Wack-a-Mole: Pre-Cancerous Cells

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I first wrote about my experiences with pre-cancerous melanoma cells. I first wrote about it here: Pieces of Me and then followed up last year with More and More Pieces of Me. As I wrote last year, my annual mole checks at the dermatologist have increased to a check every 6-8 months because I have such a high rate of pre-cancerous cells.

Basically, if my dermatologist thinks a mole looks sketchy we cut it off and have it sent to the lab. The majority of the time, the test comes back from moderate to severe on the pre-cancer meter. I’m talking like 90% of the time. So now, if my dermatologist even thinks something looks odd, I basically interrupt her with CUT IT OFF!

I’ve honestly lost count at this point on how many pieces I’ve had cut off… but I think it’s somewhere more than 10, but less than 20?

In January, my dermatologist decided I had a mole on my neck that looked suspicious. Unlike every other mole, I was resistant at having this one removed because it was ON MY NECK. I already hate anyone touching my neck due to a childhood surgery that left a very faint scar. Also, my scars tend to stay bright pink for awhile before fading to white… so I really didn’t want to be running around with what looked like a hickey on my neck for a year.

However… that 90% number stuck in my head. So, I went for it and had a mole removed from my neck in January. And 2 weeks later, when I went back to get my stitches taken out, I found out that it was severe on the pre-cancer scale.

I’m thankful to my doctor’s keen eye and I’m glad I went through the pain (and itching of those dang stitches) to have the mole removed. And now that it’s been about 5 months I can say that the scar isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Here is January 2021 vs June 2021:

Consider this your reminder to please, please, please book a yearly appointment with your dermatologist to have your moles looked at. And tell your loved ones. And tell your friends. Because you might end up saving someone’s life. If I can influence just one person to go and have their moles checked, it will be worth it.

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My Style: May 2021

Now that I’m returning to the office on a regular basis – for now it’s two days a week – it’s a return to elevator selfies! Not only are elevator selfies great for the lazy style blogger, but they are also super ridiculous when you’re trying to get a quick photo but someone is riding up with you in the elevator!

I don’t have a ton of outfits to show you for May, but I do love each of my looks:

I would say that these three looks are very ME in that I have my little work uniform going on: a fit-and-flare knee-length dress, cardigan and flats. I also like to add something a little fun to each outfit, whether that be a stack of bracelets, sparkly shoes, or a crazy pattern (or all three at once!).

Outfit Details

Outfit 1: Patterned wrap dress (Banana Republic, by way of Poshmark), purple sweater (Cable & Gauge, thrifted) and flats with a subtle zebra print and sparkle (Rothy’s).

Outfit 2: Navy cinched waist dress (Gibson & Latimer, by way of consignment), mustard beaded cardigan (Anthropologie, thrifted) and leopard print flats (Rothy’s).

Outfit 3: Floral eyelet dress (Hemant & Nandita from Anthropologie sale racks), gray cardigan (Cable & Gauge, thrifted) and navy flats (Rothy’s).

Having an easy ‘work uniform’ isn’t necessarily boring, as you can see each of these three looks is very different… but they are super easy since each outfit is just a dress + a cardigan + a cute pair of shoes!

Bag Details

I also am loving my new-to-me mustard Rough & Tumble bag. I’ve been obsessed with Rough & Tumble bags for a couple years now (handmade one at a time in Maine with leather from Italy, what’s not to love???). I’ve found a few fantastic bags on the BST Facebook page and snapped this secondhand bag just in time for Summer.

{For those R+T fanatics like me, it’s a Little Brunswick in Goldenrod with Distressed Espresso details}

My office case is also from Rough & Tumble (it’s a Jade in Storm with a matching crossbody strap) and it’s the perfect size for my laptop, a few folders, a mini legal pad and my charger/mouse.

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Life Update: Back to School

As I shared back in early April, both Travis and I were able to get our COVID vaccine shots. We had our second shot at the end of April and two weeks later were considered fully vaccinated. While Jack cannot yet be vaccinated (he’s 9), with both of us vaccinated at home and his teachers vaccinated at school, we felt that it was time for him to return to in-person class.

Jack’s school has 4 day in-person hybrid school through the end of the year, which means he is now at the school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. All students remain virtual on Wednesdays. When we decided to have him return to school it was a flurry of planning. I had to contact his teachers, as well as the administration. Then, I had to arrange for before/after care for days that I’ll be going in to Baltimore. Oh, and also find his backpack and lunchbox. And then, of course I had to order a few school supplies to take in his backpack AND mark all over the calendar and set all the reminder alarms.

All for about 5 weeks of school before summer.

Jack started back at school on May 13th and after some initial anxiety (from both him AND me), we are all settled in! He happily wears his mask all day long (except during outdoor recess and lunchtime) without complaint. Most importantly, Jack is doing great with his new schedule and is so happy to see his friends in person.

I’m happy too because starting last week I started going back into my office twice a week. While I love being able to work from home, I also love the opportunity to drop in and chat with my co-workers. My ideal schedule is a hybrid, where I’d go into the office 2-3 days a week and telework the rest. Until the office announces a new schedule, that is what I will be doing. Which feels like an incredible work-life balance version of normal for me.

Between Jack returning to school, me returning to work, and having our family fully vaccinated… I feel almost giddy with relief. After a year of 6 feet of distance from our loved ones, being able to hang out unmasked, hug family members after a year, and nomnomnom on my baby nephew is all like a little slice of heaven!

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