Need to change out the Christmas mat on the front porch (not to mention take down the interior decorations). A bit distracted with some deadlines + a general malaise this past week.

This afternoon I headed back to the dermatologist for some additional work on my moles. Two of the three that were taken out last time came back atypical (one moderate + one severe) and needed additional margins removed around the initial spot. While we were there (Chris came along to have some of his questions answered and see the process) she decided to remove three more on my back as well.

According to the American Cancer Society, "Although most moles never turn into a melanoma, some do. Researchers have found some DNA changes that transform benign nevus (mole) cells into melanoma cells. But it is still not known exactly why some moles become cancerous or why having many moles or atypical (dysplastic) moles increases your risk of developing melanoma."

Basically I am all about having them removed if they look the least bit suspicious. Especially after having one come back as melanoma in-situ (on the surface of my skin) in August. A back full of scars sounds pretty good to me.

Another thing that sounds good to me? Living for today and not worrying about what comes next.

Another gentle reminder: make an appointment to get your own skin checked.

Completely enjoying reading all your words for 2008. I will compile one big list and post it here next week.

112 thoughts

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25 of 112
  1. Angela

    2008-01-03 11:02:52 -0500

    Your post taps into the essence of my journey for 2008. Health is my goal for this year. I would like to cultivate a healthy body, mind, spirit, marriage etc.
    SO I have chosen BLOOM as my word for 2008. I am taking 2008 to nurture and care for myself and those I love. My garden of life will BLOOM.
    I can see you are also on the same path.

  2. tami

    2008-01-03 11:16:29 -0500

    Check your kids too! When our teen was 6 years old he had a mole that we had asked our peditrician about and he thought it was fine. A year later, not fine. It had changed, children can get what is called a benign melanoma. We had a plastic surgeon remove the surrounding area (pretty big) and then got the all clear. Glad we continued to have it checked.

  3. sheri

    2008-01-03 11:37:35 -0500

    hi ali,
    good luck with your moles. hoping the best for you.
    where did you get those cute shoes?

  4. kim in Camas - ScrapToMyLu

    2008-01-03 12:10:02 -0500

    good luck.
    had my skin checked last month since a friend and my SIL had skin cancer problems. I'm clear. whew...

  5. Ann

    2008-01-03 13:40:02 -0500

    Sending good thoughts and prayers for a good outcome on the most recent moles.

  6. melanie

    2008-01-03 14:01:55 -0500

    Finally cleaned up most of the Christmas debris this evening (tree & ornaments). Leaving up the rest of the decorations for now. I have a book exchange/purge/swap on my blog. If you are interested, just claim the title(s) you want. :)

  7. Klogan

    2008-01-03 14:06:14 -0500

    I read your blog often, but never comment. When I read about your moles, I knew I had to say something. My OBGYN found a suspicious mole when I became pregnant. He sent me to determaologist who took 4 off on on my first visit. They all came back severely abnormal. I continued to have problems all through my pregnancy. It seemed like everytime I went in, she would find at least 2 that she needed to remove. I've had them removed off my back, my arms,my stomach, and my legs. I'm covered in those lovely scars. It really makes me think twice about getting out in the sun. I really try to avoid it when possible. The problem with the moles seemed to subside once I had my baby. Then about 6 months later, the suspicious moles started coming back. She's had to remove several each time I go in. For the first time ever I got a letter in the mail saying all was "Okay." I was so excited! I still have to go back every 3 months for chek ups though. I hope you can eventually get to the point where you get a letter in the mail and not a phone call telling you to come back in. Good luck!

  8. Ronda Palazzari

    2008-01-03 15:15:42 -0500

    many thoughts & prayers for you!

  9. Stephanie Rahmatulla

    2008-01-03 16:11:47 -0500

    Hi Ali, it's Stephanie from mambi. Just wanted to stop by to tell you that I was motivated by this post and reminded to make my appointment to get my moles checked. I haven't done it for years and I'm covered with these little "beauty marks"! Thank you for your amazing creativity and bringing attention to some very important issues! You've made a difference to so many people...I'm one!

  10. Vida

    2008-01-03 17:53:59 -0500

    Hi Ali,
    I'll keep you in my prayers! I recently had three of my moles removed (October) and they too had come back w/the same diagnosis as yours, however after a long awaited six weeks, they came back benign! YAY! So, lets hope to keep the good news rolling your way! Thanks for always motivating me! By the way, I have a few items to share with you too! I'll download the photos this weekend and just check out my blog ;).
    Hugs from Okinawa Japan,
    Vida :)
    P.S. What Autism society/charity is your son involved in? I want to be able to contribute to him as well when it comes to our CFC (Federal Campiagn) out here. I support the ASA right now for my friend's son AJ! :)

  11. Deb Long

    2008-01-03 21:19:44 -0500

    Thanks for reminding people to have a skin check - it can save lives. Best of luck with your own. I'm off to slather on sunscreen!

