Happy Skin Cancer Awareness Month!  To celebrate, I visited my dermatologist for my twice-yearly skin check today.  I have a great dermatologist.  He’s funny and we laugh the entire time I’m in his office, but far more importantly, he’s extremely thorough.  Today he spent thirty minutes checking and double checking my skin. 

I know my way around a dermatology office.  With one melanoma, forty-eight basal cell carcinomas, and one biopsy awaiting pathology results, I feel like I should be able to hang a shingle over my gym door and offer skin cancer checks on the side. 

I have to admit that I am very aware of any exposed skin on my clients, and if I notice anything odd or different I start in with a litany of questions.  “What’s that on your leg?  Have you noticed it before?  How long has it been there?  Do you mind if I take a closer look?”  And more than once, a client has left our session with orders from Dr. Deb to see a dermatologist. 

Since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to organize all of my previous skin cancer related posts into one location, and house them on their very own tab on my website.

Please click on any of the blue links below if you would like to read the entire post…..


My Promise To My Dermatologist
Twice a year I visit my dermatologist… Well actually it’s usually four times a year because I almost always have to go back and get a basal cell removed after my doctor calls with my biopsy results. You see, I’ve had one melanoma and 43 basal cell carcinomas removed in the last 15 years.


This May, Please Learn From My Mistakes
Dear 16-year old me:  Lying out in the sun for an hour is stupid.  You’re a fair skinned girl and won’t get a golden tan.  What you will end up getting are 3-inch diameter blisters everywhere your tiny bikini doesn’t cover; and you’ll be planting the seeds for a future melanoma.


Confessions Of A Tanning Goddess
It all started when I was about sixteen years old…  I wanted a beautiful golden tan instead of my pasty white skin.


What To Expect At Your Full Body Check:  A Visit With Dr. Ha
Twice a year I see my dermatologist, Dr. Ha, for a full body skin and lymph check.  I’ve been seeing him since about 2000 after my mom suggested I have a dermatologist look at a flaky place over my lip.  It was pre-cancerous and he froze it off, but in the process of the examination Dr. Ha found a decent sized basal cell carcinoma on my back.  It was the first of many, and started my on-going relationship with my new doctor.


Connecting The Dots
Just for the heck of it, I put little red dots on this body map to represent where I’ve had some of my basal cell carcinomas and my melanoma removed.  In connecting the dots of how skin cancer happens, the sun damages the skin and causes the cells of the epidermis to mutate, divide, and multiply rapidly.  Those mutated cells can form several different types of tumors, or skin cancers.


That Odd Looking Spot Sure Doesn’t Look Like Melanoma
A flat brown spot showed up on my leg about ten years ago and I dismissed it as an early age spot.  The next time I saw my dermatologist, Dr. Ha, I had him take a look at it.  It seemed benign and he wasn’t concerned at the time.  It was light brown, flat, and appeared to only be a pigmentation change in my skin.


2014 TKO Melanoma 5K Race Recap
Running this morning’s TKO Melanoma 5K with my MRTT friends was a ton of fun!  Running this race yearly and spreading the word about melanoma is very important to me since I found a melanoma on my leg in it’s earliest stage just over three years ago.


2013 TKO Melanoma 5K Race Recap
This morning two of my Cruiser friends and I ran in the TKO Melanoma 5K.  This race was in memory of Theresa Kay O’Conner, a loving wife and mom who lost her battle with melanoma last fall.  This race was very near and dear to me as a melanoma survivor, and also because I lost my sweet uncle to this deadly cancer.



  • Questions:
  • Do you get an annual skin check?
  • Do you sunburn easily?
  • Do you use sunscreen?