This is not an April’s Fools post/joke (I wish!) although the timing is a little funny. Kind of? Ok, not really. I wanted to step back from food for a minute and talk about something a little more personal today in the hopes that maybe my experience can help even just one person reading this. I’ve been grateful over the years as my blog following has grown beyond what I ever expected – it’s given me a lot of reason to wonder if I’m really doing good and how I can do more. In addition to sharing delicious, tried-and-true recipes, I hope I can help people in other ways. Maybe today is such a day.

Warning: somewhat gruesome (depending on your tolerance level) pictures follow, not to mention more selfies than I’ve ever taken in my life, so read at your own risk. Also, this is taking a bit of courage to post; I hope I can count on you to be kind with your comments (no unnecessary compliments, not fishing for those, but please no cruelty). 

Last fall, I ended up at the dermatologist’s office getting a spot on my back checked out. A deep, elliptical biopsy and 12 stitches later (plus a week or so of waiting) and the good news came back that it was not melanoma like the doctor suspected but instead a dysplastic nevus (precursor to melanoma but very good news, nonetheless). While I was there for that appointment, I asked the doctor about a tiny spot on my nose that had been there for a couple months and seemed like a scab that wouldn’t heal. I actually felt a little silly for asking about it but figured it wouldn’t hurt since I was already there.

You can see the spot here (as I’m intently whistling – or maybe trash talking – while working on a puzzle over Thanksgiving last year):
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

After about three seconds of examining the spot, my doctor was 99% sure it was basal cell carcinoma. I went back in a week or so later for a biopsy and sure enough, a few days later, the results came back that the seemingly innocent spot really was basal cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a fairly common type of skin cancer but still taken seriously by my dermatologist. To my credit, I didn’t really freak out (kind of a shocker, really) because it was such a small spot and I figured it would be pretty easy to take care of.

Fast forward several weeks later to December 1 when I was scheduled to have MOHS surgery on that spot. I knew that I would be getting a local anesthetic for the area (needles in the nose – ouch!!!) and the doctor would little by little remove an area of skin including and around the basal cell carcinoma spot, send it to the lab to be inspected under a microscope and come back with results (all while I waited in the room). That process would continue until the borders were clean – meaning, no cancer. I was certain, positively certain, it would be one small removal and I’d be out of there.

Unfortunately, that very tiny spot on my nose had decided to get naughty underneath the surface and after several cuts (and more dang shots in my nose!), clean borders were finally found. What I was left with was a decent sized (and quite deep) hole in the side of my nose. I didn’t feel any pain (thanks to the terrible but blessed little shots) and didn’t feel any panic in that moment (thanks to a very competent doctor). That is, until he showed me the area in a mirror and drew with black marker up along my nose where he would now need to cut in order to pull skin down to cover the crater in my nose (after we ruled out the option of a skin graft since it would be nearly impossible to match the skin color and tone of my nose). The pictures of that part of the procedure are too gory to share on a nice cooking blog like this, but suffice to say, I started to panic a little. Ok, a lot.

An hour later and I was the new owner of 20+ stitches front and center on my face (with more underneath the skin) and lots of iodine to enhance my natural coloring.
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

Oh, and the doctor did give me this note also. I’ll give you one guess as to whether or not I obeyed doctor’s orders.
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

I left the office. And I bawled all the way home (mistake: driving myself to and from the doctor; in hindsight, I was in a lot of shock and am grateful I made it home in one piece – my hands were shaking so bad and I could barely see because I was crying and my contacts were all fogged up).

For a few days I had to keep the bandage on and it didn’t seem so bad, although it hurt like the devil. But then I took the bandage off. I was still in a lot of pain; it was so tender to the touch, and the bruising and swelling were just getting started. Plus, even though I know it could have been worse, I was struggling a bit with the emotional pain of wondering if my face would ever look “normal” again.
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

While at the doctor (and even before during the dysplastic nevus episode), I endured a stinging but deserved lecture from my doctor about sunscreen. I’ve actually been a stickler about wearing sunscreen and covering up since I’ve had kids and been in my 30’s but before that? Sunscreen was never really that important to me. I never did the tanning bed thing but I spent a lot of time outdoors and I didn’t concern myself with hats and sunscreen as a teenager and in my 20’s, thinking the color on my face and arms and legs would be welcome and pretty, which is kind of laughable because I’m so fair skinned, I usually burn and stay pale. Combine that with the fact that I grew up in a generation where many mothers didn’t sunscreen their children (yes, my mom feels a lot of guilt which is silly since she was one of millions letting their kids blister in the sun in the 70’s and 80’s) and you have a recipe for basal cell carcinoma. And honestly, based on the fact that I’ve never been a bikini-wearing, beach bound, sun lover spending hours laying out in the sun, I’m certain that if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

It’s an understatement to say our holiday season was very low key. I didn’t leave my house for several weeks and my 8-year old couldn’t look at me for a long time because he said “I’m not trying to be mean, mom, but your face gives my tummy the jigglies.” I can’t blame him. I shouldn’t have been self-conscious but I was (and still am a little even though I’ll show you below how amazingly my face has healed in a few short months). I’ve never worn makeup besides mascara and a little eyeshadow, but all of a sudden, I wondered how on earth I was going to cover this up once it healed a bit? (Spoiler alert: I’m still rocking the no-makeup look because it’s really hard to teach an old dog new tricks.)

That dang swelling decided to settle into the left side of my face and stay awhile. Plus, what do you think about that natural eyeshadow I’ve got going on? Who needs makeup, anyway??
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

You may or may not have noticed the lack of cooking videos over the last few months, but this basal cell carcinoma “experience” has put projects like that on hold and is also the reason, if you know me in person, I became even more of a homebody recluse from December to February than I already was.

It was such a relief to finally get the stitches out. Can you see how my left eye is pulling slightly in the corner? That bothered me quite a bit for several months – I couldn’t close my eye all the way and my contact always felt like it was going to fall out (annoyingly, I couldn’t wear my glasses because they sat right there where the stitches ended at the top of my nose and it hurt too badly to wear them for a while).
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

As the weeks went on, it was amazing to start seeing the progress of healing, helped along, I have no doubt, by many, many prayers, lots of essential oils and Mederma. (Sorry about the death glare on the right; I take selfies very seriously, apparently.)
Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

As I think about the whole process, I’m beyond grateful I was in the dermatologist’s office back in early fall when I had a suspicious mole on my back. I never ever ever would have made an appointment for a “silly” spot on my nose but being able to ask the doctor about it at the first appointment was divine intervention. Who knows what would have happened had the cancer had even more time to spread?

This experience has made me think a lot about what I’m going to do going forward when it comes to sun control for me and my kids, but it’s also made me realize that by sharing this with you, all of you, maybe I can bring awareness to how important sunscreen and covering up in the sun really is.

I already have a separate cancer history (from seven years ago) and combined with this latest basal cell carcinoma issue (and the data that shows there’s a high chance it will come back in some form on my body, especially my face), I’m determined to make changes to protect the future of my health even though we have been sticklers about sunscreen and hats for well over a decade now.

I’m throwing away my pride and deciding that even if I’m the only one at the lake and on the boat and at the park and working in the yard and at soccer games this summer wearing a large-brimmed hat and carrying an umbrella and donning sunscreen from head to toe and a long-sleeve swimsuit and even a long skirt at times, it’s ok. It’s really ok. It’s a small price to pay to have healthy skin; I certainly do not want to relive the events of the last few months.

Will you think about your sun exposure and that of your kids if you have them? For me? Think about it and consider ways you can protect you and your family by choosing the right sunscreen, wearing hats when possible, and being smart about sun exposure.

After spending countless hours online (why do I do this to myself?) looking at other stories and cases of basal cell carcinoma and MOHS surgery, I’m immensely grateful that in the end, my cancer spot and removal area really was quite small compared to how it could have turned out (my doctor said he’s spent 15+ hours chasing skin cancer around patient’s faces, and I wanted to kiss his feet that I was only there for a couple hours). It’s miraculous and amazing how the body can heal. If you would have told me last December that I’d actually want to look in a mirror come March, I would have laughed (ok, probably cried) in your face. But I am so blessed that I have healed well and am continuing to heal.

Mel's PSA: Please Wear Sunscreen

Please learn from my experience.

Be smart! And stay safe in the sun, ok?

Love ya.

481 Responses to On a Personal Note: What Happened to My Face

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your bravery in posting this. You have healed beautifully, and this post will, indeed, lead to action for myself and others.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience with your followers (and friends!) I’m glad the surgery was successful and pray this is the first and last time you will have to go through this. Also, spreading the word about the importance of sunscreen cannot be said enough – happy spring 🙂

  3. Carine from France says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m so sorry for you… I am happy to see that you are fine now.
    Thank you to share this moments of your life, it makes this blog more human, and we see that we are not the only ones to have problems. You encourage me a lot. Please continue your blog.

  4. Christine says:

    Thank you for sharing this very personal story. It’s such an important message for us all! I’m so glad that you’re healing well. I’ll say a prayer that your recovery continues to go well!

    Love your recipes – and you! 🙂

  5. Ruth says:

    Mel, thank you for sharing your experience. AND, you do make a difference! In fact, after you first posted about your experience late last year I headed to the dermatologist myself because of a spot on my nose that I had noticed and had been watching. I am an RN and I knew I should get it checked out, but……… I truly believe that your experience indirectly gave me the push I needed to just get it done. Thank you! Thankfully, it was nothing to be concerned about. BUT, it could have been a different story.

    You are right about how amazing our bodies are. Your face proves that point! You are back to your normal pretty self. I am so glad! Most importantly, though, I am glad that you are ok! AND yep, I too wish my parents had known about the importance of sun protection. Mel, thank you for inspiring us in all sorts of ways.

  6. Heather says:

    You are incredibly brave for sharing your story and your pictures are amazing to see. I know things like that are hard to document but you have come so far and you look wonderful! I’m sending you a longer email because I just can’t begin to thank you enough for sharing in the comments.

    • Heather says:

      Your post today about your skin cancer brings back many memories for me. You are so brave for documenting and sharing your journey and so fortunate for having a wonderful physician who did an amazing repair. My dad had a spot on the side of his nose that looked like an age spot. No one worried about it, even the dermatologist, initially. He tried the skin bleaching to bring it back to normal skin color per doctors orders. After a couple years he got tired of that it wouldn’t change and decided to have it removed. He also had the MOHS treatments and it ended up being melanoma. It was so large that they had to do a balloon in his forehead and then have a skin graft from his forehead to repair his nose. They did an amazing job although I will fully admit that even in my 30s I couldn’t help change his dressings because my stomach couldn’t handle it. My mom and sister did. I watched him with amazement at how well he did and watched how much more reserved he as due to the surgery and figuring people wouldn’t like how he looked going thru the process. While we have always been fairly good about sunscreen (I will admit I’ve had many years of tans though from working at a beach guard), we now slather it on everyone and my kids never go outside without it. I own about a dozen sun hats as well and so does the rest of my family. My boys wear hats, rash shirts, and tons of sunscreen (they are 3 and twins are 1). Unfortunately, he didn’t get to be here to see his grandkids. He had chronic leukemia which allowed the melanoma (despite having completely clean margins) to spread and he passed away less than a year after he was diagnosed. While I know you may find your story difficult to share, you are so lucky to have so many readers who will change their daily routines and in the end you will have changed their life. Sorry for my long message but I just felt the need to share and express how much your post meant to me! So glad you had such an great outcome and you look wonderful!

      • Mel says:

        Thank you so much, Heather. I hope your dad is doing well today despite the melanoma – skin cancer can be so frightening and yet there are so many ways doctors and medical advances can help and I’m grateful for that. I appreciate you sharing more than you know today, thank you!

  7. Tina says:

    Thank you Mel for sharing .I am sorry that this happened to you but you have made me more aware what to look for.What a scary thing to go through.Back in the day no one thought of sunscreen.Have loved the blog of recipes 🙂

  8. Dianna says:

    Really glad you’re ok! I have scars in places no one even sees from different surgeries and I know it took me a long time to mentally recover, I can only imagine the feeling of having those reminders be so very public. Regardless, you really do look great. Stay well & thank you for the reminder to be vigilant!

  9. Catherine says:

    Oh Mel, thank you for being brave enough to share all of this! I’m so glad your face healed so beautifully – what a miracle! Love you girl – more than ever!

  10. Nicole says:

    Wow, Mel. What a generous and courageous thing you have done today. I’m thrilled about how beautifully you have healed. No false compliments. Just the truth. And heaps of respect for doing this.

    xoxoxo
    Nicole

  11. Hi Mel,
    You are brave to share this. My youngest sister went through something very similar, and she looks great now and so do you. Glad you are fine and that it has healed so well. Wishing you all the best.
    Kalyn

  12. Jared says:

    Mel,

    Thank you for sharing your story. My wife just had two basal cell spots removed yesterday. It’s a very under-estimated risk that many (myself included) have taken by not using adequate sun protection.
    I’m sure I speak for many when I say that you hold a special place in our home. We come to you time and time again for not only your amazing recipes but so much more. The whole atmosphere of this blog is unlike most others I’ve seen and I hope you continue to take the time you and your family need to heal and bounce back from this. So thankful for the positive outcome you’ve had. You’ll be in our prayers! Thank you again you for all you do!

  13. Joni says:

    Mel,
    Thank you so much for your courage to post this. First let me say I am beyond happy you have recovered so well. I too had basal cell carcinoma – but mine was on my collar bone – who get’s it there! I learned 2 things from this. Basal cell can be very deceiving – it doesn’t look like much on the outside but under the skin is where it does it’s damage and as you can attest to – grows where you can not see it. The other thing I learned is it can pass by your observation very easily for quite a while. I had that spot on my collar bone for probably 2 years before I went to the dermatologist. At first I thought it was a pesky pimple that just didn’t want to go away. I would pick at it and get it bleeding. At times it almost seemed to go away. And then as it got bigger I thought it was what I referred to as an “old lady skin tag” (I’m 64 so I can say that 😎 ) Even when I went to the dermatologist he didn’t even think it was anything – until I got the call the next day. It had spread under the skin for probably 3 inches. There is no doubt yours was much more devastating because of the location but no matter where it is it’s scary. The reason I wanted to post this was to emphasize again to your readers – if you see anything that doesn’t go away get it checked out and you may even have to convince your dermatologist to do a biopsy. I really need to thank you again as I’ve had a spot on my forehead that I need to get checked out – had I not read your post I probably would have procrastinated in calling the dermatologist (you’d think I’d know better – I’ve just gotten too comfortable). Calling for an appointment today.

