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Do As I Say (And Not As I Want To Do)

Do As I Say (And Not As I Want To Do)

I have a confession. I’m not always a model patient. Sometimes I want to hide places from my dermatologist. Not exactly hide them, I guess, but not point them out to her. I mean, if it’s meant for her to see them, she’ll find them, right?!?

Tired of getting poked and prodded

Why do I feel like this, you ask? Because sometimes, when I’m headed to the dermatologist’s office for a checkup, I’m just really dreading getting treated. I don’t want to get poked and prodded and numbed and biopsied and frozen. Sometimes, it’s exhausting to think that my 6-month skin check may end up with me getting some or all of those things done, and I just don’t want to go through it yet again.

This isn’t a smart plan, I know, and I also know I’ll end up pointing out any suspicious areas to my doctor, whether I really want to or not. To be honest, there are days I’m afflicted with what I’ve heard described as “skin cancer fatigue.” Some days, I’m just tired of procedures. I’m tired of the daily skin checks I subconsciously do on myself, even if I don’t intend to – it just happens.

Always wondering what’s next

I’m tired of the just-like-clockwork twice a year skin checks with my dermatologist, or more often if needed. I’m tired of worrying about every new area that pops up, wondering if it’s another skin cancer. I’m tired of lying awake at night sometimes, wondering what may be next. And I’m tired of having skin cancer.

Show your doctor, no matter what

I know that makeup can cover up small areas, making them harder for the dermatologist to see – and sometimes I am tempted to do this. I also know, though, that trying to hide any suspicious spots from my doctor isn’t a good idea. Not for me, and not for you either. So please, do as I say, not as I sometimes want to do. Make an appointment with your dermatologist for a skin check. Show your doctor everything that is concerning to you, no matter how big or small it is. But don’t beat yourself up too much if you’re tempted to not point out every little spot. I totally understand.

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

Comments

  • CarolAnn
    2 months ago

    Hi Judy, I hear what you’re saying and sure can identify. I am 67 now and have been doing battle with skin cancer for fifteen years. I always dread my visits to my dermatologist but I trudge in there anyway. It seems as though things have accelerated in the last few years. I go for a skin check every 6 months and get a lot of burns over legs, arms, chest and face, though it’s slowed down on my face since I did the chemo lotion last year. Boy, that was a blast! NOT!
    Most recently I had a biopsy on my thigh that was pre-cancerous and was to go back for freezing in a month. I go back to get that taken care of and show the dr something above my ankle, same leg, that came up since my last visit and I KNEW it was an SCC. She took one look and biopsied it. While she was working on me I told her how I’d just taken my 19 yr old granddaughter to a doc her primary referred her to to have a mole at her hairline removed. Turned out he was an old guy who wasn’t even a dermatologist but plastic surgeon and addressed removal and nothing really to say about the recently very inflamed mole. When we left she was in tears and I was mad as H-E -double hockey sticks. I called my dermatologist and got an appt for her about a month out. Sorry this is so long. My dr said “you bring her to me and I’ll get her taken care of”. I said I’m bringing her on Feb. 22nd. She said that’s too long for her to wait, you talk to her and if she wants to get it taken care of sooner leave me a message and I’ll see that she gets in. That was a Monday. I called back Wednesday to say she said “yes please!” And I took her back on Friday. Dr talked to her and said it looked pretty normal right then but since it’d been inflamed advised removal and pathology check and Morgan agreed. Dr then looks at me and says mine is squamous and did I want to take care of it while I was there. SURE if you have the time. We waited a while but got it done. Morgan’s wasn’t cancer but could become so later on if left so we’re happy it’s gone. I’ll be taking her for a full body skin check when she decides to do it. She loves my dr as I knew she would, and that’s such a huge blessing right there. I hate having anything done on my skin and I’m very sensitive to it all. I’ve really had a hard time with this latest surgery. I have a deep hole the size of a quarter about four inches above my skinny ankle. I went thru two pain killer Rxs before I eased back to just Tylenol. I was off my feet for 11 days except to hobble to the toilet with help of a cane and my hubby when he was home. I can now walk unaided for short periods and sit with it down also for very short periods. It’s a painful and ugly wound for something that most people think isn’t real cancer. Sometimes it makes me want to shove it in their faces and and make them see it for what it is. If I were a diabetic, like my mother was, I’d be in a whole world of trouble with this wound so low on my leg.
    Okay my long winded story ends here. Never ever think you can hide anything from your dermatologist. Get your skin checks as recommended by your dr, and DO have a support group that you can lean on when it gets rough, because it can and will. This CA girl is here to tell ya, like the insurance commercial guy says “I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two!
    Have a blessed day!
    P.S. Dang, there’s always one more thing. Judy, I have never heard of sabacious carcinoma. Will have to look that up.

  • Judy Cloud moderator author
    2 months ago

    Hi CarolAnn! It sounds like we are in a similar boat, having had skin cancer for many years. This year is my 24-year ‘anniversary’ of having skin cancer. Your dermatologist sounds like the perfect doctor for you, and for your granddaughter. She is lucky to have you for her grandma! I’m hoping for speeey healing for you – and many years of good health (skin cancer free!) for your granddaughter!
    Judy
    PS : sebaceous carcinoma is a rarer type of cancer that begins in an oil gland and is usually on the eyelid.

  • wseverin
    2 months ago

    Judy Cloud, I have to agree with you. I have spent over 50 years of my life in the sun. Finally, something started happening on my skin several years ago. Went to the doctor, he cut them off, and tossed them. No biopsy. I got worried last year when it kept getting bigger. Finally went to my primary Dr and all he said was “oh, my.” Knew I was in trouble, came out to be sebaceous carcenoma, and was malignant. I knew something was wrong, but scared to do anything about it. Fortunately, the malignant tumor was removed by my dermatologist, the second the same, but the third, benign. Waiting on the fourth. I, myself will never shy away from the dr. Again. Now, I have to go through a cat scan and a P.E.T. scan to either find the base cancer or if it has spread to anything else. Not only not having insurance, those two scans will cost me +/- $6,000 out of my pocket. Take care of yourself!

  • Judy Cloud moderator author
    2 months ago

    @wseverin Thanks for your comment! It’s scary how some doctors don’t take skin cancer as seriously as they should. I’m glad you’re now getting the treatment you should be getting. I went through a period of not having health insurance, so I understand how difficult that can be. Sending you healthy wishes – take good care of you!
    Judy

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