flashback friday: the mole.

by Janetha on September 30, 2011

in deep thoughts

hello and welcome to the last day of september! i hope you have all eaten at least one better breakfast this month—better breakfast month. you have until tomorrow to send in a photo and description of your better breakfast for my better breakfast challenge. all entries will be posted next week and one entry will be randomly selected to win the breakfast prize pack.

i started my last day of september with a breakfast i came up with about a week ago. i have eaten it twice before today and i just couldn’t resist having it again today. as far as balanced breakfasts go, this one has it all.

five egg whites + 1 wedge laughing cow cheese + 1/3 of an avocado + 1 slice of dave’s killer 21 whole grain bread + ketchup.

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this breakfast is full of protein, healthy fats, fiber, whole grain and lots of flavor.  it has a balanced amount of carbs and protein (31 grams and 26 grams, respectively) and clocks in at 335 calories—it really is an ideal breakfast for me.

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i love the heel of the bread.. and i hate it when people call it the “butt”… heel just sounds better.

here are the stats in a breakdown format, in case you care:

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flashback friday!

it’s been a minute since i have done a flashback friday! i am such a loser.

i have had a particular flashback friday on my mind for about five months now and have never gotten around to posting it. however, certain recent events in my life have brought the flashback topic to my attention and i decided that today i can share those recent events AND talk about the flashback friday that is long overdue because they relate to each other.

are you still with me? that paragraph was a tad confusing, aye?

let me start out by telling you what’s going on with me. this is totally separate from the GI issues, i know, i am a wreck. (speaking of GI issues, i did get a CT scan yesterday. still no news.. but the CT scan was horrible. i drank 3 containers of barium sulfate, they couldn’t get an IV started in my arm so i got poked three times and when i went home i had the worst stomach pains of my entire life—turns out barium sulfate can do that to ya. i have a colonoscopy coming up on the 13th. i will keep you posted.)

so—back to the issue at hand. i have fair skin. you’ll never see me with a tan unless it’s fake and i have more freckles than an eight year old redheaded boy.  here’s a good example from my younger years. we were at girls’ camp in southern utah. here i am one day (at goblin valley):

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as white as they come!

we went white water rafting the next day and i forgot sunscreen. enter: the WORST sunburn of my life!

check out my fire red legs! (at arches national park):

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ouch, hurts just looking at it. and yes, that is momma b there with me.

one other thing my skin has a lot of is moles. (side note: i hate the word “mole” for some reason. it sounds weird. just like i hate the word “blog”.) and by a lot i mean A FLIPPING LOT. yes, they bother me. no, they shouldn’t. but they do. i hate them.. but that’s superficial. at least i have skin, right?

i have had two peculiar looking moles that i kept meaning to get checked out. one on my chest—smack dab in the middle right when my rib cage connects—and another on the top of my right hand. these two moles looked different than all the others, so i scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist.

about ten days ago, i went in and had these peculiar looking moles removed. it didn’t hurt too bad—they gave me a shot to numb each area and then scraped the moles off with a razor. right now i have a bandage on the one on my hand because it is still tender and there is a pretty substantial scab, but the one on my chest feels fine and there is just a small spot where it was.

the doctor told me that if everything looked fine, he would send a clearance letter. he said that if there were any abnormalities, he would call. well, guess who i got a call from this morning? yep, the doctor. he said that the moles were highly abnormal. while they were not cancerous, he said they were at high risk to become skin cancer if not taken care of. oh, goody! i get to go back into the dermatologist and he has to cut large sections around both areas to make sure all the abnormal cells are removed and then he will stitch me up and i should be good to go.

i am really glad i went to the dermatologist and had the moles removed AND had a full body scan. the doctor told me that with my type of skin, i should be checked at least annually. um, oops. that was pretty stupid of me. the last time i went to a dermatologist was in 2001—over ten years ago. i was 17 and extremely self conscious and miserable about the appearance of my face.

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me with my oldest niece, kaylee.

don’t see it? let me help:

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i know, i know.. looking back now, as a 28 year old, confident, happy person.. these moles on my face don’t seem like such a big deal. but they were. oh, they were.

remember when i talked about how i was suicidal in junior high because i had horrible, mean “friends”? (if you are a new reader, that post is here.) well, a certain one of those friends gets to take all the credit for making me entirely uncomfortable and self conscious about the moles on my face, most specifically the one smack dab on the tip of my nose.

before eighth grade, i never gave those moles a second thought. in fact, the only reason i know they were there when i was little is because of photographs… like this one from when i was five:

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i know you are jealous of my sweet red dress, bangs and side pony!

here is my photo from eighth grade—i got this taken at the beginning of the school year.. before i knew that those moles would play a huge role in my happiness and self esteem:

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remember the brand hang ten?! i loved that brand! i recently saw it make an appearance at kohl’s.

so anyway.. the mean comments started. the meanest girl started calling me “the mole” or “moley”—probably the reason i hate the word so much, now that i think of it. every time i caught wind of this nickname from her or another schoolmate, i would go home in tears. these moles were RUINING MY LIFE.

i made it through eighth grade. and through ninth. then i got to high school where there were new friends to make and less pressure on my hideous moles. nobody seemed to notice them and if they did, they didn’t point them out to me.  of course, that didn’t mean i didn’t notice them. all through high school i LOATHED these moles.

here are a few more up close flashback photos of me throughout high school—i cringe each time i see my mole-filled face because of the negative association i have with them. however, i am now able to look at these photos and, despite the moles, see a beautiful teenage girl.