    • Mel says:

      Yes! Thank you so much for reemphasizing this, Joni. There’s no shame in getting anything checked out at the doctor, no matter how small Thank you for sharing your experience! I’ll be hoping and praying that spot on your forehead is as innocent as it seems. 🙂

  14. Teresa R. says:

    Thanks for sharing and reminding us how important sun protection is! I’m happy you healed so well and your face looks wonderful.

  15. Emily says:

    I’m super impressed with your bravery and kindness in sharing this story and the photos that go with it. The photos are so important in showing exactly what goes into this type of treatment and why sunscreen is needed. I just felt sick reading about your MOHS surgery experience, but was happy to see how well your scar has healed. My first job out of college was as a melanoma research assistant at Huntman Cancer Institute in Utah, and it really put a fear of sun damage in me. Unfortunately I was already 22 by that point with many sunburns over the years. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Charlotte says:

    I come from a family that skin cancer has touched many of us. My son had a melanoma at age 22. Thankfully we caught it early and he is fine, but is followed closely and frequently and has had many things removed even if they were in the least suspicious. My dad has had MOHS surgery many times at Duke University on his head and I can not tell you the number of things he has had burned or lasered off his body. My mother-in-law has also had a melanoma. We have fair-skinned, blue eyed, beautiful red haired grandchildren. You can bet this grandma has sun screen stuck everywhere, purse, car, etc. and it crazy vigilant about applying it. So sorry you had to experience that, but so very glad you are recuperating nicely. You are beautiful!

  17. Charlotte says:

    I come from a family that skin cancer has touched many of us. My son had a melanoma at age 22. Thankfully we caught it early and he is fine, but is followed closely and frequently and has had many things removed even if they were in the least suspicious. My dad has had MOHS surgery many times at Duke University on his head and I can not tell you the number of things he has had burned or lasered off his body. My mother-in-law has also had a melanoma. We have fair-skinned, blue eyed, beautiful red haired grandchildren. You can bet this grandma has sun screen stuck everywhere, purse, car, etc. and it crazy vigilant about applying it. So sorry you had to experience that, but so very glad you are recuperating nicely. You are beautiful!

  18. Liz says:

    I’m another who had some things checked after your original post and I’m grateful that additionally, you shared the outcome of your experience. I am also grateful that your face is healed. I hope that mind and spirit have also. My own experience is that fear(s) can be overwhelming with a health scare and fear is not a good nor healthy companion 🙂 !!

    Your blog and recipes, your words and your passion and kindness make this a happy place for me – someplace I come when I need some uplifting. As Jared above wrote – it is the “whole atmosphere” – I hope some of that bounces back to you and your family!

  19. Christine says:

    I had MOHs surgery a year and a half ago for a basal cell on my forehead. It was very scary but I’m happy to have come out of it more aware of sun exposure. I’m very careful with my kids now. We do most of our outdoor activities early in the morning or early evening in the summer!

    You are healing so well, thanks for sharing your story. I feel that it’s something important nobody ever talks about!! God bless 🙂

  20. Jodi says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience! You are brave AND beautiful!

  21. Heather bell says:

    Mel!! I’m so sorry you’ve had to do this and i wish I could have brought you some meals during that time. You are looking beautiful as always and how brave of you to put this out there. Seriously the bell house loves you!

  22. A friend had the same thing but on his cheek. I looked nasty for months. He now only has a small scar. Best Regards.

  23. Jenny says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience!! A great reminder for the outside months coming up in the Midwest. Hugs to you!

  24. Katrina says:

    Melanie, you are amazing and beautiful! Thank you for sharing and inspiring others! God bless you and your family!

  25. Kim says:

    You’re beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing!

  26. Melissa says:

    Oh bless you Mel – what a difficult time you’ve been through. You have healed up so beautifully, but like you, I would have bawled my eyes out and then probably put a paper bag on my head. I’m so thankful your cancer was caught so early as I know many aren’t as fortunate. I’m donning the sunscreen and hat along with you. I can’t believe all the terrible sun exposure I had as a kid and then tanning beds on top of it. What a huge and terrible mistake and one I hope I don’t have to pay for later.

  27. Sarah says:

    What a brave strong woman you are! Thank you for sharing! It looks wonderful

  28. Mary Jo says:

    Mel, I am so sorry you had to go through that. You look fantastic now! Thanks for sharing. I bet it saves a life one day. Take care!!!!

  29. Jill says:

    Oh Mel. ..I’m so sorry you had to go through this. ..but you’re looking great! Thank you for reminding everyone of the dangers of the sun. ..I have a sun sensitivity because of an auto immune disease that limits my exposure to about a minute even though I’m always drowned in sunscreen. ..I have found a company…solumbra that makes clothing… hats…scarves… etc that completely protect your skin from the sun and gives me great piece of mind. ..I always appreciate you telling us where to get the best of everything so I thought I’d share! Hang in there. ..we all love you so much!

  30. Stacy says:

    Wow, Mel! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! You have had quite the few months and I’m so glad you’re doing better! Thank you for sharing and the reminder to be sure to put on the sunscreen! You are so brave and I admire you for sharing with all of us!

  31. Candace says:

    Thanks for sharing Mel! You look great! 🙂 Any chance you’ll share a cute wide brimmed hat with us in an upcoming “my favorite things” post? Becoming a hat wearing person has been on my to-do list, but I can’t figure out the balance between functional and as cute as possible.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, you poor thing! But I am amazed with how well you healed! Wow!

    That looks like an awful thing to endure, both physically as well as emotionally. I’m so glad you’re ok now and honestly, you’ve inspired me to be more careful in the sun.

    So glad you are well now!

  33. SallyBR says:

    That was a very scary experience and I am glad you shared. A similar melanoma hit my cousin in Brazil – you know, back home we love nothing better than lay in the sun and bake away. Hers was on the forehead and like you, once she went in to remove what seemed like a tiny spot, ended up much bigger and deeper. It’s been several years now, she is over it, but much more respectful of the sun.

    Thank you for talking about it and including photos – because without them, it is hard to grasp the full impact of it.

  34. Kate says:

    You look great! Thank you for sharing this! I’m a child of the 80’s and my mom didn’t push sunscreen at all. I hope I’m doing better with my kids! This was powerful for me, it pushes me to try harder to protect my skin, and my kids’ skin.

  35. Yvette says:

    You are healing so good! You look amazing! And own your scar! It makes you who you are! Thank you for having the courage to share!

  36. Michelle says:

    Please don’t consider this an unnecessary compliment because it’s really not. I adored you already and even more so now. Thank you for your courage in posting this. I have such empathy for the part in which your kiddo had a hard time looking at you and you didn’t want to leave your house (I had a scary retina issue two years ago which left me with a horror-movie-like completely blood red eye for a month). In the end I was grateful for the experience that led me to a snippet of understanding of what some people live with their whole lives. Mostly, thank you for the important reminder as we head into The sunny months. A picture is worth a thousand words and I know I will be better at remembering a hat in the coming months because of your story. Love you back!

  37. Alanna says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve been going through all this!!! But I’m also so glad that you’re doing so well now (and you do look great, really)!

    It’s so weird to me where I follow blogs like yours and assume that I have some inkling of what’s going on in your life, and then you share a post like this and I realize that I have absolutely NO CLUE what your life is like. It’s a good reminder, really. (But I’m still going to assume that we’re basically friends, if that’s okay with you.)

    Thanks for sharing this important message with all of us. I will definitely strive to be more diligent in the sunscreen department as the weather warms up!

  38. Jacqueline says:

    What an ordeal, ya poor thing. I really can’t get over how much the scarring has faded in such a relatively short time (I will say though, the plum-coloured eye looks pretty badass 😉
    You mentioned essential oils… was that for the scarring? Could you expand on which ones you used, and how? I have some scars from scary (but thankfully benign) mole removals that I’d like to tone down a bit.
    Anyway, your skin looks fantastic and I’m so glad you caught it early. I’m the sheet-white chick in the enormous hat always hollering at her friends to come put sunscreen on right now for crying out loud — believe me, the look starts to grow on you. 🙂 If nothing else, I’ll be happy when I’m 50 and don’t look like an old catcher’s mitt.

  39. Jenn W says:

    Oh, Melanie!! Thank you for sharing your story. Glad you caught it when you did. That stuff is no joke.

  40. Barbara says:

    Beautiful story and beautiful face!
    You are very brave. Not only to go through the process with your head held high, but also the courage it takes to write your experience; I hope many others will learn from it.
    Btw, aloe works the best for scars. Take a piece from the actual aloe plant, clean it first!, cut in half, and put the gel side on your scar. I would tape it down and leave it overnight. I did it for a number of days, even during the day. Nature’s gift.

  41. Mel says:

    You guys are making me cry this morning! Thank you for your kindness, it means more than I can say. And thank you to all those sharing their own experiences with skin cancer – there are souls far braver than I am in this world, that is for sure. I have company in town today and will be devoting my time to them but rest assured I’ll be staying up late tonight to read through all of your comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  42. Jackie says:

    Thank you Mel! I needed this. I’ve never been good about sun screening myself and I only sometimes remember to sun screen my kids but I will do better! Love you and so glad you are doing well! And I know you said you weren’t fishing for compliments, but you really do look good! The last few times I have seen you your scar is barely noticeable!

  43. Stacey says:

    Thank you so much Mel. My husband has a family history of skin cancer and has had to have skin areas removed from his ear (don’t forget to sun screen your ears). We are having a spot removed from my 12 year olds cheek in a couple weeks. Our Derm. Thinks it is potentially a carcinoma. I feel better prepared now for this procedure after reading and seeing your pictures. The scary thing is he has never had a sun burn and I’ve always slathered him in sun screen. Mel, you are beautiful inside and out. My family repeatedly asks at dinner if it’s a “Mel recipe!”

  44. Jessica says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to share. My sister is a aesthetician and she constantly reminds us to put sunscreen on. <3 You scars have healed physically but I know you have been changed for the better and I appreciate you sharing with us to make a difference.

  45. christine says:

    Wow, you went through a lot! You look great, and I can only imagine how difficult those months were for you. Glad you are healthy, and I should show this post to my husband. He has sun damage from his youth, I worry about this all the time because he still doesn’t really protect himself in the sun. Glad all is okay, you are a trooper!

  46. Cassidy says:

    So glad you shared. My few years ago my mom’s doctor found basal cell carcinoma on her nose and her scalp that had to be removed. She shared this with me and told us all to get checked. It was a good thing she did because it turned out that a spot on my neck was melonoma. I had to have it removed around Halloween and I totally looked like Frankenstein’s monster with a giant stitch line going down the side of my neck. Now it’s healed so nicely no one can even see the scar. I am religious about wearing sunscreen and I asked my doctor if the reason I got it was because I wore my hair up in a pony tail a lot. He told me no and that actually you can get melonoma even where the sun don’t shine. That’s why it’s important to keep having check ups once a year for a doctor to examine your whole body and be sure there is no more spots to be checked. Sun does make it more likely, but even if you don’t have a lot of sun exposure you still have to be checked! I’m sorry you had to go through this traumatic feeling ordeal. It’s stressful! I’m glad you are all right. We all love you!

  47. Laura says:

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing this story with us, Mel! It is helpful to recognize that a seemingly insignificant spot can actually be skin cancer. I am so glad you are healing well and hope you continue to! This may seem like an “unnecessary compliment” but I really do think you are a beautiful and wonderful person and have enjoyed following your blog and tasty recipes!! 😀 Thanks again!

  48. dmc4042 says:

    I have had a similar experience with basal cell cancer on the nose, only my reconstruction was much more extensive. People tend to underestimate skin cancer and the havoc it can cause, or they laugh it off and say, “oh it’s only skin cancer, not REAL cancer.” Well, skin cancer is real cancer and has the potential to change your appearance and self-worth in ways you would have never thought possible. Thank you for your brave act in sharing your story.
    Donna

  49. Nicole says:

    Dear Melanie,
    Thank you for your brave post. So thankful that you asked your doctor about it and got it checked out. Sometimes I think as moms we just push things like thist aside because we don’t have time for them or we think it won’t be a big deal. I’m so glad that you are healing and feeling better! My dad had the same thing and it’s not fun! I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Happy spring to you and your family!
    Nicole

  50. Jessica says:

    Thank you. I’m on the train right now headed to work, trying to keep the tears from streaming down my face. Your story is a powerful reminder of how important it is to protect ourselves. I lather my preschooler in sunscreen from head to toe every day, but don’t always do the same for myself. Read that as not nearly as much as I should. And why? Because I’m lazy. Thank you for sharing this. You have made a difference in my morning. I’m vowing now as the person across from me is wondering why is that woman crying, that I will be more vigilant in my sunscreen application. Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that the recovery process is going well. Take care!

  51. Ashley says:

    Honestly Mel, even in the photos where your swelling and bruising is at its worst, I’m still struck by your natural beauty. You are incredibly brave to bare it all on the Internet like this and I know your story will have a great impact. My daughter is 12 months old next week and we’ve been very cautious about her sun exposure and will continue to be. I cannot say I’ve ever had the same concern for myself and your story will change that for me. Thank you.

  52. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, and I’m so glad you are ok! Our son had a bad accident when he was two and a mirror fell on his face. He had to have internal and external stitches on his nose and corner of his eye. We were devastated, but two years later and it has healed beautifully. We did all the research and wanted it to heal the best way possible. So, two things we learned after all of our research that may still benefit you. The first is wear sunscreen every day rain or shine for the first year over your scar. (And everywhere else) and silicone is the only thing that truly helps scars. I’m glad mederma and vitamin e worked for you, our research showed not to use those. We used biocorneum (which is a silicone based gel sunscreen spf 35) We got it off amazon and it is expensive but lasts a long time. Also, the second thing is after 8 weeks to massage the area to help with any scar tissue. The nose is an excellent place to have a scar in terms of skin stretching, etc. but if you massage any earlier then 8 weeks your body can act like there’s new damage and create more scar tissue. Best of luck and you are still beautiful so no worries there! Again, thank you for sharing!!

