I'm pretty sure vanity saved my life.
It all started with a raised reddish spot on my chest that peeked out each time I wore a V-neck. After trying every bump-eradicating skincare product I could think of, I realized it wasn't going away. So, seeing as my ridiculously fair-skinned self was also long overdue for a mole check, I made an appointment with my dermatologist. Turns out I will be forever grateful for that silly spot. While it was benign, my doctor found a small mole on my right thigh that was much darker than the others. It was edged up next to a freckle I'd had since I was a kid.
A week after my appointment and scrape biopsy, I got a call you know never comes with good news: The doctor himself was on the other end. My chest was fine; the spot on my thigh was the dreaded M word: melanoma. Cue the waterworks. At my desk. In the middle of the office. The doctor was talking and all that was going through my head were memories of my childhood friend Tricia who had lost a battle with melanoma six years ago at the age of 29. I thought about how I haven't left the house without sunscreen on for years and years, but tormented myself over my reckless (and painful) attempts to get tan as a teenager. Maybe this was my own fault! But I quickly pulled myself together, whipped out my notepad, and asked the good doctor to start from the top.