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Sheri's personal story

Sheri Anderson
I became an unwilling member of the cancer club in 2014. I am of Northern European descent with green eyes and never used a tanning bed, but I have sunburned bad a handful of times in my life. I didn't sit in full sun without an umbrella, but I also didn't use sunscreen.

I build engines for a living. It's not uncommon to have oil, etc. on your gloves and I have a habit of rubbing my face where my safety glasses rest.

It started as a small white pimple near my nostril that literally appeared overnight. I kept an eye on it and after a few weeks, noticed it becoming inflamed. I brushed it off as a residual pimple from my dirty gloves but when I touched it, it hurt...a different kind of hurt...like a pin prick. The pimple would go back and forth from normal to inflamed for the next two months.

While getting ready for work one morning, it started bleeding on its own. It was hard to stop it. I joked to my husband that it was probably cancer and laughed it off. The next week, we went to an outdoor Lynyrd Skynyrd concert near my home. It stormed horribly before the concert started but we sat through the horizontal rain determined to keep our great seats. I got sick from that decision and saw a primary doctor for a cough. She looked at me and said, "You have basal cell carcinoma by your nose." That was it.

My joking statement had come to fruition. I Googled dermatologists in my area and found an awesome doctor about 25 miles away.

At my first appointment, it was confirmed before I had my biopsy. "Classic sign," he said. The results came the next week. I had to wait another two months for an opening. In the meantime, I explained what I would have done to my coworkers but when the day for surgery arrived, I wasn't prepared for what I would actually see. The doctor had to remove more than seen from the surface, leaving me with a hole that my husband could put his thumb into. Covering it with a flap of skin from my cheek was the best option. I had 35 stitches, and 6 hours later I went home.

My photo is two-days post op. I have minimal swelling and bruising. I am only five days post op now but am going through the "Five Stages of Grief" and figure I'm between three and four right now. We'll see what it looks like at two months!

If it doesn't seem right, doesn't look right, doesn't feel right...it's not right! If nothing else, humor yourself and have it checked out!