  53. Kel says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I am sure you have made a difference in someone else’s life as a result. Through it all you still kept your sense of humor – you are remarkable. Isn’t it amazing how our body can heal?

  54. Oh, beautiful, beautiful Mel! What an incredible experience you’ve been through! Thank you for sharing. I thought I knew “everything” about these kinds of things and yet I still learned more from your post. I am stickler for sunscreen and sun protection and yet, there are always further measures we can take. I’m certain your post will influence many. Everyone knows they should be protecting themselves, but the visual journey you just took us through should definitely be strong enough evidence to convince anyone how important it is to actually do it .

  55. Melissa says:

    Thank you for bravely sharing your experience.

  56. Charlotte Moore says:

    I am so sorry for all you had to go through. As you said it could have been worse. You truly have healed beautiful. Thank the LORD!! Thanks for sharing your story.

    One thing I worry about is the things I have read about sunscreen causing skin cancer. So confusing!!

  57. Anna says:

    You are beautiful, inside and out. Thank you for not only sharing your ridiculously wonderful recipes and organization tips, but for being such a deep and considerate person in a culture saturated with self-absorbed idiots. I am Asian and thought that meant I had a “natural” sunscreen that would make me impervious to skin cancer. Now in my early 30s, I am kicking myself for a youth spent burning in tanning beds and laying out in the sun. I check myself and my kiddo’s skin anxiously and only buy basically 100+ SPF protection for the family (even though my Caucasian husband bemoans he won’t be able to tan). Health first.

  58. Denah Stevens says:

    I am stunned by your honesty and courage Mel. This post deserves to be shared and shared again to make people aware of the dangers and the risk in ignoring the little things. You are so brave and beautiful, inside and out.

  59. Lindsey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Mel. What a great public service announcement!! I hope that you post will encourage others to a yearly skin cancer check at the dermatologist.

  60. Alli says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. You got an amazing job done surgery wise. I used to go out in the sun without any sun protection whatsoever , thinking I was never going to have cancer. ..I’ve been struggling with basal cell carcinomas on my face for more than 25 years (I’m in my 40’s) with some of them on my nose, and I know how painful the shots and recovery is…! I already developed several melanomas, and one of them (on my upper lip) has been recurring (3×), until a year ago that I was blessed to be able to go to MD Anderson in Houston, and finally they got rid of it. I had to have a graft taken from my neck about 3″×3″ to cover the big hole. As of today I’m free of cancer, praise God. Please, all of you out there, use sunscreen, sun protecting clothing, big hats, etc!
    Keep up the good job, Mel! God bless!

  61. Luci H says:

    Mel! Thank you for sharing. You had me in tears, and I’m so glad things went well. You are amazing and an example in so many ways. Thank you!!

  62. Cara says:

    Oh Mel, I am so sorry you’ve had to go through this…however, by sharing your experience, think of how many of us readers are going to make appointments to get checked out! I was reading Shay’s blog (mix and match mama) a few months back when she talked about her skin checks and I decided it was a good idea to make an appointment. I was 100% sure everything was fine, but my dermatologist ended up removing 2 moles, one of them I had to go back in to take more skin. It was only precancerous, but still scary!

    Thank you for sharing this, and know how much we love you (and your recipes, ha!)!!!

  63. Stacie says:

    Thank you for having the courage to share this Mel. I am so happy that everything is okay now, although I can’t imagine that few months you endured. We all love you Mel, thank you again for sharing!

  64. Autumn says:

    Mel, thank you so much for sharing! You are so strong! I have no experience with this but I have had friends who have dealt with it. People, myself included, don’t take these things seriously. Thank God you asked your doctor about it. Too many people are afraid of sounding stupid or asking questions they might find embarrassing. I hope people learn from your shared experience. Never be afraid to ask your doctor anything that is concerning you! So glad you asked.

  65. Lori Anne says:

    Wow—I’m (almost) speechless. I don’t know how you continued to cook, bake (except those two weeks right after–wink wink) and blog all while your surgery/recovery was going on. Not to mention the 100 million other things a mom of five has to do. Then add in Christmas and all it’s activities. WOW……………………

    Don’t EVER question whether you are making a difference. Just your blog alone has touched so many lives. It is my go-to favorite ‘cookbook’. You are my (and many others ‘virtual’ friend.) How blessed all of your readers are that you take the time for us when you had so much going on in your own life.

    Thank you so much for sharing this personal trial with us and for the lesson that comes with it. You are a beautiful soul inside and out. May God continue to bless you as you bless all of us.

  66. Becky D says:

    Thank you for sharing and your honesty. We had the bbq chicken braid last night and the whole family agreed it was a keeper. For something lighthearted, King Arthur flour just posted their annual April Fails. God bless you and your family.

  67. Bri H. says:

    Mel, you are amazing, strong, and beautiful! Honestly you would make mud look great, let alone another victory against cancer! Thank you for bravely sharing your story with us! That last photo, you can’t event tell you had surgery! Serious!

    I hope you know how much we your readers love you!

  68. Katie says:

    You are beautiful and your courage to share this is beautiful. Thank you!

  69. D says:

    Mel, that is such an important post and so selfless of you to post it to try to help others. It is way too common and I worry all the time about this. I am great about putting sunscreen on my kids, but am so bad about doing it for myself. And I know so many others who are the same. Thank you for sharing your story. Glad you are healing well.

  70. Louise says:

    Strong – Brave – Beautiful!

  71. Deborah says:

    Wow – I am so amazed at the human body and how well that has healed!! What a scary thing to have to go through, but I’m so glad that you had the spot checked. I am pretty good about sunscreen, but I know I’m not good enough. Especially since my kids got their dad’s skin and they don’t seem to ever burn – it makes it easy to get relaxed about things. That will definitely be changing!

  72. Stephanie says:

    Mel, I only know you through this blog. But I’ve been reading for a long time (6 years? Whoa!) so I feel qualified to say this: You are a beautiful person inside and out. I’m sorry this happened but glad your doctor was able to diagnose and remove your cancerous spot. Thank you for sharing your experience, pics and all, in order to help others. I’ve been on the fence about going to a dermatologist (money, time, and just overall disliking doctors) but you’ve convinced me I should get a skin checkup.

  73. Shelley says:

    Thank you for sharing. My mother-in-law had a similar thing happen while at the dr with her husband. She had a little feeling in her throat and just happened to ask the dr about it. Lo and behold, it was lymphoma. She is in remission now, and I’m so glad you are recovering too!
    BTW I think it makes you look tough, like you had to fight for that last package of chicken breasts at the grocery store, but you got it!

  74. Kimiko says:

    Wow, so scary Mel! But so glad everything turned out ok. I’m amazed by the last picture, you really are healing well, I can’t even tell there were ever stitches there. Your Dr did a nice job!

  75. Lori says:

    Thanks for sharing. You’re part of my cyber family and I hate when bad things happen to good people. I am glad you healed so well and will be more mindful of the sun because of you posting this!

  76. Angela says:

    You are brave. Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear this and be reminded of the importance of covering up in the sun. Especially now before the summer months when I take my family outdoors. Thank you!

  77. Allison says:

    Thanks Mel for sharing! I was just talking to my kids yesterday (especially my red headed 10-year old who hates that I’m always making them put hats/sunscreen on if we’re going to be out for the day) and I was able to share with him that it happens to real people and that it is real and serious. I am glad to see that you are doing better/feeling better. What a year you must have had!! I worry about leaving my 6 momless too…I’m glad that they found the cancer early. Thanks again for sharing.

  78. Heidi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband goes in on Thursday for the same thing but on the top of his bald head. I am worried but it is such a blessing to hear how your story turns out just a few months later.

  79. Nancy says:

    So glad you are okay!! Thanks for posting. I am definately wearing sunscreen from now on. Thank you.

  80. Angee says:

    I never, ever comment, but just had to on this one. I seriously cried when I saw your face with all those stitches, and the vainess in myself came out, saying, “Oh, my gosh! That poor girl!” And then you showed that last picture, and it is stunning!! You can’t even tell you had all those huge stitches! You look beautiful!
    (I know it’s more important that you’re healthy, but you look good, too! And I just had to say it because although it shouldn’t matter, it kind of does.)

  81. Kellie says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have a mole that needs to be removed and I keep putting it off. I’ll make an appointment today. You look beautiful!

  82. Lindsay says:

    Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you are on the mend.

  83. Michele Cabiness says:

    Thank you for sharing! I am so happy that you caught it when you did. I would love a post on the products you use to protect you and your family from the sun.

  84. This touched my heart as my husband was diagnosed with cancer in December. He just finished his radiation treatment yesterday. 9 weeks, 5 days a week. Pretty brutal. The prognosis is very very good…but doesn’t it just rock your world?
    You look beautiful and have healed so well! Wonderfully written post, thanks for sharing your story. Clink to health and hats!

  85. Courtney says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing such a personal journey! It really has healed beautifully! I could name so many recipes that my family loves that I got right here on this blog but sufficeth to say that you frequently accomplish your goal to make me feel like a rock star in my kitchen! Lots of love!

  86. Jodi says:

    Mel, thank you for being brave enough to share your story. I’m so glad you’re doing ok. I know far too many people that have been in your same shoes. I was such a stupid teenager when it came to the sun, but thankfully in my early 20s I got smart about sunscreen. Hopefully this post will make others be more careful. Take care♡.

  87. Angela says:

    First of all, you were so brave to show us all your pictures. Your nose healed beautifully! I have a cousin who just had to have a toe removed recently due to melanoma, so it is serious stuff. I hope you continue to do well. Love to you and your family!

  88. Ashley Rutledge says:

    Mel..thanks for this post. It has given me the urgency to be even more vigilant as summer approaches. You are beautiful!

  89. Amanda W. says:

    THANK YOU for taking the time and being brave enough to share this!!!!!!!! I am showing my boys too so when they complain about sunscreen and hats they can understand why we need them:) My dad (60 yrs) had some BIG patches removed off the top of his head a few years ago…..we tried to drive the point home then. But my boys were so young then and hard to understand and remember now. I appreciate this post so much. It was a good reminder and wake up call!

  90. Bre says:

    You have healed amazingly!! Last fall I had a melanoma removed from my stomach. I am now the proud owner of a 4 inch long scar from my surgery and now get to see my dermatologist every 4 months. I also went in for a different mole than the melanoma. It terrifies me that it’s not a matter of if but when it will come back. I’m such a sunscreen supporter now! Glad you went in!

  91. Shannon says:

    Oh you poor sweet girl!! I love your blog and I feel like we are friends even though you don’t even know me. Your blog has helped me and my family so much! I am the kind of cook that when we sit down to dinner my daughter sometimes adds in her prayer “please bless my mom will learn to cook better.” Ha! Your blog has helped and inspired me to feed my family better meals. Thank you for sharing this! I am so happy your healing is going so well! You are beautiful!

  92. Becky says:

    Hi Mel,
    I love your cooking blog! My mother, who also loves your blog, forwarded me your article on your skin cancer. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I too am a skin cancer survivor (melanoma) and also would have never thought it would have happened to me. Sunscreen and being smart in the sun is so important!! Skin cancer can happen to anyone.

  93. Bree says:

    Hi Mel-I am not a usual commenter, but I am a lover of your recipes! 🙂 I just wanted to thank you for your courage in sharing your story. I will definitely be more careful when it comes to sun exposure for me and my family! I’m so happy to see how well you have healed and that you are using your trial to help others.

  94. Carlos says:

    Thank you for sharing so personal experience. I’m so happy that you are recuperating really well. A lot of love and health!
    Thank you again!

  95. SnowQueen says:

    Thanks Mel I made an appointment to see a dermatologist.

  96. Rachel Russell says:

    Yikes- I am so sorry to hear of your scary time- living with fear is the worst. So glad you have gotten through it and you have healed up perfectly- adore you and glad to see you looking and feeling as fab as ever- xoxoxoxox

  97. Malinda says:

    You are so brave for sharing your story. It was a good reminder for me. I have a little darker skin and have only burned a couple times in my life so it is easy for me to neglect putting sunsceen on myself or my kids when we go outside to play. Now that I have a redhead with fair skin I need to be more diligent. One thing people don’t realize is that sunscreen becomes less affective over time and should be replaced every year unless you can find some with titanium dioxide. My father in law had a spot on his tummy and had to have it removed due to skin cancer and is now battling mesothelioma. Blessings to you for sharing your story and creating awareness, those of us with cancer stories are all grateful! Plus your food rocks!

  98. anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing. I had my daughter (11 going on 21) read this too. Last summer, she fought me about sunscreen because she wanted to get some “color”. Your story has made an impact.

    Your surgeon did a wonderful job and you look beautiful!

  99. shelley says:

    You are very brave to share your story. Thank you! So happy you are healing beautifully. Our bodies are truly amazing. I very much appreciate your honesty in sharing this very sensitive subject. Skin cancer awareness and prevention is so very important. But human vanity and venerability shape so much of what we share with the world, especially online, where it is so easy to hide behind a curtain of perfection. So thank you for keeping it real and honest! As a fellow fair skinned lady, I can totally appreciate your struggle. Sunscreen is a way of life for me and my children. No struggles, because there has never been an option for them. They get lathered up every day when we are at the pool or in lots of sun. Also, I will try to be as brave and start sharing the seemingly silly and uncomfortable issues with my dermatologist!

  100. Kelly says:

    Thank you Mel for sharing your story. I’ll definitely think twice about heading out without sunscreen.

  101. Sherry says:

    Wow, what a journey, thank you for the post, it’s important everyone know the innocent signs of skin cancer. My brother-in-law has had skin cancer twice. Its very important to wear sunscreen. On a lighter note, my face/eyes looked like that too, but after an elective surgery…nose job. I remember being so happy with the results when the bandages came off, and someone said “don’t worry that piggy look will go away”. Pig look, whaaattt??? I’m glad to see you’re healing and you look fantastic!

  102. On one hand this could freak me out because I’m a year out from thyroid cancer and still trying to recover, and sometimes I feel like there will always be some other disaster around the corner, but in another way it was encouraging.There are so many pictures of God’s beauty and goodness in this. How it was caught fairly early by chance. How AMAZINGLY you healed!! I sure wish you would not have had this experience, but I’m grateful that you are returning to normal!! On another note, it is another reminder that the impressions we get of people’s peaceful, well ordered lives on social media and blogs are not all that’s actually going on. 🙂

  103. Stacy says:

    Great post- and you can join me and my family at the pool. We will be the ones with long sleeve rash guards and hats on.

