Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 2, 2008



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.


  • 51.
    cheryl said…

    I’m off to my Oncologist today to view the
    results of my yearly SCANS. Three years Cancer Free (so far) and I feel the same way you do…live for today.
    I had Breast Cancer and from the day of my
    diagnosis I realized that there are some things in this life that are simply a challenge. I hope that your positive attitude will prevail and that you’ll hear all good news. Prayers and Positive thoughts to you from me.
    My Mother had Melanoma and the margins
    were quite extensive on the back of her left
    arm. The scar is from her shoulder to her
    elbow. The Grandkids call it her Catepillar.
    It all depends upon your point of view!

  • 52.
    Helene said…

    Best wishes, hoping everythng is going to be OK, my prayers are for you, my word for 2008 is sevral in fact “let go, relax”
    Love, Helen

  • 53.
    LateBlossom said…

    Hey, Ali, I took your word idea and ran with it. I asked my girlfriends via email to join me in picking a word, and every few months, we’ll all check in (again, via email since they are scattered over the country) and tell how we’re living our word. In just 24 hours, 9 have already jumped on board!
    Thanks for the great idea, and I hear you on the moles. Who cares about scars when your health may be at risk? I’ve had quite a few things removed from my skin over the years (all okay, but you don’t know til they’re biopsied!), and the scars fade quickly.

  • 54.
    Chris said…

    Are you going to do a calendar again this year
    I LOVED the one last year and hubby is bugging me cuz it is a new year and no calendar yet, I just want to see if you were going to do another one.

  • 55.
    michelle said…

    So glad everything came back o.k. and don’t worry about the mat. Mine is still out too!

  • 56.
    sue said…

    Thanks for the reminder to not put off my physical any longer. Take care of YOU and try to not stress about deadlines and/or decorations coming down.

  • 57.
    kaylea said…

    Saying a prayer for you, and hoping that 2008 is a good year for you.
    My word – Simplicity; simplify…simple.
    I need to learn this in my entire life, not just in my scrapping life.
    BTW…I went until February before taking Christmas down one year….technically, we’re still in the 12 days of Christmas until Sunday, so you are doing “alright” right now.
    Spend time with Simon and Chris, get some hugs and rest. The other “stuff” will happen in due time.

  • 58.
    Kathy Fritz said…

    Hopefully you will see my comment.
    I just wanted to say thanks for posting that about your moles a while back.
    It spurred me on to get a skin cancer screening, which I did two weeks ago.
    Thankfully, there were no suspicious moles. Thanks for letting us know that we should really have this done. I wish you all the best for good health.

  • 59.
    Grace Palazzolo said…

    Been there! Argh…Last year a small 1 removed from the front of my leg then I go get another melanoma removed was going to be tiny and wound up going deeper and wider. Luckily the plastic surgeon did it. Then a few off my back and the day before Christmas Eve I go for routine visit and bam lets check this other one out on your back! We have to have them taken off whatever it takes I am with you a fashion model I will never be so take them off as long as we are healthy and ok. Hope all goes well (Sure it will) Hugs Grace

  • 60.
    Elisa said…

    Happy New Year, Ali!
    Thanks for the reminder. I will be making an appointment this week. I had one mole checked quite a while back. I was told it was nothing to be concerned about, but I want it out regardless. Hope all goes well with you. I will be thinking of you.
    On a lighter note, I think I have narrowed my word down to SAVOUR. Every moment.
    Have a lovely day!

  • 61.
    Danielle said…

    Thanks Ali for sharing. I had moles removed from my back last summer as well. Mine came back precancerous so I had to go back as well. I now need more removed-I agree with you, I’d rather have scars! It’s good to be reminded of the simple things we can do to take care of ourselves. Best Wishes and Happy New Year!

