Local skin cancer patient urges precautions

August 4, 2019

I am from Delaware – grew up going to the beach my whole life, and in my younger years just didn’t take sun protection that seriously. I used sunblock – sometimes – and if I did, I would apply once. I wasn’t much of a hat person, and only wore sunglasses sometimes. Now, I never go outside without my sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen. Here’s my “Don’t let this happen to you” message:

I had a very tiny pimple-like spot under my right eye, high on my cheek. I noticed it had been there for over a year, and it would never go away, never heal completely, and would not grow new skin. I let it go for over a year, thinking it was a stubborn blackhead. I had a facial, but still it would not go away. Recently, the spot began to bleed. I know I did not pick at it, so I became concerned. I made an appointment with my dermatologist and had the area tested. It came back as basal cell carcinoma.

I had just turned 40; both my parents had already passed away from cancer (different types). My doctor got me set up right away with a surgeon to remove all the cancerous tissue from the area. The procedure involved cutting away more then I ever thought, but the good news was it was all gone. I had several stitches and am currently still in the healing process; my face is expected to not have any scarring. The pictures kind of say it all – a seemingly tiny area that was hardly noticeable became a huge ordeal. This was scary, painful, emotional, costly, and inconvenient. 

My body is healing very quickly, and they say soon, a scar will not even be visible. I attribute this fast healing to my vegan diet. I started out going vegan for my health, which it sure did improve so many things, and now I’m vegan for the animals. I juice, make smoothies, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, all which can be found in our local grocery stores.

I think knowing where your food comes from and what it does to your body is extremely important. It just takes a little effort on the consumer’s part to get educated to make better decisions for their own health, for the animals, and for the environment. Being vegan means I don’t eat or use any animals or animal byproducts for food, clothing, entertainment, etc. There is a vegan option out there for everything we eat and use in our daily lives; you just have to seek it out. The Avenue Apothecary and Spa in Rehoboth carries an awesome line of cruelty-free, vegan, and organic products that includes everything from makeup and nail polish to deodorant, and of course my new favorite is the awesome sunblock!

I am a registered nurse and a Realtor, so not only do I take care of others, I help people move to the beach! I want everyone to be more aware of the risks and what can happen. A bit of prevention can go a long way.

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