  104. Cindy Hansen says:

    O my gosh! What an experience! I have a sore in the crease of my nose that just won’t seem to heal. I have a doctors appointment already set for Wednesday for another reason and I’m definitely having my spot checked out at the doctor. Without this post, I don’t think I’d think much about it. Thank you!

  105. Kelley says:

    Hi Mel

    So glad to see that they got all of the cancer. Back in 2000, I had a similar spot on my forehead, smack dab in the top centre, just below my hair line. It was a basal cell as well. I wear my hair VERY short (1/4 to 1/2 “) all over, so there really was no hiding it under bangs. When I first showed it to my doctor (I use the term ‘doctor’ lightly), he glanced at it and dismissed it as acne. I looked at him and said, “Look at my face. Do I look like I have acne? This ‘thing’ is the only mark on my face. It won’t go away and it’s actually getting bigger. I want to see a dermatologist…now!” I could feel the ‘eye roll’ he gave me and reluctantly said he’d refer me.

    It was a bit of wait to see the dermatologist but when I finally did, he took one look at it, measured it and told me that he was 95% sure it was a basal cell. He also told me that because of how long I’d had it and the size of it, there was a small chance that it could be a squamous cell. It definitely had to be removed, either way. He said that he would be referring me to a plastic surgeon instead of a general surgeon because of where it was. There is no extra skin on the forehead to work with and only a plastic surgeon would be able to do this, and leave minimal scarring. When I arrived at the plastic surgeon’s office, I had no idea what to expect.

    His office was actually in an office building. I was wondering, “Where is he going to do this?” As my husband, my daughter and myself were in the waiting room, we overheard many conversations at reception. There were some who were there for mole removal but for the most part, there were a lot of ladies making their regular appointments for botox, tucking, tweaking, enhancing, decreasing, etc. This doctor was very popular and his waiting room was very busy. My husband, patted my hand and said, “He’s popular…this is a good sign, Honey.”

    The nurse guided me through the hallways (the place was more like a small hospital than an office) Much bigger than I thought. It definitely had a ‘spa feel’ to it. She led me into an operating room. (I’ve had many surgeries over the years so I was used to seeing an OR) She asked me to sit up on the table and that Dr. Martin would be in shortly, which he did. He looked at my forehead, confirmed what I already knew and said, “Well, let’s get rid of that today, ok?” He then told me he was going to draw on my forehead, where he would be cutting. He gave me a mirror to see what he was doing. It looked like he’d drawn a big eye on my forehead, with the cell in the centre. He told me that because there was no loose skin around, he’d have to pull the skin around the cell together. He cook see my eyes widen and smiled, “Just look at it as a forehead lift, for free. This is a medical procedure, not voluntary (at this point, all I could think was “Why would anyone want to do this on purpose?”) He said, “Your dermatologist was right to send you here. We’re going to take good care of you.” He smiled again and I relaxed again…a little. This was still something I’d never experienced. He’d also mentioned that they would just be freezing the area. I would be awake for this. I laid down on the table, the nurse covered me in a slightly larger version of the bib that you wear at the dentist. She held my hand as Dr. Martin prepared to freeze the area. He was sitting behind my head and thoroughly and kindly described each step. The freezing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be even though he showed me the needle. Then he patted shoulder and said, “Now we wait for the freezing to kick in. See you in a few minutes.” He and the nurse left. It felt like it was taking forever. Then, I could feel the freezing…my head started feeling like a football…like it was swelling. I was started to get really nervous. I just took deep breaths, closed my eyes and prayed for a sign that God was with me. Just as I said it, the nurse walked back in to the room, came over and took my hand. A calm washed over me at that moment and I was fine. Dr. Martin came back in and started, talking to me through the whole procedure. He told me when he actually removed the cell and was taking samples of the tissue and bone around and under. He mentioned that he absolutely loved my hair (as did the nurse). He asked me about my poetry and my art. A good hour and a half later, I asked him if he had got all the samples he needed. He leaned over my head, smiled and said “Oh I got all needed about an hour ago. I’m just doing what I specialize in now. You’re doing a great job, Kelley. Thank you for keeping me company while I work.” As nice as he was, I was never more thankful then when I heard him say, “Well, we’re all done here.” They helped me sit up. The nurse sat with me on the bed until Dr. Martin came back in the room with a mirror. He explained again that they had to go deep in order to get the samples of bone and tissue. Pathology would need all that. He told me that there was already some swelling and bruising. Then he handed me the mirror. I thought I would panic but I didn’t. Yes, there was definite swelling and bruising and I knew there would be more to come. Yet, I looked in the mirror and saw a person who would no longer have that ‘thing’ on her face. It was worth it. The cancerous thing was gone. I would find out 2 weeks later that they had got it all and that it was not a squamous cell.

    To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even concerned about the scar. It would be no different than the ‘war wounds’ I’ve had from my previous surgeries.

    He explained post op procedures and what to look for. He told me that later that night I would have a horrendous headache. There was only a large bandage and gauze covering the area. Pathology would have the results in two weeks. I was to go to my dermatologist for the results. Then as Dr. Martin and I looked into the mirror, he asked, “So, are you all set. Are you okay? Any last questions?” I started to giggle and asked, “Um…how long will it be before I stop looking as though I’m constantly surprised?” The way the freezing and swelling was affecting the nerves in my forehead, it had travelled to my one eyebrow and it was raised higher than the other.
    Dr. Martin laughed and said, “You’re going to be just fine. It was a pleasure to meet you, Kelley. Do me a favour? Never change your hair. It suits you for many reasons.”
    I told him, I probably never would and I haven’t. My husband Dan and daughter Meg, met me just outside the OR. When I came out, they hugged me tightly. They both got a good look at my face. We all agreed that my freezing/swelling induced face had temporarily given me a surprised/sceptical look. It took a while before all the bruising and swelling disappeared. I was still getting little pin prick nerve twitches in around my scar for a little while after. This was normal due to the area and how deep they had to go. Whenever it happened, I’d put run my finger across my scar. All of us being huge Harry Potter fans at the time, Dan and Meg would look at each other and say, “Look, Harry must be feeling something.” I would just shake my head and raise my eyebrow at them.

    My scar is barely noticeable now but I know it’s there. As I said, I have a number of ‘war wounds’. I’ve been through many surgeries for different reasons. Yet I cherish each one. Scars to me aren’t things that remind us of hurt and fear. To me they are reminders of what we have endured, reminders of our strength and that we have lived.

    I’m so glad that you are okay, Mel. I didn’t really think of taking pictures but the swelling and bruising I saw…I can relate. 🙂 You’ve healed so nicely. That’s wonderful news. Take care of yourself. Here’s to sunscreen and hats! 🙂

  106. Alycia says:

    Mel – As with the other readers, I’d like to thank you for your bravery in sharing this story and pictures in hopes of making a difference! Not only does this remind us to wear our sunscreen, wear protective clothing, get questionable things checked by the Dr., but it also gives all of us a visual that the body can heal, so (heaven forbid) if any of us have the same experience, we can be reminded that you made it through, and the wounds will heal. I’m so proud of you for sharing. More so, I’m glad your story ended well! You are a rockstar in every way! 😉

  107. Darlene says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Mel. I was a small child in the 1970’s and recall sunburn after sunburn during the summertime. It’s just the way it was (we thought). Did they even have sunscreen back then? I am blonde with blue eyes & fair skin, and having had so many bad sunburns as a child I figure I’m the poster child for who can get skin cancer. I am always on high alert for any suspicious moles & will keep an extra sharp eye out after reading your story. I’ll be sure to share your story with my children, too. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story – you have healed beautifully! Long live sunscreen & hats!!

  108. Anna says:

    Wow, you are very brave for sharing, this is an important reminder for me to protect my skin, I also am super fair skinned and am tempted by “a little sun”. Thank you for sharing.

  109. Laurel says:

    Wow! You had a very skilled Doctor! Thank you for being so vulnerable with all of us. I’ve also had skin cancer and have three large scars on my back, stomach and thigh. I now go for skin checks every 6 months and if I see anything suspicious, I get in to the office right away! I live at the beach and when I see the young girls laying out, I want to go up and warn them about the damage they are doing to their skin (including wrinkles as they get older). Thank you for sharing your experience. It may just help someone to take better care of their skin.

  110. Shannon says:

    I just read this post and turned to my husband and told him “Mel” had skin cancer. He knew exactly who I meant! I hope it’s ok we call you friend when you have bettered our lives by blogging. This just adds a new dimension to making us better. So what is the right/best sunscreen? What has the least harmful chemicals? I sure love everything about this blog. You are a beautiful person, Mel. Have a wonderful weekend!

  111. Heather M says:

    That really is incredible how well that healed! I’m sorry you had to go through such a thing! That’s awfully scary! After 2 olive skinned babies, I got one that is a pale blondie & I forget that even being outside in the early spring when it’s barely 60 degrees out, will make his little cheeks redden right up. You have made me realize how much more diligent I need to be for all of us! Thank you!

  112. Nicole says:

    I read this post in the early hours of the morning and it hit really close to home. My grandparents on both sides have dealt with this, as well as my mom, and because of my naive teenage years, as well as living close to beaches while growing up, I know prevention is way out of the question today. Now it’s up being aware of what’s going on with my skin, and diligently protecting it from the sun. It’s more impactful to be given loving warning and caution from trusted people (even if we’ve never met in person), than from doctors, sometimes, so thank you. You look absolutely lovely, like always. Thanks for sharing your personal experience, it will definitely help me to remember why all the hassle is worth it, but that things will be ok.

  113. Ali Flegal says:

    Talk about doing added good! Thank you for sharing this story. I’m sorry you had to go through the pain but am so grateful it was not worse. It’s a good reminder how important it is to follow those promptings. I have a weird spot on my arm that I want checked. I go once a year, but after reading your post today, think I will bump up my appointment. It’s also a good reminder as a Mom to be make sure my kids are caked in sunscreen. Soccer games start this Saturday so your timing is excellent. Thank you. I love that even in such an important post you are apologizing for the serious selfies. You always win with your humor. Combining that with your authenticity and amazing recipes, it’s not wonder your site is a smashing success! 🙂

  114. Nicole says:

    I read this post in the early hours of the morning and it hit really close to home. My grandparents on both sides have dealt with this, as well as my mom, and because of my naive teenage years, as well as living close to beaches while growing up, I know prevention is way out of the question today. Now it’s up being aware of what’s going on with my skin, and diligently protecting it from the sun. It’s more impactful to be given loving warning and caution from trusted people (even if we’ve never met in person), than from doctors, sometimes, so thank you. You look absolutely lovely, like always. Thanks for sharing your personal experience, it will definitely help me to remember why all the hassle is worth it, but that things will be ok.

  115. Barry Antrim says:

    Wow…. I cant believe how well you have healed up. You look great.
    Still the best food WEB site on planet earth. Hands down.

  116. Oklahoma says:

    Thank you for this post. I put sunscreen on my son every day. Just this spring he has started giving me absolute fits about this routine. I plan on showing him these pictures to show him how vital it is to wear sunscreen every day – not just the days we are in the pool. May God bless you and keep you in His care.

  117. Julie Krogh says:

    You have my attention. Thank you for sharing,may God continue to bless you and your family.

  118. Meri says:

    You’re an amazing woman! I love you and wish I could give you a great big hug! You look amazing! Still wishing you were living here still. You are missed!

  119. Foodiewife says:

    Dear Mel,
    I applaud your courage in sharing your detailed photos and your story. I am a retired licensed esthetician, who preached and preached to my clients about the dangers of UVA light exposure. I am so glad that you did ask your dermatologist about that spot on your nose. I have a friend who had a very similar MOHS surgery done on her nose, and it really scared her. Just a little friendly advice on sunscreen. Your can wear an SPF of 50, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting the protection that you need. Be sure to use a “full spectrum” sunscreen with minerals (aka titanium dioxide). I wear mineral makeup, because it looks very natural and gives additional sun protection. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this, but thankfully it was caught just in time. Bless you for sharing your story– and thank you for all the wonderful meals I’ve made, and bread I’ve baked, because of you. You are absolutely beautiful without makeup. I’m serious!

  120. Mary says:

    This will definitely make a difference! Thank you for posting! Not only will you keep your skin safe, it will keep you looking younger and healthier for much longer. Yes, I’m vain and shallow, but a deep shallow person 🙂 When I attended my 10 year class reunion in (gulp) 1989 I was shocked at how the prettiest girls, who were always tan and beachy, looked like old leather purses. I had started using the very first “actual” sunblocks on the market about 5 years earlier, on my children as well, because I’m a fair-haired redhead and I looked basically the same as when I graduated. I still look dramatically younger at the age of 55 and no cancer! Thank you for posting.

  121. Moriah says:

    You are truly a rockstar, and not just in the kitchen. Can I say I love you even though I don’t personally know you? Cause I do! Thanks for sharing, this is a message that is close to my heart, too. And your face looks amazing!!

  122. Erin says:

    What a journey, thank you for sharing your story. A good reminder for the rest of us to not get complacent .

  123. Linda says:

    What a brave and generous woman you are to share this moment in your life. Wish you the best in the future and believe me I have learned from your experience. Thank you and G-d Bless you and your loving family.

  124. Courtney says:

    Thank for sharing this story you are so brave for sharing this story and all of the pictures with all of us I don’t know how you got through all of that and still managed to take care of your family, homeschool your kids and post recipes on your blog. You MUST be superwoman! I try to be for vigilant with sunscreen now too. not so much when I was a kid though. I have never been to a dermatologist, but now I think I should make an appt,to see one soon.

  125. Dixie says:

    Well you know you’ve already helped me discover my first skin cancer! Yay? 🙂 You look amazing! I am so impressed with how well it has healed and I pray mine will heal as well. You’ve made me a bit more nervous, not realizing how serious it really could be under the skin. Eek. But if you can be strong I can be strong. Love yer guys!

  126. Cheryl says:

    Bless you, sweetie. Thank you for sharing your story and your very brave experience. You look beautiful – before AND after. 🙂

  127. Verity says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this difficult journey and spreading awareness! I dread our local dermatologist’s office, but I might give it another go after reading this.

