For someone my age, I’ve been surprisingly careful about my skin. Largely it was because I found lying around trying to tan the most boring thing in the world, so I seldom did it. I never really wanted to go for that bronze look. I can count the sunburns I’ve had on one hand — and still have leftover fingers to flash the peace sign. (Those sunburns were not my fault. Who knew that the Caribbean sun could burn right through a T-shirt while you are snorkeling?)
So as more and more evidence came out about the dangers of sun exposure, I was right on board. I now have the largest array of high SPF sunscreen in the Western U.S. I regularly slather on 80 SPF, then wear a hat and long sleeved shirts out in the Sonoma sun. And I’ve always kept a close eye on my moles. ‘Cause I had a few of them.
Then suddenly last week, as I stepped out of the shower, I noticed that I had more than a few. I had more. Lots more. They had multiplied overnight it seemed. Cue panicked call to a dermatologist.
Wanting to get the very next available appointment, I told the receptionist I had a number of “suspicious” moles. She booked me immediately.
Full disclosure: I’ve never been able to tell from Internet articles on cancer what makes a mole suspicious. I sort of had the impression that it was a mole that was ugly or misshapen. Or would be happy living on a witch’s face.
I think you are getting the idea that I am not going to be posting pictures of my moles. This is not that kind of blog. I just say “NO” to oversharing.
But still I worried.
Turns out the dermatologist was a sweet elderly German man. Sort of a thinner medical version of the kindly waiter Carl in Casablanca. Dr. Carl, like the German stereotype, is very efficient. He did a quick examination of my torso with a magnifying glass and pronounced: “All iss gut. No cancer.”
Well, then why do I have five new moles?
“Zees are not moles. Zey are ‘Age Warts’. Vee alzo call zem ‘Senile Warts’.”
Warts?! Warts! I’ve never had a wart in my life. Warts are found on witches and frogs and warthogs. And what’s this “Senile” thing, anyway?
Turns out, according to Dr. Carl Casablanca, just about everyone of “a certain age” gets these things. They aren’t really warts as in virus-induced type things. They are just age-related changes to the skin. And they don’t become cancerous.
I still had Dr. Carl removed them. Because I’m too young for age-related anything!
And there is nothing that has warts that can be called attractive. Even when Disney tries to pretty it up.
Just a public service announcement: Don’t dismiss any new skin growth, even if you think it is a harmless result of aging skin. Get everything checked out. Even Dr. Carl Casablanca is going to biopsy every one of my removed moles, just to be sure.
It has been a long time and another continent since our paths have crossed. But looks and sounds like you are doing and living well. I am a new fan of your blog and will look forward to new episodes. This new found desire to reconnect with our old neighborhood gang is not to relieve our youth, but to see how each others lives played out. We have a special bond due to lives we were thrust into living in a foreign country and forming our very own unique community. Wither we like it or not, good, bad or indifferent we all played a part in who we have become. I cherish those times and remember with great fondness the experience we all had. I have entertained many a gathering with exploits from our youth. My memory of you is a little spark plug with a Zen for life that could be seen through the spark in your eyes. I know that time can alter our memory one way or another, but if I am wrong so be it, that’s the way I want to remember you. If you still have your year book there are fill-in photos throughout. There is one photo of you sitting on the bus. I took that picture and Herbert Mumee submitted it for the year book staff. You have a broad smile and that familiar fire in your eyes, that pretty well sums you up in my book. The Blogs I have read so far indicate you still have that fire, but your photos on the other hand……
It was a great pleasure speaking with you yesterday and I look forward to future blogs. I look forward to the interesting live revelations of the gang as we reconnect after all these years.
My own life has been pretty incredible. I joined the Navy in Germany and set out on trip that took me all over the world. From riding small McHale’s Navy like gunboats to Brig duty then submarine repairs to becoming one of elite Navy hovercraft Masters. While this was going on, I got married, too young, to the wrong woman, had two girls and got divorced. I then married a foreign lady, she is a cheese head (Wisconsin), and had another daughter who is a junior in high school. Retired from the Navy, got hired at my present company (Public Sector) and went back to school to get my MBA. Looking at my high school transcript, I must have had a really had a good time and I am surprised that I did not have to start over.
We have a family farm in Arkansas. It is located on the White river where the where the Buffalo river meets. It is 200 acres. 60 acres near the river and 150 acre bluff behind that. The nearest home from us is a half mile away. We don’t farm at this time. But we lease the land to a cattleman for his heard and the hay. We also have a lake house in Lake Lure NC. It is in the Great Smoky Mountains and it is a great place to unwind. It is on the water and we have a couple of boats to run around the lake in.
I think I have bored you enough for now. I really hope we do keep in touch as I think we need to hold to those great times we all had in Germany that is locked in our memories. By keeping in touch we can keep those times alive.
Eagles Uber alles!
What do you mean “little spark plug”. In my book that means “short and squat” and I don’t think I ever topped 105 lbs on my 5’2″ frame in high school. That’s short and thin!
What about my pictures? Don’t you recognize me from the photo above? I’m the one coming out of the water. With the mole.
Which demonstrates, yet again, the fundamental unfairness of life: I get tons o’ sun, I avoid anything stronger than SPF 8 or so, and all of my Hideous Deformities were developed indoors, well before I started getting tons o’ sun.
“Spark Plug” as in Firey personality ( it’s a good thing) as evidenced by your quick and correcting response.
I thought you lefty’s were laid back…..Hmmmm! Must be another one of those myths. My apologies!
Well, I’m glad all your old age spots turned out to be OK 😉
Beauty marks, Carma, beauty marks!
I have beauty marks and I never had the patience to sunbath like my friends,never went tanning and as they continued to increase the suncreen levels up to 30, I was slapping it on. I will grow old gracefully to an extent,so, I gonna slap on the moisturizer and sunscreen and try like heck to stop some wrinkles!
First it’s the warts. Then it’s the cackling. Then the green skin, and the next thing you know little girls are pouring buckets of water on you.
And your little dog, too!
We all know that vitamins and minerals keep us healthy but how much should one consume on daily basis that most of us do not know and therefore,
fall into problems. I can provide at least a dozen more testimonies
of people who committed to the five steps aforementioned.
Probiotic supplements will give you the same benefits as