Look On the Sunny Side. But Get Your Skin Checked First!

Did I mention that I had a dermatologist appointment today?  Because I had very minimal healthcare while both unemployed and at my last job, I hadn’t been to the dermatologist in over a year. Now that I have much better healthcare, I can visit all those professionals who cringe at my hypochondriac ways!

For me, it wasn’t a good thing I missed a skin check—especially since ten years ago, I had Mohs Surgery on my face to get rid of the Squamous Cell Skin Cancer I had been diagnosed with.

Image result for mohs surgery

I was very fortunate in that I only had two layers cut out.  It hadn’t gotten deep.

It’s been a battle to come to terms with the fact that too much sun is actually bad for you.


sun skin GIF

Yeah. Lilly White Skin and the Sun’s Rays aren’t the best combo!

Growing up on Long Island meant summers at the beach.  Every day –except when it rained, and there were even rainy days where we just went to the beach because it was fun.

The beach is probably a lot more skin-friendly in rainy weather anyway!

The high school years were spent getting a “base”, which meant beginning on the warm days during the end up April, sitting out in the back yard on those woven chaise lounge beach chairs and slathering a mix of baby oil and iodine on arms, legs and face.

This was funny in “There’s Something About Mary”..but in reality, I DID this. So did my girlfriends–and my sisters–and my mother!!!

 If we were really lucky and the weather became really warm, we would sit outside in our bathing suits and, like little rotisserie chickens, we would turn our bodies to the sun as it rotated the earth.

I’ll sit out in the sun until I’m well-done!

Oh. And those record album covers that opened up—they made great DIY sun reflectors.  Covered with Aluminum foil and placed at our chins so the sun could hit our faces, not only cleared our skin, but did pave the way for future damage.

We didn’t think about the aftereffects of later years.  We were not aware of the price we would later pay by trying to achieve that coffee-colored, golden goddess skin that looked so healthy and glowing during the summer.

national bikini day old ad

Who didn’t want that tan?  The ad is such a throwback to ignorance though.  You get older looking skin after a while.  But–the scent of Coppertone is just so delicious!

Then there were the Irish American girls like me. The ones with freckles and pasty-white skin.  We burned. We blistered.  Forget “Fifty Shades of Gray”—we were “Fifty Shades of Red”! And any phase of a tan was acquired at the end of August—with two weeks to show that slight darkening before going back to school.

My parents spent a small fortune on Solarcaine!!  We all burned except my mother!!  Ouuuuuuuuch. I can still feel that!!

I was so jealous of my olive-skinned girlfriends!

Anyway, the first time I had ever even been to a dermatologist was when I moved back into Manhattan.  In my early thirties, I noticed a shiny pimple on my chest that didn’t go away.  I went to a local derma, he cut it off, took a biopsy and all was fine.

Then about 12 years ago, I noticed a dried pimple over my eyebrow that wouldn’t go away. It was odd because it would sometimes become crusty and sometimes bleed, but it never got bigger.  About a year of trying to get rid of it with creams and rubbing alcohol, I mentioned it to my sister, a nurse, who pooh-poohed me because of my hypochondria.

A year later it was still there and I made an appointment with the Dermatologist who I still see.  It was skin cancer, I had the surgery and that was a huge wakeup call to me.

I don’t burn anymore.  When I do go out in the sun, I am cautious.  I sit under an umbrella. I use sunscreen.  Although I don’t like to, I’ll wear a wide-brimmed hat—but my wigs protect my scalp so it’s double protection.

My view of early-morning Stone Harbor from under the umbrella.  

The beach is one of my favorite places to be during the summer. Whether it’s the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, they shore has a calming effect on me.

Bonaparte love the beach so much when we are in France that we even dine on the beach!

 I’m not going to stop enjoying the summer months—especially here in the Northeast when we get about six to eight weeks a hear of true summer!

You can find me here if the weather is good!

So, you can just imagine how anxious I was this morning!  I was $hitting in my pants with fear that one of the bumps or freckles or marks on my skin was going to “be something”.