  128. Rachel says:

    Wow thanks for sharing this. I have an appointment with the dermatologist next month and will be going in with my eyes wide open. And amen on doing better for our kids. thanks again.

  129. Laura J says:

    Thank you Mel for sharing all of your story. I have had a couple chunks taken out of my legs and work much harder now on keeping covered up. Check out REI for stylish sun protective hats. Expensive but worth it. Also take a look at this study about a vitamin-nicotinamide and think about sharing it with your dermatologist. I took nicotinamide for years for cystic acne and then stopped as my hormones decreased. After I stopped, I have had two rounds of precancerous but odd cells, which were removed. My dermatologist said that although this is off label usage of nicotinamide she thought it was a good idea based on the study. Seven pharmacies near me didn’t carry the drug but Amazon does! Make sure you get the Nicotinamide not niacinamide-it is different! I get the Biophix flush free, 500mg and take one morning and night.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1506197

  130. Erin Hoernig says:

    You a such a sweet woman, Mel–I’m sorry you have had to go through this ordeal. But it is truly great of you to make lemonade (so to speak) out of this painful and “sour” experience by sharing your story and pics. I know you will inspire many folks out there to be sun-careful while enjoying the outdoors! Thank you!

  131. Jennifer says:

    It has healed so beautifully, Mel! I actually really needed this post. Thank you.

  132. Diva says:

    Mel, I’m so glad you shared this experience with us. It took courage to post your pictures and tell your story. You have healed nicely and you look fantastic. By the way, you have the most beautiful eyes! I intend to pass your advice on to my son and daughter-in-law and my granddaughters. They spend so much time in the sun and with very little use of sunscreen – I think it’s a cultural thing as my fabulous D-I-L is Asian and darker skinned and the girls have inherited some of that. Nonetheless, they do need to use sunscreen so I’ll go to see them this summer and badger them about it! You know how mothers and grandmothers can be, LOL. Glad to see you are doing well and back to cooking – you are my favorite blog.

  133. Erin Wojnarowicz says:

    Hi Mel! I’m not one to comment on blogs, but I want to thank you for sharing such an important message! Yours is the only blog I follow & every one of your recipes becomes a favorite! I too have had a similar experience. I had several moles removed from my back, legs & stomach in my early 20s. A few tested as a-typical, so I was ok with the Frankenstein-like scars that replaced them. After the birth of my son 5 years ago at 34, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist to have a brown inch-long mole-like growth on my stomach checked. I was relieved when he told me it wasn’t something to worry about. While there I asked him about a mole on my toe that I thought had changed, I never would have scheduled a skin check for it. It turned out to be melanoma in situ. I now have a beautiful heart-shaped scar in its place. It took 4 months for it to heal enough I could wear tennis shoes again. Being fair-skinned & blue-eyed I learned at a young age to wear sunscreen & sun hats or I’d burn & blister. Never once though did I think to sunscreen my feet! I no longer wear flip-flops or pretty sandals in the summer which is hard, but I’m so glad that I went in- it saved my life!

  134. Rebecca Miller says:

    You look amazing! What a blessing he was able to remove it. Thanks for being brave!

  135. Kim says:

    It healed wonderfully! Thanks for sharing for cancer awareness. I had a melanoma on my lip. I underwent Moh’s surgery and then had a skin graft. Thankfully the melanoma was caught very early. But it was definitely emotionally traumatizing. Glad I got great results too once it all healed.

  136. BillieBee says:

    I’m so glad they were able to get it, and sorry you had to go through this. Prayers from Texas

  137. Karen says:

    Thanks for posting this personal story and helping others. Seeing and reading your story made me cry. It is amazing how brave you are! I love your blog and recipes, but this sharing is so unselfish. You have come a long way these past few months and I know they have been painful. You look wonderful and I know it will get even better with time. I use sunscreen, but as a child (I am 67) I do not think I wore it unless we went to the beach! Everyone reading this will have a new awareness of how devastating skin cancer can be. Thanks again.

  138. Kathryn says:

    First off- you look amazing! Secondly, thank you for being brave enoughto share your story and raise awareness. I hope you continue to heal and bring us lots of yummy recipes. You are one of my favorite bloggers and I love your site!

  139. Laura says:

    Not a fun experience, but your after pictures look great! My mom had a similar experience recently, but ended up needing to have the entire end of her nose removed. The doctor was able to do a paramedian forehead flap reconstruction and after 4 months it is barely noticeable. Thank goodness for good doctors. My family and I are now dedicated sun screen wearers. Thanks for the good reminder to always protect your skin.

  140. Dona says:

    Thank you. What a powerful reminder. Wishing you good health.

  141. Jeanelle says:

    It’s so silly that I want to cry when I don’t even know you but I do! I’m so glad you were taken care of by a wonderful doctor, that our miracle bodies can heal and that our Father in Heaven listens to our prayers. Thanks so much for sharing – I know you’ve helped a lot of people…almost as much as your thick and chewy bar cookies have helped me be a superstar whenever I make them!!!

  142. carole says:

    thanks so much for bravely sharing your story to help your readers ! I would love a follow up post on which sunscreen you are using.I am so lost in my quest for safe daily sunscreen but not too sticky or thick so my makeup still looks nice! maybe your dermatologist gave you a good Rec for one? thanx and take care

  143. amy says:

    God bless you, Mel. We all love you so much and appreciate all you have done or us.

  144. Erika says:

    I’m so sorry you had to go thru this Mel, it looks very painful. But I’m very happy to hear you are doing well and you look so good. Well done.

  145. Desiree says:

    I’ve been a Mel’s reader for a few years now but I don’t comment too often. I just want to say how brave you are to share your journey with us and thank you for reminding us that self care is important too. Thank you!

  146. Paige says:

    You seriously are so brave for sharing your story, and those pictures. I actually had a similar experience a few years ago where I had a red spot on my nose and then watched the news last night where they said that if you have a red spot on your nose that doesn’t go away it’s a major red flag for cancer. I went in and I was actually fine, but while I was in there I mentioned that I have a large birthmark on my leg with a lot of freckles and spots in it which they said was a major precursor to getting cancer, but I still don’t have it. I have to go in annually to have my birthmark and all the spots counted and measured, and I have to make sure that I’m using sunscreen. Before that, like you I never really cared that much, but now it’s something I’m hyper aware of with my kids, husband and I, and we always, always put sunscreen on everyone now before leaving the house in the summer, but we still have room for improvement for the rest of the year too.

  147. Sarah D. says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to post this. And so happy that you caught it early and are healing. My mom and my sister have both had melanoma, so I get my skin checked every 6 months. I have had lots of dysplastic nevi. Recently though I also had basal cell carcinoma – on my back. It is a serious wake up call, and I was already very serious about sun protection. It is hard to make up for all that sun we had when we were young! My boys always wear long sleeve rash guards and hats. And they get scared to go outside in the summer without sunscreen. 🙂 I may have brain washed them a little too much, but I think they will thank me when they are older.

  148. Tricia says:

    Thank you for sharing Mel! You’re incision has healed very well. You have motivated me to make a dermatologist appointment. I keep putting it off but have a spot that I’ve been nervous about. Thanks again!

  149. Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing. That is amazing how well bodies heal. I’m so glad you caught it when you did. I feel like I have pretty good habits for myself and the kids, but I’m redoubling my efforts. Have you heard of swim zip? They have great rashguards for everyone.

  150. Shannon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been thinking I should go to a dermatologist for a whole-body mole check, but have never done it. I think your story will be the one that compels me to make the appointment.

    And you look great,BTW!

  151. Joey says:

    I had a possible (lab could not decide) basal cell removed from my eyelash line last November. I can imagine that shots to the nose are very similar to shots in the eyelid (holy moly!!!). Happy to see you have healed so well.

  152. Jen T says:

    Wow! Bless you! I am so sorry you had to go through this, but thank you so very much for sharing! You truly do bless many lives, and that was so thoughtful and brave of you to share this to further bless lives. It will definitely make me think twice about sunscreen and protection for my kids. Bless you! I wish I would have known earlier and would have been praying for you! Will start to pray that it continues to get better!!
    As an aside, I am YW pres in my small ward. Wednesday nights are our activity nights. This week I had 4 YW plus 2 friends come and we went over your cookbook you did for teens and then made your french bread pizza, the no bake cookies, your easy skillet chicken and your amazing romaine salad (which I did remember all the ingredients 🙂 The girls had a great time and loved it all! I have 2 laurels who are seniors heading to BYU in the fall and they were especially appreciative! The girls said the chicken and salad were their favorites. You are blessing people’s lives! My YW were very grateful and learned a lot. Thank you!!! and again bless you!!!!

  153. Linda says:

    Mel – you sure make the world a better place! Thanks for sharing your experience and spreading the word about skin cancer. From experience, I know it’s a challenge when it’s right there in the middle of your face. Thankfully, you are healing beautifully.

    I found a UPF 50+ sun hat which I really like: Sunday Afternoons Vineyard Hat. Although the pictures don’t show it, the brim can be either curled up a bit or rolled down.
    https://www.sundayafternoons.com/p/vineyard-hat/

    You might want to consider taking a Vitamin D3 supplement. I realized after awhile that since I was being so diligent about avoiding sun exposure, I was missing out on Vitamin D which normally happens when our skin is exposed to sun.

    Thanks for all that you do, Mel! I always look forward to your blog and all the wonderful recipes that you share. I print out the good ones and add them to my recipe notebook & it’s getting to be very thick! Like others have said, you are mentioned here in our home often, as in “this is a recipe from Mel”.

    Stay strong – the tough experiences that we go through help to make us stronger, wiser and more compassionate.

  154. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! You have always been my favorite go to food blogger and I’ve followed you for years! You look amazing, it’s so remarkable how bodies can heal! I just had melanoma on the side of my face, by my ear, and went through MOHS in February this year (I was 30). I was heartbroken and so self conscious about the whole thing, but it’s healing nicely! I love hearing other’s stories, and am now a huge advocate of sun protection as well! I’ll be out this summer in my big hats as well! Hugs!

  155. Joan says:

    Mel, I hope you know you look beautiful to us. Thanks for sharing and for being so brave and transparent. You are a rock star in every way!

  156. Ashlee T says:

    Mel! You look so pretty!!! I used to think the same about the sun. Now I lather up the sunscreen on me and kids. You are strong to get through this with your positive attitude! Your boys comment made me smile:) And ps- hope this isn’t weird, but I had a dream I met you the other night 😉 funny. You have healed so well! Thank you for sharing! ❤️

  157. Diane says:

    It took courage to show what happened to your face…and I thank you for that. Your story will inspire so many to get checked out and stay out of the sun.{for tanning purposes} and to wear sun screen. Wish I had learned this lesson when younger.Thank you again and God Bless.

  158. Barbara Allen says:

    Thanks for sharing not only your delicious recipes, but now some very important information. It is so giving of you, typical from what I gather from the friendly conversational tone of all your postings. Stay well, and you look fabulous now!

  159. Mel! We are basel cell sisters.
    This EXACT same thing happened to me, except my little spot was right above my nose, between my eyebrows.
    Same diagnosis, same surgery, and almost two months later, I’ve been wondering if that unsightly flesh worm of a scar on my forehead will EVER disappear.
    I appreciate your testimonial of healing, above all else right now. Your pictures are beautiful. You are now at the top of my list of online “friends” I want to meet in real life. If I could post my picture with this post, I would. I gave my friends the same shout out on FB and instagram, and am hopeful that the experiences of others will help a wider audience of sun lovers to pay attention and be proactive. THANK YOU for this post. And thank you for more hope. And just a warm thank you. 🙂

  160. Amy says:

    You’re healing beautifully!! My three year old son had stitches on his face when he was one, and your scar already looks better than his – I guess that’s the difference between a dermatologist and an ER doctor 😉
    Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve always been leery of sunscreen – the chemicals! – even though in 95% of situations I’m pro-western medicine. I admit I have not been lathering up my kids…I live in Canada where the sun is a little less harsh, but still! I’ll be more cautious this year, I promise.

  161. JessK says:

    The healing is amazing! If I didn’t see the whole series of pictures I wouldn’t be able to tell.

    I had a biopsy of a spot on my back too–it turned out to be just a cyst, but your reminder is so important. I’m in Texas and no matter how much sunscreen we slather on we still get color. Thanks for the reminder to get even the littlest things checked by the dermatologist!

  162. Rachael says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I am definitely not as good about sunscreen as I should be–always load up at the beach or pool, but not on regular days when we are just playing in the yard. Your face has healed beautifully!

  163. Paige L. says:

    Oh my word, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your courage, vulnerability, and transparency with this post!!! I literally may owe you my life one day, as I have NEVER worn sunscreen in my entire 37 years of existence. I’ve heard every.last.warning, but my love for the look of a sun kissed goddess has trumped my common sense. And, although I lather up my children, I don’t apply it to myself. After this post, that will most definitely change! THANK YOU, and prayers for a continued clean bill of health for you!!!

  164. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m so glad your are ok. The healing process is remarkable and you look great! I’ve been pretty good about sunscreen but I will be so much more diligent in the future. I’ve had a couple spots removed from my back already.

  165. CjR says:

    Thanks for sharing Mel.
    FYI: Sunscreen has a ONE season shelf life. We’ve had some bad sunburns even though we slathered ourselves in an old bottle of sunscreen.

  166. Beth says:

    Yikes (your story, not your face)! Thanks for the reminder. Happy that you caught it in time and that you healed up so well too!

  167. Staci says:

    Yes! You have touched me with your story. I’m a little lax when it comes to sunscreen for myself (all the while I’m slathering my kids from head to toe!) So yes! I will absolutely take better care. Thanks so much for sharing!

  168. Pam says:

    I’m so grateful that you were able to get it all removed, that is a huge blessing. I have had several atypical moles biopsied and removed, and with a history of basal cell in my family, I am a sunscreen freak. I have an Aveeno moisturizer with SPF 30 that I love, in case you’re looking for a good everyday product. Thank you for sharing your story, you and your scar are so beautiful 🙂

  169. Patty says:

    I couldn’t help but cry reading your story. For some reason I feel so silly that here I was looking up recipes in your blog while you were struggling with this. But I’m so happy it has all turned out well and you do look amazing! Our bodies really are amazing healers. Thank you for sharing and I hope you continue to do well. And yes, I will cover up more this summer and will make sure to enforce the sunscreen on my kids even when they fight me on it!

