Friday, January 25, 2013


>>Forgive me as I step on my soapbox for a moment<<

This time last year, you may find me lying in a tanning bed for exactly 15 minutes every other day at least. When it came time for spring break, it wouldn't be impossible to spot me at the tanning bed every day for approximately two weeks leading up to beach time. I wanted to be t.a.n. I didn't care how many freckles or moles I had or how big my pores got on my face. I didn't care that I could see my chest getting more freckles by the session. I wanted to be tan! 

In April of 2012 I was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma. These words stopped me in my tracks. I did this to myself. This was a cancer that I could've prevented. I chose not to listen to the countless times my parents told me it was a bad idea to tan. I did this to myself. 

I made an appointment to see the dermatologist to get a funny looking mole checked. She took it off 'just in case'. The dermatologist called me and told me "they found something abnormal" about my mole and that I needed to return to the office. The proceeded to tell me that this abnormality was stage 1 melanoma-- skin cancer? Seriously, at age 23? How can this happen to me? 
Post surgery. Figured the stitches would be too gory. 
I now have to return to the dermatologist once every three months to have my whole body checked from head to toe and check all of my lymph nodes. Every time I go in to that office, I have at least 2-3 other moles removed (which have been nothing, thank god). But this has left me with spots all over my back and legs. I wear a 3 inch scar on my left leg that still remains purple/red to this day. 

About two weeks ago ago, I noticed a bubble looking bump ON my eye ball. Apparently this thing is called a pinguecula. This bump is caused by UV rays. It is not skin cancer on my eye ball and apparently will not grow in size, and it is not irritating. Read {this} article for more info.  However, I can see it and I am reminded every single day that the tanning bed has caused a lot of chaos and anxiety in my life!

Not only do I have a hideous scar on my left leg, but this shit is expensive. Having skin cancer, or moles that could possibly be skin cancer is not cheap. I am constantly getting bills from the dermatologist! So if I haven't scared you enough with the hideous markings--wrinkles, moles, or scars--maybe I can scare you with price. I could afford probably two Louis Vuittons if I would have saved all of the money that I have spent at the dermatologist. Look at it that way!

Now, I am embracing the pale and am perfectly fine saying that my 'tan' came from a bottle.

If this post gets one person to quit tanning, I will be happy!

>>Stepping off my soapbox<<


  1. i blame cheerleading! i have been embracing the pale for a couple of years now but the hard part is seeing pictures of myself and still thinking "i'd be so much cuter if i were tan" it's like fighting an addiction. thanks for reminding me that it's NOT WORTH IT!

    1. I blame cheerleading, too! I look back at pictures and think the same exact thing! However, I am fine if my tan comes in a bottle!

  2. This is so scary, and yet still so common! My dad was diagnosed with melanoma October 2012, when he had a suspicious looking mole on his chest removed. Turns out, they caught it early, but a 5-inch scar ain't no joke! Now he knows the sun ain't not joke, either. I used to tan as well and now realize how stupid that was, seeing as how I have tons of moles and freckles already, some of which I've had painfully removed.

    Last year the eye doctor also found a freckle ON my eyeball. As of now it's nothing to worry about, but I always wonder if it'd still be there if I'd been more sun safe. {Though I have always worn sunglasses, due to eye sensitivity.}
    Hopefully younger generations will learn from our mistakes!

  3. great post, I stopped tanning this winter & am embracing pale! Not worth the money, risk, or wrinkles.

  4. I think with so many people turning away from tanning beds because of what they are causing, PALE will be the new tan :) Maybe our children will look at pale skin and think that is what is the cutest!

  5. Well said, Brooke! My huge melanoma scar is on my back - a result of childhood/teenager sunburns I'm sure! I'm going to share this article to help spread the word! XOXO

  6. I'm not tanning.. for 9 months. ;)