  12. Kriston H

    2008-01-04 02:50:28 -0500

    I love and read your blog all the time, your work is inspiring! I've never left a comment but I wanted to thank you for talking about having moles checked. My husband went in to have some moles removed in September. He had one on his neck that was a melanoma. He's only 32 and is faithful in applying sunscreen. It was removed and I'm so grateful that he went in!

  13. Emily

    2008-01-04 03:08:47 -0500

    Sending you positive thoughts! I got your latest book for Christmas and it is wonderful; you are such an inspiring person--certainly for scrapbooking, but for LIFE as well. My word for 2008 is "green:" I am trying to be more environmentally conscious in the way I live, but also see green as promoting a lifestyle that is healthy & positive overall.

  14. Sophie

    2008-01-04 03:46:52 -0500

    Thank you for the post...I had a melanoma (0.25mm) removed from my back this September...result a lovely, 4 in scar (due to the second reincision to make sure the margins were clear)...the result was no cancer cells found in the reincision...but left with a lovely scar...I still go to the Mommy and Me Swim classes...and if someone asks about the scar, I tell them what it was...and to be sure to have anything that fits the ABCs (asymmetrical border, (dark) color)of skin cancer checked...sometimes I feel like I'm the only mom out there with this...so thanks for letting me know how many of us out there are vigilant...I also had one removed 7 years ago that turned out to be something called a Spitz Novum (looks like melanoma but isn't) on my leg...these things can be benign but troublesome...my word for 2008 is "blessed."...

  15. Jenn

    2008-01-04 06:51:08 -0500

    Hey Ali. Thanks for sharing your experience about having moles checked. Will definitely take your advice and get them checked out.
    I just received your latest book for Christmas and absolutely adore it! I, like others, have been totally inspired by your pages! You are so creative and talented! Thank you. :)
    My word for 2008 is SMILE. Need to do a little more of that this year. Thanks for all of your beautiful works of "life-art."

  16. Jenn

    2008-01-04 06:52:33 -0500

    Hey Ali. Thanks for sharing your experience about having moles checked. Will definitely take your advice and get them checked out.
    I just received your latest book for Christmas and absolutely adore it! I, like others, have been totally inspired by your pages! You are so creative and talented! Thank you. :)
    My word for 2008 is SMILE. Need to do a little more of that this year. Thanks for all of your beautiful works of "life-art."

  17. Meghan Dymock

    2008-01-04 17:35:44 -0500

    My mom had a malignant melanoma removed from her neck when she was eight months pregnant 21 years ago. She was told if they wouldn't have caught it when they did she would have been dead within months. I applaud you writing about this on your blog because there are SO MANY people out there who don't have their moles checked when they should! I have been going yearly since I was fourteen years old and will continue to do so my entire life.
    Thanks for the post and I pray everything will be OK with yours.

  18. jeanette

    2008-01-05 10:01:51 -0500

    My word for the year is "Abundance"
    I pray all goes well with the moles. :)

  19. Kathi

    2008-01-05 11:47:51 -0500

    Good for you! I'm a melanoma survivor, and my arms look like swiss cheese. :-)

  20. Amy

    2008-01-05 12:37:23 -0500

    I just wanted to say I love this picture and how your dog is right there next to you. Such a sweet photo.

  21. deB perry

    2008-01-05 12:42:43 -0500

    Ali, just wanted to post that my chosen word this year is ...'real'. See... by posting I am now accountable... ;-) Hope they got everything regarding your moles. hugs

  22. amy m

    2008-01-05 19:12:14 -0500

    I couldn't agree more about the living for today. My word for this year LIVE.
    I have been there before with the moles. I am for getting them all off if possible. I much prefer the scars. Good Luck to you.

  23. Julie Campbell

    2008-01-06 10:19:10 -0500

    This is a great reminder! I had an area removed last month on my back that turned out to be a tumor formed from atypical cells (2 different types). Hearing the "T" kind of freaked me out! I'm just so glad I went with my instincts and had it checked out. So... thanks for the reminder!

  24. Cherie Intintolo

    2008-01-07 05:03:44 -0500

    Ali, I am right there with you on the moles. Had my skin checked at the end of November for the first time and there was one very dark mole that my dermatologist didn't like the looks of. She removed it and did a biopsy. Well, mine came back as an atypical Spitz Nevus which is normally found in 4 year olds (I'm in my 40's)! My dermatologist had a whole team of doctors at Univ. of Pennsylvania look at it and they had never seen this before. It was benign but I had to go back right after Christmas to have more of the area around it removed just be be sure. I get my stitches out this Wednesday. Good luck with everything!

  25. vicki Boutin

    2008-01-08 00:50:39 -0500

    Hi ALi!
    I am another one who will be having a large mole removed in front of my ear in a couple of weeks. I hope it comes back ok. My Mom had melanoma so I want to be proactive and make sure I am healthy. I totally agree about the scars being a heck of a lot better than the alternative!

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