  • 62.
    Molly said…

    We can’t see our own backsides … sometimes that’s a posative (ha) but I hadn’t thought of the skin-care aspect. I hope this is simply a routine maintenance matter for you and nothing more. Also, noticed the sole image on your board is the twirly skirt. Way to keep that goal front and center. I’m getting myself an inspiration board … pronto. Be well, happy new year. – Molly

  • 63.
    Cyndi Hoehn said…

    I have a large mole on my upper chest that has been there since birth (I’ve always called it my birthmark). It grew with both of my pregnancies. I had it looked at, but the doctor didn’t see any problem with it.
    Maybe I should see a dermatologist???? I also have about 5 on my back that could be checked out. Thanks for sharing this information! I will continue to pray for you, Ali . . .

  • 64.
    Mary Rogers said…

    it will all be good. I just know it!

  • 65.
    Stacy said…

    Thinking of you Ali – it’s so great to see that you are really assertive when it comes to these kinds of things. So many times we are on top of it for our kids and forget that we should be taking care of our bodies too. Loving the new book, I finished it and now want to go back and read the other two over again:) Thanks for the continual inspiration:)
    Stacy (Alberta, Canada)

  • 66.
    Tna said…

    good to know that you are on top of things…not putting things off…will be praying for you and your family, hopefully, you all recovered from being sick (over the holidays)…
    you take care…greetings to you and your family, from the philippines… :)

  • 67.
    heather said…

    good reminder, ali! a family friend put off getting her moles checked, and ended up dying of melanoma. it was very sad, especially since it’s so easy to have a doctor check out moles. i, too, have a back full of scars – better that than the alternative!

  • 68.
    Beth said…

    Ali…thanks for the mole reminder. It’s so important ! I’m a very “moley” person and so I go every year for my check. So far so good, but I’m with you as far as having them removed !!
    On another note, my word for 2008 is “SEE”…as in the little things that I usually miss. It hopefully will also make me go a little slower in life….stopping to really SEE what’s around me.

  • 69.
    Nicole Drewniak said…

    I have experience with mole removal as well. Hang in there! We are all sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

  • 70.
    Terri said…

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It helps those of us going through similar wake up calls to pay attention to our bodies. Us moms take care of everyone else but tend to let ourselves go….. no more. FAITH is my word for 2008. Happy new year everyone!

  • 71.
    Jillian said…

    I made a layout using my word,you can see it here.

  • 72.
    Valerie White said…

    Ali…my husband had melanoma 4 years ago, 6 months after my daughter was born. It was such a scare for us and one Dr. would not do surgery to remove the cancerous portion because he said his ear would look “deformed”…somehow he thought a deformed ear was worse than the alternative…we found a new Dr. at University of Washington and he has been cancer free since that date! I am sure praying for you and your family.

  • 73.
    jenn said…

    Hoping everything goes well and keeping you in my prayers…

  • 74.
    Nicole said…

    Good luck Ali, will be thinking of you. My mother had a melanoma years ago — it was tough, but treatable. Keep watching and you will be on top of it if it does come.

  • 75.
    Nicole said…

    Good luck Ali, will be thinking of you. My mother had a melanoma years ago — it was tough, but treatable. Keep watching and you will be on top of it if it does come.

  • 76.
    Nicky Anderson said…

    Glad you are taking care of the moles, sometimes we tend to let those things go – when we shouldn’t. I agree with the living for today, as hard as that is to do sometimes!! But truly in the big picture, all the worrying that we tend to do about the future, we have no control over anyways, even though we would like to think that we do.
    I always find this time of the year hard in some ways, it is tough to take down all the fun Christmas stuff that is so much fun to put up.
    We need to look more at each day for the joy we receive in this very moment and enjoy the gifts and blessings we have been given.
    Wishing you and your family all the very best in 2008 and lots of love and laughter!!
    Nicky Anderson

  • 77.
    The Writer Mama said…

    Hope you are healthy, Ali!
    I’ve got pink eye today, after the stomach flu over Xmas, and Step between T-day and Xmas.
    Here’s to our health!