  170. Debbie says:

    Thank you for your candor, it was very brave of you to share your story. I can completely empathize with your background. I grew up in So Cal in the 70’s (need I say more about baking in the sun without sunscreen) and now am hyper-vigilant about using sunscreen and wearing a hat. Your story is a great reminder and I am glad you are healing so well.

  171. Sharon says:

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. I also went thru your same adventure with my nose. It was quite an experience. Hopefully your story will help others to notice these small pimple like things on their noses that can be not so good. We have a tendency to say it is nothing. I hDmine for a lot longer than you did so you can imagine my repair work. Again thanks for sharing this and hope more will pay attention to the SMALL things.

  172. Cambria says:

    You are awesome for posting this. I’m right there with you, two elliptical excisions for melanoma and basal cell carcinoma where my earlobe meets my face. Spread the good word of sunscreen,no tanning beds, and regular skin checks!

  173. Debbie C. says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and photos! Such a great reminder to everyone about the importance of sun protection and using sunblock! I’m so glad to hear you’re doing okay now!

  174. OrMtnMaid says:

    Mel, I had the same procedure in 2010. Devastated when I left the doctor, but like you within months all was well. Six years later I really have to look to see the scar. Time heals all, but it is so important to use sun screen. I had never used ‘good’ sunscreen before. Now it’s the good stuff and with clothing that is UV protective. I’m sure that as I age more damage will surface from prior years damage but I’m doing my best for no future damage. To others headed in for this procedure, ALWAYS have someone drive you. I had a friend with me that I will always be indebted to for her friendship and support that day. Needless to say she drove home. You were so brave going it alone. Mel, it will get better. Be proud of yourself through all of this. Don’t hide. People are so understanding and it is a learning process for many. Maybe I was lucky I had to report to work 3 days later. It forced me to get out in the public. God Bless you and continue the amazing videos, recipes, and blogs.

  175. Laurie says:

    Thanks for sharing! My 16 year old daughter doesn’t think she needs sunscreen, so I forwarded this to her. Glad you are healing well!

  176. Liddy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey through this! Two years ago, I went to see a dermatologist because of a little spot below my eye, just above my cheekbone, that I’d noticed was never completely healing. He did a punch-biopsy of it, as well as on a little blue spot he found on my back. I was reasonably certain that the spot on my face was basal cell carcinoma, but I was completely terrified that the spot on my back would turn out to be melanoma. VERY thankfully the spot on my back turned out to be non-cancerous (a blue nevus mole). The biopsy showed that the spot below my eye was basal cell carcinoma, and I was scheduled for the MOHS procedure to remove it. It took two deep layers being dug out of my face before the doctor reached clear margins. I was HORRIFIED at the crater that had been dug out of the middle of my face, and I was equally horrified when I saw how my face looked after he had stitched that large area. I thought my face would be disfigured for the rest of my life. Thankfully it healed very well and is barely noticeable now.

    The doctor said it’s likely that I’ll have more basal cell carcinomas show up in coming years. My mom has already had numerous of them removed from her face, including one on her nose very similar to yours, where pulling skin down to cover the “crater” was necessary. Unfortunately I grew up in a time when we didn’t use sunscreen, and we’d even apply baby oil, and sometimes iodine, to try to ATTRACT the sun to our skin so that we’d hopefully tan faster. :/ I also did two summers in tanning beds. BUT, I hadn’t laid out in the sun or gone without sunscreen since my late-20’s – and this basal cell carcinoma didn’t surface on my face until I was in my 50’s! Proof that damage begins in the cells beneath the skin LONG before it manifests topically. I’ve become a huge advocate for applying sunscreen and for NOT tanning. I also tell people to not assume that just because you get to the end of the summer and your skin looks good, no damage has been done. Bad gamble. Apply the sunscreen, dress wisely when you’re going to be out in the sun, and learn to be comfortable and happy with your natural skin tone!

    So glad you’re healing so well! Thanks again for being willing to transparently share such an important message.

  177. Becca R says:

    My mum had a similar procedure not long ago. The health warnings so often go over our heads until something happens to us or a loved one.

    On another interesting note, sometimes we get slightly different warnings here in Scotland: not enough sun. Because we are so far north the days here are quite short during the winter and it is often cloudy and rainy no matter what the season so we run the risk of not getting enough vitamin D which is produced when your skin is in the sunshine. Such a shortage can have other health consequences (example: https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_weller_could_the_sun_be_good_for_your_heart). Now, they only recommend 10-15 min of sun without sunscreen a day.

    Bravo to you for putting this up. I’m glad to see you are healing well. Thank you for wanting to help others with your painful experience.

  178. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this story, Mel! My husband has had many brushes with various forms of skin cancer, and his back looks like he was a in a very active knife fight. Even though our children inherited my Cuban tan skin instead of his Irish skin that only tans when freckles grow closer together, they all wear long sleeve rashguards and hats whenever they are at the beach or a pool that is not shaded. They hate it, but hopefully it will save them from pain and worry down the road. Your face looks amazing, I’d love the details on which EO you have been using.

  179. Marie says:

    Wow, Mel. First, I’m so glad you had it checked out when you did and that you are ok today. Reading your journey made me cry; I can’t imagine what you went through. After following you all these years I can tell you’re quite private so thank you for being such a blessing to us all by sharing your experience. You are goegeous by the way!!

  180. Lynne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I will definitely be more diligent with using sunscreen, hats and long sleeves. Thank you again!

  181. Cassandra says:

    Mel, you are so beautiful and are doing a tremendous amount of good through your blog. Don’t ever doubt that! Thank you for having the courage to share your story and to remind us to stay safe in the sun. Prayers for a continued, full recovery!

  182. Viktoria says:

    I have been reading (and using, with so much joy) your posts for seven years now, and this is the first time I leave a comment. Maybe this time I can pay some of my “debt” to you – to let you know how wonderful (and beautiful, even with the scar!) I think you are, and to tell you I keep you in thoughts and prayers. Wishing you good health, just be careful with sunscreens (I read that some of them can be harmful)… Thank you for posting this story and every recipe!

  183. Heather says:

    omg! I’m so sorry you had to go through that! I’m glad it was caught when it was but wow that’s a lot to go through!

    I too am not a sun seeker. I use sunscreen like crazy. I cringe when I see people with a tan or worse a burn. And don’t get me started on tanning beds. Skin cancer is nothing to mess with.

  184. Teresa says:

    Mel, I am so sorry you had to go through this, but so thankful you are OK and look beautiful! I have had annual skin checks since my early 20s (I am 50 now). Thankfully no skin cancer, but I go every year. My derm sells a huge stock of very good sunscreen. My family only uses mineral based, not chemical. I love the Elta MD formulas, and they also sell Skinceuticals sunscreens as well, which are fabulous. I really also love the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic acid (vitamin C serum) which I layer on first, which protects against the sun. It is very pricey but lasts a long time and I have been wearing it since my mid-30’s. It is a great skin brightener and anti-ager as well. I am not sure if Elta is a derm only available product, but I know you can purchase Skinceuticals through their website directly. I think it’s so important to get very good quality sunscreen with high percentages of titanium and zinc and put a lot on very frequently. So glad you are healthy and beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story.

  185. Susan says:

    I am so thankful that you shared your story! I also think that you look amazing, I can’t believe how well it healed. I hope that you continue to heal.

  186. Melissa says:

    Thank you for caring enough to share this with all of us!!! As a nurse, I see so many incidences of cancer; some of which can be reduced with preventive measures. Increased awareness is so important. I can only imagine how hard this must have been, but you came out winning. Feel better and thanks again.

  187. Liz says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! My dad has dealt with basal cell repeatedly for the last 15 years. He goes in every 6 months to be monitored to avoid MOHS. My husband has also had an excision on his back and it was precancerous. He has a family history of melanoma. Skin cancer is always on my mind!

    I’m glad you got the care you needed! Everything looks like it has healed amazingly well. I wish you the best on your journey!

  188. Mickie says:

    My dear Mel, your story was wonderful. I am so glad you asked about that spot. You and I have the same coloring. Every person in my family has had sports removed but me. My friends laugh at me that I have a full body check every single year. I don’t leave the house with out SPF 50 and my fair skinned children practically bathe in the stuff all summer. I think you healed up wonderfully. 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  189. Cathy says:

    You look beautiful and healthy. Thanks for sharing your story.

  190. Mickie says:

    P.S. I don’t tan but if you want the sun kissed look on your legs or face a can of Toma’s Air Brush self tanner does wonders 🙂 got from Sally’s. Easy to use and looks really natural.

  191. Heather says:

    just scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist! I’ve had a sore on my nose for like 6 months. Oops. Thanks for sharing your story. Definitely don’t want to mess around with skin cancer, huh.

  192. Lisa says:

    There’s so much to say but I’ll keep it simple- I’ve never met you but I feel like I know you, and I love ya!!

  193. NancyV908 says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Mel, and the pictures. I will show them to my family. Being disciplined about sunscreen is really hard. It’s such a pain–greasy, smelly, expensive. (I confess I do wonder about possible harm from repeated exposure to the chemicals in them, and try to use physical rather than chemical blocks when possible–which makes the sunscreen even more unpleasant, ugh–but I figure, the known harm of exposure outweighs the less known/unknown risks.) I also tend to feel embarrassed about big hats…but you are so right–it’s worth it. I will also second your comment on the amazing healing powers of the body–what a transformation!

  194. Courtney says:

    Thanks for being so brave and sharing your story, Mel! I’m so happy that you’re cancer-free and healing well. I know your battle will inspire so many to be more careful; what a gift! Take care of yourself.

  195. Sheree L says:

    So glad you shared this, Mel! People need to be educated and protect themselves. And, if it’s okay with you, I’d also like to remind your readers to NOT skip your mammograms. I am a breast cancer survivor, and like you, am trying to get the word out to anyone who will listen. My cancer was detected during a routine mammogram, so please don’t skip them! You look awesome, BTW!

  196. Meghan says:

    Thank you for being so brave and awesome to share this! I’m so sorry you had to experience that, and I hope it doesn’t come back. I am amazed at how beautifully it healed, and I’m so glad for you. That sounds really hard. Thanks for having the best cooking blog on the internet and for sharing this very real-life truth with the rest of us. I’m sure you’re already doing this, but take lots of Vitamin D…5000 IU daily instead of the 400 IU in a multivitamin. It actually has amazing anti-cancer abilities. That’s about as scientific as I can get. 😉

  197. KateB says:

    Thanks for sharing. Bet you’ve helped many to remember what is so easy to forget.

    By the way, Lands End has AMAZING long sleeved swim shirts. Cute and comfortable and they deliver to your door. I have one for swimming. My mother-in-law wears them at the beach, while walking, gardening, at baseball games, etc. Highly recommend.

  198. Susan says:

    You healed so nicely! What a scary ordeal. So sorry you had to go through that. I will keep you in my prayers.

  199. Lizza says:

    Hi. I never comment on blogs but this post made me want to tell you stuff. I’ll be quick. A friend told me about your blog a few years ago and I’m so so glad she did. Finally a blog that gives consistently good recipes. Like every recipe I make of yours (and it’s almost all of them) have been so good! Other cooking blogs I don’t trust as much as I trust yours. Other blogs are hit or miss. Yours are always good. When I’m looking for a specific recipe your blog is the first one I check. I love to cook. I’ve taking cooking classes in NYC and feel like I’m knowledgeable in the kitchen. You’re recipes have helped feed the missionaries countless times, my boys and neighbors. Loves and kisses to you and yours. Thank you for being great and please keep sharing.
    PS. I just pulled out your chocolate quick bread out of the oven with the pan you recommended. Oh and your ricotta shells fed the missionaries last night 🙂 Love.
    Lizza
    in pasco

  200. Megan says:

    My mom just went through a similar experience earlier this year. It’s so scary! I’m glad you’re healing so well, and what a good reminder to be sun safe. Thanks, and much love!

  201. Lizza says:

    Hi. I never comment on blogs but this post made me want to say stuff. A friend told me about your blog a few years ago and I’m so glad she did. You have the best recipes. Not only are they so good but all of them are good. After making many of them I know that when you post a new recipe it will be good, worth making. It’s so nice to finally find a cooking blog that I can trust. Other blogs are hit or miss. Yours never is. If there’s a specific recipe I’m looking for I always check yours cuz I know I trust it to be great, exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve taken cooking classes in NYC and am knowledgeable in the kitchen. I love to cook and share my talent with others. You’re recipes have fed the missionaries, my boys and my neighbors countless times. So keep sharing, I love them. Love and kisses to you and yours.
    PS I just took your chocolate quick bread out of the oven with the pan you recommend. Love. Oh and your ricotta shells feed the missionaries last night :). Oh and I’m going to sunscreen the crap out of me and my boys 🙂

    your biggest fan from Pasco.

    • Val says:

      can I like a post on a blog? Dido! I agree 100% with what Lizza said and just wanted to say I don’t know you, but really do love you for who you are and the great things you do in helping us less fortunate/creative cooks in the kitchen for making cooking something I can do and actually enjoy because of your blog. Thanks! Keep your chin up too because this too shall pass 🙂

  202. Candace says:

    The healing looks as tho it’s going very well, I’m so happy for you. I too (and several of my friends, we’re in our 60’s) have had a MOHS procedure; not fun (the needles ARE nasty!) but so much better than the alternative, as they say, and it is. (Don’t beat yourself up too much; I’ve worn moisturizer w/sunscreen for 30 years—altho there was baby-oil slathering in my reckless youth in an also silly effort to tan my very pale Scots/Irish complexion. Hope springs!) You look very beautiful to me, maybe not “normal” to your own eyes any more but all of our faces change over time and yours is becoming one of courage. Let’s all invest money in sunscreen stock, and look forward to the day when pale becomes cool. (And totally no political statement here, no, nada, none.) What’s most important is that you’re here, and I know that there are at least 6 other immediate people that agree with me. Go hug them, while I send a virtual hug to you.

  203. Teresa says:

    Mel, I don’t know if my comment went through because I have internet problems all day, so sorry if a repeat. Just wanted to say I am so sorry you had to go through this but am glad you are healthy. I have gone for annual skin checks since my early 20’s and luckily nothing has been found, but I go every year. My family uses the Elta MD and Skinceuticals sunscreen lines that my derm sells (although you can buy Skinceuticals direct from them). We use the mineral based (titanium/zinc) versions and love them. They are much better quality/protection than what you can buy at the drugstore. I also love the Skinceuticals vitamin C serums (C+E Ferulic) which is an antioxidant that protects against the sun, brightens the skin, and is a great preventive anti-ager. So happy you are well and you look gorgeous!