10th grade class photo:

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10th (or 11th?) grade in colorado visiting a friend:

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11th grade class photo:

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11th grade, in class—talking on my awesome nokia brick cell phone ha!

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i told you i was always obsessed with volcom. this was halloween 2000.. don’t mind the goofy grin, i was stealing that from my brother doug (who ALWAYS made that face.)

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12th grade, driving.. i know you can’t see the moles in this one, but i can TOTALLY see the way the one on my nose sticks out. (yes, i am crazy. or at least i was.)

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12th grade at a fancy party.. this was right before i had them removed:

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yes, that’s right. i had them removed. i am sure you guessed that, since i don’t have them on my face anymore. i went to a doctor in 2001 and told him i wanted the moles GONE.. along with a bunch of others on my body that i just didn’t like. he told me that because none of the moles looked harmful or carried risk, my insurance wouldn’t pay to remove them (or that’s the way i remember it—mom, correct me if i am wrong.) additionally, because i am a baby and don’t like knives flying at my face and watching my nose get stitched up, i asked to be put under for the procedure. again, this was not something that the insurance would cover, and it would be over $1,000 just for the anesthesia.

guess who loves me? my parents. my mom knew what a horrible time those dumb moles had put me through. she knew how important it was for me to get rid of them. my parents would do anything they could to help me feel better about myself. and because of their generosity, i was able to get the moles removed.. anesthesia and all. for this, i am forever in their debt (well, and for other things.. but that’s beside the point.)

shortly after graduation, i went under the knife and had a total of eleven moles removed. it was a quick process and i just had small bandages on the moles for a few days. the one on my nose was the hardest to remove, so it had a bandage for a bit longer.  here i am a few days post-mole-removal:

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don’t mind the creeper in the back, that’s my friend brad. as you can see, the moles on my cheek
(and one on my neck—you can see it in some of the photos above) didn’t leave much of a mark. the scars are barely visible today. there is a small dent in my nose where THE mole was.. and i often rub the dent and think of my past and the horrible relationship i had with my appearance. it’s a good thing to think about, because i am happy with how far i’ve come from caring about what people think of my appearance.

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i wanted to flashback to my mole experience and talk about it because it is something that i will never forget. i will never, ever forget the teasing and name calling that went on because of some stupid moles on my face. i will always be self conscious of my moles—even today! while i don’t have low self esteem or feel the need to get my remaining moles removed.. i still notice them. i still see them and yes, they still bother me. but i am sure nobody else sees them, and if they do.. well, they aren’t going to call me moley. at least not to my face.

the worst part about my mole situation is that i couldn’t prevent the moles from being there. that’s just my skin type. i have a LOT of moles and freckles. i can’t change my skin, so i just have to deal with it. this is the case with a lot of insecurities people have. just because a certain part of our body isn’t what we consider “ideal,” we turn it into something negative and obsess over it and feel horrible.

i am sure a lot of you can relate to this sort of thing. we’ve all been through our teenage years and have had to face self esteem issues and deal with name calling and body image. it’s shitty, but it also is a part of life. if i ever have children, i hope i can raise them to see past silly imperfections and really get to know people for who they are—not for what they look like.  after all, those imperfections probably aren’t so bad, are they?

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photo circa june 2009.

well, i hope you enjoyed this deep thought flashback friday! i am happy to report that after i have the high risk areas removed and stitched up, i plan to visit the dermatologist for a full body scan each and every year. one can never be too cautious, right?

well.. i have ANOTHER wedding to attend tonight. my friend lindsay is getting married and i couldn’t be more excited for her. also, i’ve got a birthday party this tomorrow for amber—looks like things will be jam packed all weekend long!

be back when i have time to breathe.. and to type.

Qs~

1. have you had your skin checked? if so, how often do you have it checked?

2. not really a question.. but if you have a similar self image experience to share with the class, i’d love to hear it.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy Widrick November 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

I love you so, so much for this. It was posted while I was on vacation, so I missed it — thanks for linking to it today!

I have an equally stressful relationship with my moles, and they haunted me as a child. I tried to get a few removed but was told they would leave too big a scar without going to a plastic surgeon. They’re not on my face, so I’m sure it was a bit easier for me (I could hide with clothes) than for you, but I *certainly* know what it’s like to hate something that you were born with.

For the record, I think you are one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met, both inside and out, and I am so so so glad that you share your journey because it helps all of us immensely.

(Oh, and I have a similar school picture in a red smocked dress with a barrette in my white-blond hair — we could be sisters!)

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ashley April 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm

awesome block……i have same problem with moles…i hate them i removed 16 moles..this is so annoying…..is very important for me remove them….many people dont undestand why is so important…because they dont them…only people with lots of moles understand…..if i see photo i see only moles….my first looks on the person i am looking for moles…..

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