
16 skin checks later...
I've had about 16 skin checks with her and now I'm basically taking off my shoes the second I walk into the room. I don't notice the blinds open or if the door latches shut. You gain confidence in that room because that room ultimately owns my sanity.
I know now that 20 minutes of vulnerability means 6 months of a safe mind and confidence, or 5 days of waiting for an answer. 20 minutes and a pair of eyes is nothing on my imperfect body and scars. I get naked and get checked because it's more than vulnerability.
How often do you speak to your family members about skin cancer?