  204. Rachael says:

    Thank you for sharing your very personal experience with us. God bless you.

  205. Stacie D. says:

    Thanks for being brave and sharing your story, Mel! It is amazing and I want to learn from you. I know that I am especially prone to this, and I have tried to make changes but sometimes I am lazy. Please update us along the way with products and tips you use and like.

  206. Heather says:

    Mel, thank you so much for sharing this. I am so happy that things are healing well. What a journey to have to go on and I wish no one would have to go through something like this but I’m so glad things are looking well and you really do look great. 🙂 I would kiss those doctors toes, too! Thank goodness for modern medicine. And thank you so much for the reminder about the sun – for me and my family.

  207. Melissa says:

    Oh, my heavens! How scary! And I’m so impressed with how well your wounds have healed! How impressive that doctors can sew so well. Thanks for the reminder about skin care as the sun gets ready to come out.

  208. Andrea says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m fair skinned… I always joke that I never tan- I just get a darker shade of pale… ba dum tss…. I am actually pretty darn strict with the sunscreen… I was actually looking at hats to wear when I work in the yard or hike. Even in Rainy Washington- I slather it on. 😀

    Glad you are on the mend. <3

  209. Leigh Anne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. So sorry you’ve had to go through this!! I’m amazed at how well it has healed in the pics! You look great!! And as far as the sun protection…..I’m all over it!! I had 2 pre melanoma (not the technical terms) removed from my abdomen last summer. But even before that, I wear a long sleeve rash guard (love mine from Lands End) AND a giant sun hat. No shame!! I’m not trying to impress anyone just trying to save my skin! Wish I would have been more careful in my 20s but hind sight is 20/20, eh?!?! Love u Mel!!

  210. Sarah says:

    You seriously look so fantastic! The healing was so dramatic! I’m so glad you had the courage to share your story. I have to watch myself carefully for skin cancer, and this is was good to read.

  211. Jen Ward says:

    My sister forwarded me your post with a note saying she thought she was reading a story about me. I went through the exact same thing year and a half ago. Small spot on the side of my nose that wouldn’t heal. Removal surgery that left me with a giant hole in my nose and a massive amount of stitches from the top of my nose to the bottom. As I read your blog it honestly felt like the twilight zone. So much of what you recalled is exactly how I felt. I wondered if I would ever look normal again, if I would ever go a day without noticing the scar. Welcome to the hat world!! I to spend a lot of time wearing hats. Thank you for sharing your story and the pictures

  212. Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I am really bad about putting on sunscreen and have got sunburned a fair share of times. I’ve decided to recommit myself to wearing sunscreen after reading your post as well as getting my moles checked out just to be on the safe side. I love your blog! I am amazed that you were still actively posting during that whole experience, I check your blog often and I didn’t notice any lapse in posts. You’re amazing!

  213. Laken says:

    I should really comment more based upon how I religiously follow your blog and have made (and LOVED) half of the recipes here. We truly would have cereal and Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets every night if it weren’t for you. Your recovery is incredible! If you had posted the last picture very first I would have never noticed anything. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was a very carefree and sun loving teen and 20’s person. I always tanned easily and figured more was better. My small daughters have my same coloring and I am way too forgetful about their sunscreen. No more! Perfect timing as temperatures heat up down here in Texas. Thank you, Mel! You look great!

  214. yeni says:

    Thanks for bravely sharing your story. I agree that it’s important to share these personal issues to bring awareness to these things. The pictures def do the trick! I actually learned about this form of skin cancer from Hugh Jackman, the actor, who I follow on IG. He’s also had several bouts of this on his nose and has posted many pics and asked folks to please wear sunscreen. It’s sad that you’ve gone thru this, but you look great and remain healthy – which is most important.

  215. Hillary says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so sorry for what you have had to go through, but so thankful you found it in time! Thank you for the incredible reminder to protect my and my kids, and to go to the dermatologist! You are my favorite food blogger, and I am so thankful for you and your amazing recipes! Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with us and blessing our lives!

  216. Mary says:

    I thank God you thought to have your dermatologist look at that spot! I use the highest number sunscreen but cannot reapply it until I go somewhere cool and my skin cools down. If I reapply while outside, I get a rash reaction that is painful. I grew up never using it (I am 63) and am thankful I haven’the had a problem yet. God bless you and keep being diligent about sunscreen

  217. Fiona says:

    Oh sweetheart, thank you for highlighting the fact that taking care in the sun really does matter. I live in Australia and was blessed to have parents that were sun savvy even in the 60’s and 70’s. My sister and I have good skin and so far have had no issues with sun cancers. As you said it’s all of the time you spend in the sun that builds up, you don’t even need to be a sun worshipper for a melanoma to occur. You had a very good specialist and I think it has healed beautifully. Thank you again for bringing this topic into the light. No pun intended!
    Sending lots of love
    Fi

  218. Maureen says:

    Mel, that takes some courage to show all those pictures, but for such a good cause. With your huge readership I’m sure you’ll save someone from going through what you did. I’ve had the basal cell carcinoma also, actually 2, one on my chest (where exposed with wearing a V-neck shirt) and also 1 on my arm. They can show up just as a little reddish spot, not even as bright as yours was. I was so lucky, nothing to the extent of yours. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I’m in my 70’s and in my teen years and 20’s and even 30’s I was clueless too when it came to sunscreen. So many young people today lather on the sunscreen, so many more are protected.

  219. Tami says:

    I love your blog and was so glad to find a blog where the recipes are fabulous and my hubs has loved everything I’ve made. I don’t always comment, but I always read so I apologize for not commenting on what a great blog, what fab recipes you have , etc. I’m a breast cancer survivor and agree that the scars are hard to live with. However, it takes a lot of bravery for you to share these wounds and I applaud your desire to further educate us. Everyone also seems to think it isn’t anything, it won’t happen to me, etc. Trust me, it can and it will and as women, I believe we don’t always have things checked that need to be checked, even if they turn out to be nothing. So glad you got this checked and that you had it removed. I look forward to many more recipes when you are feeling up to posting them. Our God is such a good God!

  220. trish says:

    Mel, thank you so much for sharing your story! Do you know how many lives you have helped today? I try to be good about applying sunscreen but know I can and must do better. Your post will help me to accomplish that. I applaud your bravery – not only for what you have gone through but for sharing your experience with all of us.

  221. Holly W says:

    What a brave thing to do – share your story and accompanying photos! I so appreciate your courage! While we are sun-screen wearers, it takes a while each early spring (like now) to remember to start using habitually again. I’m marching outside right now to grab my son and make sure he puts on sunscreen. You have healed beautifully. Thank you for the poignant reminder.

  222. SO glad you had it looked at! I’m older than you are and I know that our parents back then had no information about how important sunscreen was. Every summer I burned and blistered. I’ve only had a few very short phases in my life where I even cared about a “tan”, and though I have loved how it looked, I know in the future the wrinkles are not worth it, not to mention skin cancer! But your doctor did a beautiful job and I’m so glad you are healing! Thank you for sharing your story!

  223. McKinlay Otterson says:

    Darling Mel. I am so so sorry that this happened, but thank you so much for sharing this with us!! I am only 18 but I look at your blog daily and have made countless of your recipes, all of which I love and have worked perfectly 🙂 In fact, I just had some friends over today and we made 2 of your recipes and I was raving to them that you are the best food blog in the world and that you have every and any recipe that you could ever want. So I just want you to know that I admire you and think very highly of you and that you are so incredibly talented!!! So thank you. And I’m so glad you’re okay and that you’re healing up nicely. This has also changed my perspective on the importance of sunscreen and how important it is to protect your skin. So thank you thank you!! And you will be in my prayers.

  224. Patricia says:

    I’m one of your blog followers (love it) and as a teenager from the 60’s have so far, survived tanning with baby oil and iodine…but not unscathed! Basal & Squamous Cell Carcinomas are now part of my ongoing medical saga. Congratulations & THANK YOU for sharing your recovery photos. Heeding the warnings without visual proof is difficult. You are beautiful!!

  225. Amy says:

    Holy cow, Mel! That could not have been an easy post to write, and it certainly wasn’t easy to live. I’m glad you’re recovering and I appreciate your willingness to do something so uncomfortable in an effort to help others.

  226. Kate says:

    Oh Mel, I’m so sorry you had to go through that! What a tough trial, especially for a woman. I mean, we’re already naturally self conscious and things like that can just make it so much harder to feel normal and fit in. Glad you caught it and that the worst is behind you now. You are beautiful! I’m always grateful you share your amazing cooking talents with so many 🙂

  227. Kristine says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this! I, too, went to the Dr. last fall for something else but he zeroed in on a spot on my upper arm – half the size of a pencil eraser top. It turned out to be melanoma. Huge, huge scar later (makes your scar look quite dainty and pretty!), I’m intentionally educating, while inevitably scaring and disgusting my family, on the danger of skin cancers, covering up and getting check ups. Your son was able to kindly articulate his ambivalence. The first time I wore a short sleeve top my little 3 yr old granddaughter worriedly pointed to my owie. I explained that it was all better now and didn’t hurt any more. She gagged and asked me, with her hand covering her mouth, to cover it up. Ha ha – and I thought it was beginning to look better! It’s all ok, though. We’ll wear our scars proudly as proof that we’re survivors. Well, maybe not proudly, but we’re alive to tell the tale.
    P.S. Love your blog and many if your recipes are staples in our house!

  228. Erika says:

    Mel, I’m so glad that you have healed so well. Two years ago I was diagnosed with basal cell on my chest, in that nice little triangle on our chest that is exposed to all the sun. I now have a nice 3 inch scar that I refer to as my catapiller. While it was scary I know it could of been so much worse, thank you for sharing your story…

  229. Maryh says:

    Thank you for sharing with us. You look fabulous and in such a short time too! (I’m sure it seemed like forever to you) Divine intervention for sure. I will be extra sun cautious because of it.
    I love your blog and recipes. I check it out daily because I can always, always count on everything you make to be fabulous. After many years of being yeast bread incompetent I have finally mastered fluffy wheat dinner rolls because of you. Thanks Mel, we love you!!!

  230. Allie says:

    I am so glad you told your story! I too have dysplastic nevi and have to go to dermo twice yearly. I am so glad you asked your questions and were your own medical advocate! GO YOU! The healing looks great, and all I wish is that we were neighbors so I could’ve fed you those two weeks! Glad you’re ok!!! I had no idea you had a cancer situation years ago as well. Was that skin cancer too?

  231. Pam says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this; especially the pictures. Everybody is scared of cancer surgery, because to save your life you have to let a doctor cut on you until the bad stuff is out, however much that might be. We think of it as a horror that can’t be overcome, so we don’t go to the doctor. Your post helps us see that it is so hard and scary and bad, but in the end, we can heal and be ok. I am amazed at your doctor, pulling skin from all around your face to close in the gaps, and voila, you have your face again. xoxoxo

  232. Teri Larsen says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry you had to go through that! My 13-year-old son just had a partial rhinoplasty to fix a broken septum (thank you, recess football game!) – on his birthday, no less – and it’s just no fun to endure surgery of any kind on your face! He will have to do another surgery in a few years to fully fix the damage.

    So glad you are healing up and want to share your experience…very scary!

  233. Gloria Barnhouse says:

    Hi Beautiful Mel, I know exactly how you felt because a few years the same thing happened to me. Just a tiny little scab that would heal and then come back. The Dr, didn’t think it was anything but they too did the MOHS checking it out and after 5 hours on the table they found basel cell and squamas cell carcinoma both in my nose. I looked like you with the bandage, It was terribly painful but he used stitches that don’t show anymore. I am sorry you had to go through that but you are looking wonderful. Best of luck in the future.

  234. Lauren says:

    I remember a while back you mentioned a skin ordeal on your face – that you were going through – & am so glad you followed up with this thorough, pictures included, powerful msg. If there’s one person I trust completely about all the important things, it’s you. Thank you for bringing home such important info. I’m going to be paying close attention to all things sun starting now. Plus, I’m forwarding this to my sun goddess daughter, too, as someone else mentioned. You spurred on great suggestions by your readership, also, & for that I’ll be forever grateful. I took notes when I read through the comments, after being in tears seeing what you went through. Now I am in absolutely awe seeing that you currently look more beautiful than ever.

  235. Andrea says:

    How scary! I’m so glad you posted this, because I could totally see myself ignoring a spot like the one you ended up getting checked, and I’m sure there are many others in the same boat. I really appreciate your willingness to share and be vulnerable. Your face is healing so nicely, though! I was surprised to see how far the healing had come in such a short period of time.

    By the way, I don’t comment often, so while I’m here I should tell you that I just love your blog. My sisters and I were talking about it, actually, a couple of weeks ago, and we all agreed that your blog is awesome not only because of the amazing recipes and pretty photos but because it’s fun to read, too. Your voice and humor really come through in your writing. Thanks for being such an all-around delightful person! 🙂

  236. Aimee says:

    Wow, Mel! Thank you so much for sharing this story. What a scary experience to go through. I’m so glad that your healing has progressed well so far and I think it’s absolutely wonderful that you are taking this opportunity to encourage others to practice smart sun safety.

    Please, PLEASE, if you haven’t already, check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to sun safety and sunscreens. I’ve been a borderline obsessive sunscreen wearer for most of my life, but in recent years have learned that not all suncreens are created equal and many actually may do more harm than good. In fact, my preferred sunscreen for many years has consistently been rated by the EWG as one of the most harmful, which is quite scary to think about. There’s a wealth of information on their site. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

    http://www.ewg.org/sunsafety/
    http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/

  237. Also Mel says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you! But I’m glad it’s healing well – it already looks great! You don’t know me, but I check your blog so often my husband thinks I’m obsessed. But does he complain? No. Because he knows pretty much every meal and dessert I’ve made for him for the past almost two years has come from your blog – and he loves them (obviously, so do I)! Thank you so much for what you do. I hope you continue to have a great, complication-free recovery!

  238. rebecca says:

    you look beautiful Mel! glad you’re on the mend. any thoughts about a cookbook in the future? I’d buy one for everyone in my family! love to you & your family.