And as I parked the car, I did a glance at my face that was minimally made up and it didn’t look that bad.

Minimalist makeup today. I wore the Laura Geller Balance & Brighten powder foundation.  It looks good too!

I made my way up the stairs and into the office.

This was more like an anxiety-ridden trip up the stairs–forget the grand entrance!

Dr. Covello called me in and did a very intense skin check.  I even took my wig off so she could check my scalp!

Dr. Wildemore and Dr. Covello.  Two of the best Derms on Philly’s Main Line!  They are so nice!

And I had a moment of shock—because for the last ten years, I’ve always had little bits frozen off my body or burned off.

And this time.  Nothing.  It was the greatest skin check I’ve had!  Nothing had to be frozen off my face or arms or legs or chest!

My lightly fake tanned legs were ready to do the happy dance!! My skin is fine!!

Now I can relax for a week until I make the next doctor appointment for my colonoscopy.  Then I’ll really be $hitting bricks.

Seriously though.  If you haven’t done so already, please make an appointment with your doctor to have your skin checked.  The process takes less than twenty minutes.  Do it for yourself!

We’ll be at the pool this weekend rather than the beach though. I don’t like the beach during holiday weekends.  Traffic is too taxing.

But I’ll be sure to put a ton of sunscreen on and protect my skin from damage and drying up like leather.

And speaking of leather……………. remember Chippy ate my wallet on Saturday?

Talk about skin damage!  Look what Chippy did to this leather!!!

I headed over to Amazon in search of another one.  The wallet that I had, I loved. And received a ton of compliments on it, but over the years the slots stretched a bit so I wanted something a bit more secure.

I found a really nice one for a little less than what my nibbled wallet cost.  It’s RFID blocking and made of waxed leather. The finish is very nice and I love the reddish-brown color.  In case you are interested, I put it on my Amazon Page for you to check out.

Here’s a better look.

The wallet came in this adorable box and was even placed in a small dust cover.  I’m such a sucker for packaging!!

I can repurpose this dust cover to carry cosmetic brushes when I’m traveling!

The patina is nice and lusturous and I love the fact there’s no designs on the leather.

Plenty of space for cards…

And more space on the flip side.

I can keep bills that Chippy hasn’t eaten in this zippered compartment.

It holds a ton of stuff very neatly.  Overall, I give this an A!!!

It’s funny because I don’t like to spend a ton of money on a wallet—it’s in your purse and the only time anyone sees it is when you take it out for a moment.  Amazon has some pretty nice ones too–I’m definitely a fan this online way of shopping!  Are you??

I’m going up to apply some fake tanner now.  Have a great evening and take care of your skin!!!!!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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18 Responses to Look On the Sunny Side. But Get Your Skin Checked First!

  1. Mels says:

    You are lucky. I am dealing with a noninvasive melanoma in situ now. 15 stitches in my face for the first incision, and I still need to have more removed. Sorry to be a downer, but you are right – the sun is not our friend. As I say, sunscreen, shade, and sombreros, everyone!

    • So sorry to hear of melanoma……wish you well and good recovery
      Chris D

    • Catherine says:

      Mels–Thank God Almighty you have found this early and it is in situ. You aren’t a downer. You are telling it like it is. Keep me posted on the progress. I’m pushing for you. My husband had Melanoma twice and he’s fine. XOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

      • Mels says:

        So good to hear that he is well! I am going to Sloan Kettering in the city and so am in very good hands! Just need to get through it.

