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Updates.

Out

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.

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112 thoughts

  1. Amy Zarrella says…
    01/02/2008

    Thanks for the reminder Ali. My GP told me to get an appointment for a skin check in September and I have been putting it off. I am calling tomorrow. And I think a back full of scars if pretty much worth it too. All my love and prayers to you and Simon and Chris.

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  2. Shannon says…
    01/02/2008

    Thinking of you. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. melissa w says…
    01/02/2008

    Best wishes. I purchased your latest book over the weekend. It is awesome. Thanks so much!!
    PS what is your dog's name?

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  4. karen says…
    01/02/2008

    ali--what takes place when they are removed? does it hurt?
    thanks!!

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  5. Karen says…
    01/02/2008

    I'm off to the dermatologist on Monday for the same problem--my first experience with a mole that has noticeably changed. I got right on the phone! Must admit it's a bit nerve-racking.
    On a brighter note, my word for this year is COMMIT. Of the goals I set each year, the same 2 or 3 never seem to really get met--it gets better but not where I want it to be, so I am committing to put them first. Last year's word really did help me focus on relaxing, and I saw a noticeable improvement. Thanks, as always, for all your inspiration.

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  6. Judy B says…
    01/02/2008

    Ali,
    I love your new book so much that I found your first two and got them as well. For the last month or so, I've been reading a few pages of one or the other before I go to sleep, hoping that your creativity and ideas will inspire me to great works in the morning. LOL
    Seriously, I love your work, your ideas, your zest for life, your child and you. Happy New Year.

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  7. Sara says…
    01/02/2008

    Glad you are taking care of yourself and having your skin checked. I need to do that as well soon. I had it done a few years back and had a couple moles removed... they came back ok though. Thanks for bringing more awareness to this. And happy new year!

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  8. Maureen F. says…
    01/02/2008

    Thank you for sharing this personal bit - It really brings attention to the issue, I am with you, get rid of them, they are not welcomed !!! love your picture with your doggie !! sweet

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  9. Lisa says…
    01/02/2008

    I hope your moles all work out ok. Definitely something to add to the health check list.
    As for my word this year, I think it will be DEEPER. Last year was a very revealing year for me...I feel like I hit a new stage of life and in that started learning how to live my life more according to who *I* am instead of who I think everyone wants me to be. This year, I want to go deeper, exploring better some of the things I learned about myself last year.

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  10. Conchi says…
    01/02/2008

    Don´t worry. Only live the present and enjoy today. But you must go to the doctor and be careful of you. Sorry for my english. I only want you know I think of you. Kisses

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  11. giosmama26 says…
    01/02/2008

    Aww Ali, thanks for sharing something so personal and for keeping us posted. I think of you often in regards to this situation. Thanks for bringing the awareness to this subject. It couldn't have come from a more respectable person. My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

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  12. Shelley says…
    01/02/2008

    girl - this hit home today. i have several medical problems and the whole skin/mole issue is one i have NEVER taken care of. being from a family of molely people who never go theirs examined.. i just *assume* they are ok. but since being PG and my body riding the hormonal post pregnancy roller coaster almost 3 years later - they change. and new ones appear. overnight it seems. and the *age spots* appear now too... and the skin tags.. and there's this little spot on the tip of my nose that is always a *dry patch* but gets really dark and sun-burny in the summertime... i just think i show up at the dr with ONE more complaint - and he's going to have me committed. i swear i think HE thinks i make stuff up! i think this post was the icing on the cake. i need a new GP.
    thanks again for makin me think, girl. cheers to you and hope all is well.. and yes - as others mentioned.. does it hurt? i've got some moles about the size of two pencil erasers... ick!

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  13. christen says…
    01/02/2008

    good luck with the mole removals :)
    i got your book for my birthday and am loving it!! i need to take my christmas decorations too - but we're just not ready yet. i'm waiting until saturday.

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  14. Jane Young says…
    01/02/2008

    Thanks for sharing! I got checked after your discussion about it in August. Suprisingly, I didn't have any suspicious ones. I always worried about skin cancer because I spent a lot of time at the pool as a child. I also got your book recently and I loved it. I liked it best of the 3 I think. I liked the others also but I liked that this one was all your layouts and I enjoyed the challenges.

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  15. maryjo materazo says…
    01/02/2008

    good girl for taking care of this ali! i had a couple removed last year & luck they were nothing but ugly moles. mine are hereditary but u never know. hope it all goes uneventfully on your end. as far as my word this year, i picked {order}. i want to become more orderly, maintaining order in my life & home.