  • 78.
    Malin Tvedt said…

    Reading blogs has an interesting side to it. You have no idea who I am (reading your blog almost every day from Sweden), but since you share so much of your life, it feels a little like I know you. Strange, really. So when I read about what you are going through with your moles, I feel the same compassion I would if you were a friend of mine. I truly hope they can examine all your moles and have them properly removed. Like you said – a back with scars is NOTHING.
    Being a fair skinned red head with plenty of moles (especially on my back), I need to start going on regular check ups myself.
    Here in Sweden we have a day called ‘Malignt Melanoma day’, when they have expert teams visiting every big hospital, in order to help in finding abnormalities at an early stage. Is there something similar in the States?
    Thinking of you.

  • 79.
    Angi Smith said…

    Sending prayers your way. I would remove anything that had potential too.
    I changed my word. I thought it was reflect. But once I looked up it’s meaning, I realized what I really want to spend the year doing is introspection. Introspect does not sound right. So I am going to spend more time in introspection this year, deciding how things affect my life and how what I do affects my life. This is what I need to do.

  • 80.
    Jennifer said…

    Thanks for the reminder Ali – its an important message to get out to people! Finding these early is so important. I had a skin check in Sept and was so nervous going into the appt. Had one mole removed and it came back fine. I am so relieved to have gone through the process and will be making this an annual preventitive step.

  • 81.
    Nannisandi said…

    Hi,Ali,New year greetings from Ireland.I am a new visitor to your site and really enjoy reading about you and your family. I have started the “a photo a day” project and am looking forward to seeing how the year is progressing through my photographs. Hope all goes well with the mole removals and results.

  • 82.
    Maria said…

    Living for today is a great thing indeed. Like Wonfgang von Goethe once said, “nothing is worth more than this day.” Ali, sending prayers your way. I also had a couple of moles removed earlier this year…it is certainly a great thing to be mindful of regular doctor’s appointments. And like you, I much rather live with a few extra scars than the alternative.

  • 83.
    Angela said…

    Happy New year to you and your family….
    The word I chose for 2008 is RESTORE. After waiting for and thankfully receiving a heart transplant in 2007 I am all about restoring every area of my ife in 2008.
    have a blessed 2008….

  • 84.
    Shannon said…

    thank you for the reminder.
    i actually called to make an appointment a couple weeks ago, but gave up while on hold for a while. I will call again.

  • 85.
    Marta Valdes said…

    My prayers are with you. My fiancee had to have basel cells removed from his upper lip, left side of his eye, back and from his left ear. I can say this with all my heart, I would rather see the scars than not see him at all. I am grateful that I was able to be there for him and help him through this. It has made us stronger and grateful for one another.
    Marta :)

  • 86.
    Sara said…

    My sister has had several malignant melanoma removed, and any that weren’t malignant have been dysplastic. She has been very lucky to have caught them all by stage 3 or lower, but it has been by being vigilant and being checked every three months. The good thing about melanoma with moles is that you can be proactive and stay on top of it, so good for you for being consistent! She had asked her doctor if he could just take off every mole on her body, but he explained to her that the moles don’t cause the cancer, but they are the warning signs to the doctor to tell them where to look for the cancer. Thinking of it that way makes the moles your friend instead of your enemy… they are the sign posts warning you of trouble before it gets out of hand. That mentally helped my sister, so hopefully it will be a help to you too. I will definitely keep you in my prayers that good health remains with you!

  • 87.
    Holly Tibbles said…

    Ali, all year you share so much of yourself with us. I wanted to take a minute to say thanks!
    I lite a candle for you today and have spent moments here and there envisioning you and your family…sending white light and loving thoughts your way. I am sure all will be fine, but it never hurts to have positive energy directed our way.
    Blessings to you,
    Holly Tibbles

  • 88.
    Angela said…

    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.

  • 89.
    tami said…

    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.

  • 90.
    sheri said…

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

  • 91.

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

  • 92.
    Ann said…

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

  • 93.
    melanie said…

    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. :)

  • 94.
    Klogan said…

    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!

  • 95.
    Ronda Palazzari said…

    many thoughts & prayers for you!

  • 96.

    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!

  • 97.
    Vida said…

    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! :)

  • 98.
    Deb Long said…

    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!

  • 99.
    Kriston H said…

    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!

  • 100.
    Emily said…

    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.

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