  2. Oh girl I hear you on all fronts! I too have the pasty Irish American skin and growing up in Florida there was a lot of pressure to have a tan. I baked and fried in the sun and in tanning beds! Now I am spotted, dotted, and freckled – oh how I wish I could take it all back! I do go to the dermatologist each year and get a skin check, so far so good but my time is coming. Now I am the poster child for self tanner!
    Also, loving the new wallet. I bought a Kate Spade one at the outlets back in December. I’m not crazy about it – it’s too small. My friend pressured me to get a “nice wallet” – lesson learned. I’m going to check out yours!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Kellyann. I swear if my freckles all stuck together, I would have a great natural tan. I get worried about the big ones though but so far, knock on wood!! Self-tanner is my miracle worker!!
      Oh…after working at Nordstrom and seeing how much money people spend on “good” wallets, it’s a sin. The Amazon no-name ones are great!!! XOXOXOXO

  3. Cynthia says:

    I am a hopelessly addicted online shopper. sigh. Amazon Prime is my love, second to my husband. And I love Cysterwigs for wigs with an amazing return policy and coupons. I haven’t had skin cancer but growing up in Upstate NY meant plenty of cloudy rainy days. However since I turned 30 over 28 years ago I never skip putting on sunscreen as part of my morning routine. Catherine, I love this wig on you and can see you wear it often! What color and style is it?

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Cynthia! You know, I’m a fan of Heather’s (from Cysterwigs) and Taz’s videos and I think her pricesa are great but I’ve always managed to find a less expensive price point. Her closeouts are great too but every wig I love is sold out!!!! LOL!
      Upstate NY. I’m gonna cry–I miss NY so much. I had relatives in Elmira and loved visiting up there. Bonaparte’s stepfather taught at Binghamton and loved living there.
      The wig is Jamison by Estetica designs and the color is Caramel Kiss. Cysterwigs has it!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  4. vavashagwell says:

    Great message. I need to go for a skin check and will schedule it today! Also, I LOVE the wallet! I’m going to order one!

    • Catherine says:

      Vava! I am glad that you are getting your skin checked! Isn’t that wallet GREAT????? I swear for the price, you can’t be beat! I love Amazon!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  5. Pingback: Look On the Sunny Side. But Get Your Skin Checked First! | Atypical 60 – International Badass Activists

  6. Bobbi says:

    I know you are sensitive to sunscreen, did your doctor recommend any to you? I used CeraVee for years but it accumulates in my pores. Using regular Aveeno now but it’s a tad greasy.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Bobbi. Dumb dumb me forgot to ask the doctor about skin-sensitive sunscreen! I’ll have to call her and ask her. Thank you for reminding me!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. Fiona says:

    We sun worshippers pay the price! Nine years ago I found a small mole type thing on my ankle. I am very freckle-y /mole-y anyway but this didn’t look like the others. Long story short, a biopsy later I’m told it’s an aggressive melanoma, fortunately I found it early but I still had to have a skin graft from my thigh. I consider myself lucky to still be here. Glad to hear that you got the all clear. Loving your new purse (wallet) ….looks very expensive.

    • Catherine says:

      Fiona. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Are you kidding me????? OMG. I’m so glad that you are fine and it was found early. The sun—it’s done more damage to us than we realize!!! I hope you go for regular skin checks there sweetie!
      Doesn’t it look pricey though. I am loving this wallet!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  8. PS…..
    Just did the colonoscopy and it was so easy. I slept thru it. The prep is sooooo much better than it was before. It is really good to know now that nothing was found. When I woke up I told them I thought I had been molested…..the Dr says yeah everyone that comes in here gets molested! .

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Chris! Ugh. I had polyps removed last colonocopy so I’m petrified! I heard the prep was much better–I’m hoping I won’t be on my throne all night!!! XOXOXOXO

  9. Juliet says:

    You cant be too careful with your skin – so I am celebrating your great results, I hammer the message into my kids – protect your skin, protect your skin! I used to get turfed outside to play as a kid and I hated the sun – I have the rosy pink skin that people call peaches and cream – urghhh bane of my life. I used to build tree huts and dens and forts – anything to stop frying, my sister LOVED the sun. Now when I go home to NZ my mother complements me on my skin – which is a bit of a downer for my sister as it comes across as a bit of a dig at her so I feel a bit bad. We know so much more about skin these days so I hope our daughters dont have the skin issues our ages have had to face. I am excruciatingly sensitive to certain sun screen – honestly the hideous red, puffy, scaly look is just like a really bad sunburn – except with sunburn my eyes and lips dont swell quite so much and I can still see 🙁

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