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  16. Jac says…
    01/02/2008

    Hey Ali, I'm sure all will be well.
    Keeping you in my prayers...
    LIVE FOR TODAY! :)

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  17. Brianna says…
    01/02/2008

    Hope everything goes smoothly. My word for 2008 is love.:)

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  18. Danielle says…
    01/02/2008

    Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life and thank you for the reminder to take care of ourselves and to LIVE FOR TODAY! You rock!

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  19. Kathy says…
    01/02/2008

    Hi Ali,
    Just had the mole experience today after going in for my annual derm check (previous basel cell already). This time I got the "punch" treatment on my thigh. Not painful, 3 stitches. I'm hoping she doesn't need to take more, but would prefer it out too. Best of luck to you. Oh and my word is "Simplify" but by that I mean to focus more on the important things and get rid of the clutter!

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  20. Mish Gasser says…
    01/02/2008

    Thanks so much for the PSA about skin care Ali. I think it's a good reminder for all of us.
    BTW, my word for 2008 is "resilience". No matter what happens, it's possible to bounce back from it.

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  21. Beth says…
    01/02/2008

    Ali ~ best wishes, thoughts and prayers are with you. I have been reading your blog for a long time, but have never posted. I just thought you might need a bit of encouragement today. DH went through something similar this summer, so I can somewhat relate. I'm always telling him it's better to err on the side of life...
    Anyway, you are a total inspiration to me as a scrapbooker, wife, mother, and a strong woman. As my word this year, I chose DETERMINATION. It fits every aspect of my life, and will encourage me to get so much done and be a much better person.
    Thank you for inspiring me!
    Beth

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  22. Shelley Haganman says…
    01/02/2008

    I am so glad you are taking care of this. I was diagnosed with melanoma in October and had a 2x8 inch section taken off the side of my face. I gladly accepted the scar in return for my life. I am a single mom of 3(one with Autism) and I have children to raise. My melanoma was thin and 95% survival with excision! I had put off having it looked at and now I am a big advocate of people getting checked regularly. My children now are more at risk since I have been diagnosed. I have had to make some life changes but my life is worth it! My word is going to be LIVE! I am going to "live" each day to the fullest and make sure to do things I have always wanted to do and not put things off. I am going to "LIVE"! Shelley

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  23. Nita says…
    01/02/2008

    You and your family are in my thoughts & prayers! Regarding your moles...well, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed! I work for a GP, and I might add, all melanomas or skin cancers for that fact look like moles! And I can vouch for that! I had a pearlescent patch on my cheek, which had been there for many years. I had it evaluated by two of the GP's I work for; they said it was nothing. I had it through my first pregnancy, and 18 months after I had my daughter, I went to a dermatologist for an evaluation of dry skin...on my feet. The derm dr. took one look at the lesion on my face, which I had not even mentioned to him, and he told me that he wanted to biopsy it that day. Well, turns out, I had had a basal cell carcinoma - I suppose it's the "best" skin cancer to have! It was removed, and to this day, I haven't had any more. But I mention this, as I have also seen many melanomas, and one was a pearlescent lesion.
    Onto another subject, I took your "everyday life" class at CKU in Orlando back in October! I loved it! You truly are amazing!

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  24. Kim B. says…
    01/02/2008

    I totally agree with you on the moles. I took my 17 year old daughter this morning for a "mole check". She had some "questionable" looking ones on her chest. GOOD NEWS. They were fine but she has opted to have them removed. 15 year old son is next for his "mole check". We get our teeth cleaned, our yearly paps and mammograms. Add this to your list of things to do. It just takes a few minutes.

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  25. Vanessa says…
    01/02/2008

    Hi Ali,
    You are in my prayers and I am sure that all is going to be just fine. I want to THANK YOU for reminding me to get checked. I had a biopsy done over a week ago on one of my moles because the dermatologist said it looked a bit irregular. I'll know how it all came out soon, but everyone does need to get checked. It's so much better to be safe than sorry.
    As for my 2008 word, I picked ENERGY. Energy can be defined as 1 a: dynamic quality b: the capacity of acting or being active c: a usually positive spiritual force. I hope to have more energy and be able to energize those around me. I want to be stronger and more active, enjoy my life more, be free of so many worries, and focus on what's important and that includes starting a family one day soon. Here's to more physical and spiritual energy in 2008!

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