  239. Kate says:

    Mel, thanks for sharing your story. You have healed beautifully!! I have always been good about sunscreen,but this has been a good reminder for me to be more diligent with sunscreen on my kids.

    From another pale-skinned gal,
    Kate

  240. Marlaina says:

    You are awesome! I can’t believe you have still posted recipes! My family really loves your recipes and we have several favorites. I am off to buy some sunscreen now. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It will educate and help many families.

  241. Nikki H says:

    I rarely, if ever, comment here but I felt like I had to chime in. Your scar looks great! Your dr. did such a fantastic job.
    I had a flaky little spot on the end of my nose that wouldn’t heal, and after having it frozen off and reappearing, my dr. did a biopsy. Yep, it was a squamous cell carcinoma. It was about the size of a pencil eraser. I had MOHS done and she took out a crater a little smaller than a dime, but she only had to go in once. The skin graft came from behind my ear. I had to keep it covered for 8 weeks and a bandaid wasn’t large enough, so I had to use white gauze and medical tape. It looked like I had just had a nose job. I feel lucky. I haven’t decided if I’m going to have dermabrasion to smooth it out, but the surgeon has offered to do that as part of the follow-up. The tip of my nose is a little flat, and isn’t the same texture now and it kind of bothers me, but probably isn’t as noticeable as I think it is. This is the 7th or 8th squamous cell carcinoma I’ve had removed, but only the first time I’ve had MOHS. I do go in every 6 mos. and get a pretty thorough check-up.
    On a little different note, I was prescribed zyclara (an imiquimod cream) which is applied topically to areas that have been exposed to the sun. I did the regular treatment–1 “pump” of zyclara that I applied to my chest every night for two weeks, then off for two weeks, then again for two weeks. It is supposed to make potential skin cancers come to the surface, then scab up and fall off. I had what the dr. called a “robust” effect. My whole chest was covered in scabs. They were painful and sore and my chest still is scarred. I finished up mid-December. After seeing my chest, the dr. decided that I’m NOT to apply to my face as planned, but do a 1 week on, 1 week off, 1 week on application to my hands and wrists. We’ll see what happens. I didn’t mean to be so wordy or write a novel here, but it’s interesting to see how many others have experienced something similar. Thanks for letting me share.
    I really enjoy your blog!

  242. Audrey says:

    So I feel like a lot of other people are saying the same things I thought about while I read your post. I’ve never commented on anything on your site but I’ve been coming to your blog and using your recipes for about 5 years now thanks to my sister in law who recommended your site to me. Your recipes have made my husband feel like I’m a good cook and boosted my self esteem in the kitchen and has helped me branch out of my comfort zone and today I’m a better cook for my family because of it, so thank you for that. I know you’re not fishing for compliments but as scary as all of that was your scar is healing so well and am glad that everything has turned out well for you! Thank you for all that you do and share in your blog because I’m sure there’s so many people that come to your site that don’t comment but are appreciative like me.

  243. Julie says:

    I love you. I also love your chocolate fudge sour cream bundt cake.

  244. Ranisa says:

    I had melanoma almost 6 years ago. I am so HAPPY that you shared this! I am doing well. On a side note my cousin had the same thing as you in about the same spot. She is a year out and her scare is barley noticeable. It was super similar to yours. You’ve got this….even better living with a visible scare is a great story-and a way to spread skin cancer awareness. I am really again so so glad that shared your story

  245. Sharon says:

    You are so brave to share this! You are adorable, even with stitches.
    Thank you Mel for your bravery, and humility to be willing to share something so personal as this. God bless your tender heart!

  246. Kellie says:

    I’m so glad you were a ble to get it treated. Your face looks great, and I’m glad you will be around to keep inspiring us in the kitchen!

  247. Kimber says:

    Oh my gosh thank you for this post! I’m 25 with 3 kids and have definitely changed my outlook on sunscreen, you’re post just mademy thoughts more concrete and solid for the summer. I’m so glad you’ve healed so well!

  248. Jill says:

    That healing is incredible! You are so brave. Thank you for posting!

  249. Jennifer says:

    As I started this post, I was really hoping it was just an April fools joke and not really real. Wow! You have been through a lot! And you are still an amazing inspiration to me. I am so very happy you have healed so well and that you have been blessed so immensely. You bless my life more than you know. I am a very dedicated reader, cooker, and sharer of your recipes and I would truly be lost without your inspiration, both in cooking and otherwise. Thank you for sharing and for being you. Always.

  250. Em says:

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing a very personal experience with us. I applaud your courage.

  251. Kelly says:

    You look beautiful. What an ordeal. I found this wonderful product called Scar Go by Home Health. I used it when I had thyroid surgery and it looked like they tried to cut my head off. You cannot even see the scar and it took away any lumpy scar tissue that sometimes happens. Good luck and keep healing.

  252. Amanda says:

    I don’t comment very often but I’m one of your historical followers. Mel, thanks for sharing this with us today. Thanks for using your pain and struggle for raising awareness around skin cancer. Love you even more today. Love and Light 🙂

  253. karina says:

    I don’t comment much, but I love your blog and your recipes! Thanks for sharing your story – too bad I don’t live near you (I’m in Provo) – we could wear large sunhats and long sleeved swim suits together. I always feel a little out of place all covered up while surrounded by people in shorts and t-shirts with no hats. My poor kids get frustrated that I won’t let them outside in the summer between 11 and 4 and they MUST wear a broad brimmed sun hat. Check out coolibar – I love their hats and sunwear. I found it after my own cancer scare. I’m still shocked that I have skin troubles because I started being careful in the sun when I was about 13 (I have scars on my face that made me look funny when I got a tan). I guess there was my childhood running around outside and getting sunburned constantly!

  254. Sandra says:

    Hi,
    You look like you are healing very well -.yay! 🙂
    The following comes from someone who has breast,bone and brain cancer – you never realize that you have even the smallest spec of vanity until you get cancer. It’s very hard to deal with your body/face changing – you lose your breasts,your hair (twice- ugh!) your eyebrows,your eyelashes,etc. I understand the wanting just to be “normal” or wanting normal back but that,s something that never returns-the old normal. The old normal is gone BUT the new normal will keep you here with your husband,your children and your family for a very,very long time. 🙂

  255. Mamalala says:

    Thank you for being so bold and sharing your story. I started wearing sunblock too, but this confirmed that I need to be even better with it. Hugs

  256. Steph says:

    Hi Mel! Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve had to have multiple surgeries for melanoma, so I can sympathize. I’m so glad you are healing well. As a fellow fair skinned gal, I am another person wearing the crazy big sun hat while out and about. Last summer I bought a sun umbrella to carry when I go for walks on my lunch break at work. After a while you really do decide it doesn’t matter if people think you’re crazy for using an umbrella on a sunny day, what matters is staying safe! Take care, and remember you aren’t alone!

  257. Linda says:

    Mel,

    Thank you for sharing your post. I am so sorry that you had to go through that, especially since you were all alone:-( My husband is going to have a “spot” on his nose checked out next month. Hopefully, it will be nothing more them dry skin. You still looked beautiful even with that horrid looking cut and stitches on your face. When I first opened your blog and saw your injury, my first thought was what kind of kitchen tool or appliance did that to your face, and what do I need to know so that doesn’t happen to me!! I’m so glad to see that you are healing so well. You are very brave and courageous and I hope you will be 100% soon! Thanks for all the yummy and mostly easy recipes! Your blog is my favorite !! All the best to you and your family !

  258. Linda Turco says:

    Mel,

    Thank you for sharing your post. I am so sorry that you had to go through that, especially since you were all alone:-( My husband is going to have a “spot” on his nose checked out next month. Hopefully, it will be nothing more them dry skin. You still looked beautiful even with that horrid looking cut and stitches on your face. When I first opened your blog and saw your injury, my first thought was what kind of kitchen tool or appliance did that to your face, and what do I need to know so that doesn’t happen to me!! I’m so glad to see that you are healing so well. You are very brave and courageous and I hope you will be 100% soon! Thanks for all the yummy and mostly easy recipes! Your blog is my favorite !! All the best to you and your family !

  259. Stacy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so with your little boy that said it gives his tummy the jigglie, however, your recovery progress is just amazing! I will be showing this to my husband as he works construction outside all day long and refuses to wear sunscreen.

  260. Vickie says:

    Wow! So sorry that you have had to go through this scary ordeal. It took a long time, but you are looking great in that last picture. Thank you for the warning and reminder. Unlike most of your other commenters, I have NOT been good at all about using sunscreen on myself or my children. So yes, you reached someone who really did need a wake up call. I’m going to change my ways and start saving our skin.

    Also, thank you for all of your great recipes. You are my favorite go-to blog for good recipes. Although I have yet to make quinoa. Maybe I should get on that one too. 🙂

  261. Linda Turco says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, your experience and the photos. My husband has an appointment to have a “spot” checked out on his nose next month. Hopefully it won’t be more then dry skin. I know this post will help others to find cancer earlier so thank you. I have to say, you were still beautiful even with that horrid cut and stitches on your face! When I first opened your blog and saw your injury, my first thought was what kitchen tool or appliance did that to your face, and what do I need to know so that never happens to me! I am so sorry that you had to go through that all by yourself You are one brave and courageous woman! I am so happy to see how well you are healing and hope you will be 100% soon. It is miraculous how our bodies heal. Thanks for sharing yummy and awesome recipes. Your blog is my favorite! All the best to you and your family, and thanks again for sharing your story.

  262. Leeann says:

    Oh Mel, I know exactly what you have been through! I was diagnosed with basal cell on the same spot of my nose almost 20 years ago, before MOHS surgery; I was 34. Needless to say, it kept recurring, although the edges were always clear when the surgeries were done. (It would come back every 6 months!) I finally had all of the skin from the right side of my nose removed and a double-flap graft done taking the skin over from the left side to the right. I had an incision that made me look like I had gone through a windshield! (Luckily after so many surgeries and remembering everything although I was given medication, my doc used an anesthesiologist for the last surgery. Those 60 sticks with a needle in the nose to numb it are horrible!) Okay, now I have not had any further cancer on my face and I credit that to wearing a hat all of the time and using Eucerin face moisturizer with 30 SPF. I also sat under an umbrella with a hat on during my kids’ ball games, doctor’s orders! Now I enjoy my grandchildren’s games and running, always with sunscreen. I also found that using vitamin E oil on the scar was much more effective than any other scar cream. Most people can’t tell I had extensive surgery and I am grateful I had a great doctor. We live in Arizona and I tell everyone to wear sunscreen. Every missionary that comes into our ward receives a stern lecture if I see them with a sunburn! Thank you for sharing your story. I know you will help many people. Thank you!

  263. Trisha says:

    You are an angel. Thank you for sharing this. I know it changed the way I think about my own skincare (I am usually vigilant with the kids sunscreen and quickly slap some on myself – but not careful enough with my own). Now I am determined to just keep sunscreen with me in my “outing bag” when we go out. Thanks again for sharing! You really are an angel! And you have healed beautifully!

  264. Oh, MEL! I’m so sorry to hear all of this! But thank you for sharing. I have gotten into a bad habit of only wearing sunscreen on part of my body when I’m out on walks. I even tell myself ‘yay vitamin D!’ But you’re so right–we all need to cover up, all the time! There are too many sweet babies we need to mother to mess around!
    Let us know if you need anything! I wish you were my neighbor so I could bring you food 🙂

  265. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing something so personal. It’s always good to be reminded about sun exposure. The pictures really make it more real. I have been more lax over the years with sunscreen for myself (not my children, they are always drenched in the stuff all summer long). I will defiantly be changing my ways! You have made a difference today with this post. Thank you!! The body has such an amazing way of healing itself, I can’t believe how quickly you have healed! You look amazing!
    I have been following your blog for a few years, I have loved all the recipes I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot!). You are amazing in the kitchen.

  266. Melanie says:

    Oh Mel I’m so sorry! My mom had the same kind a few years ago and it’s nasty stuff. It was around Halloween and she joked and took it in stride making it her “costume”. Healthy wishes for you and proud of you for sharing! You are as beautiful as ever! Take care <3

  267. Jenissa says:

    You are so sweet Mel. So sorry you’ve had to deal with this. Bless your heart. I don’t know you personally but your blog has turned my kitchen upside down (in a good way). My family will be forever indebted to you for that! One small suggestion? I’m quite the stickler for sun exposure in my family (trying to make up for years of tans in my youth) and I would absolutely love it if you did a “favorite things” blog post on your favorite tried and true sun protection products…from sunscreen to wide brimmed hats to rash guards, etc. Both for you and your kiddos. I would love your opinions!

  268. Janet says:

    Mel, I’m very empathetic for what you have gone through, God bless you.
    I just put face sunscreen on my need list because you were brave and shared.
    My daughter just had basil cell removed from her face, she said it hurt like the dickens for days and days. Hers was near her neck.

  269. Brooke says:

    I am so sorry! I tell everyone you are my best friend blogger. I will pray for you and your family. Cancer super sucks. I am so glad they got a margin. Love you! Thanks for all you do.

  270. Cindy says:

    My sister had a similar experience on her forehead. It was shocking. We aren’t sun bathers either, but grew up on property in florida, and were always outside playing something or other. Thank you for sharing your experience and reminding us all to take care of this one body we have.

  271. Auntiepatch says:

    After following you for years, I was just wondering last week why I hadn’t seen any posts from you. You are one brave woman to put those pictures out there for everyone to see! And sharing your story with all of us will give some that extra push to their doctor’s office to have that “little” bump or scab looked at “just in case”. So, I’m taking the time to thank you in advance, for all of us who might be saved because you took the time to share, and scare us into action, with your selfies. Blessings on you and your family.

  272. Terri A. says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. My doctor recently told me I should go have an all over check at the dermatologist. I, too, was a non-sunscreen user in my teens and 20s and had many burns. You’ve inspired me to call the doctor on Monday and make an appointment. BTW, the doctor did a great job with your stitches. You can hardly see where they were!

  273. Jo says:

    I had a small spot of Basal Cell removed from my nose about 15 years ago.

  274. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  275. Jenni says:

    Thanks so much Mel for your vulnerability in sharing your experience. I take it as a good warning as it runs in my family. I remember my grandfather on his death bed with half a nose. I’m so glad you’re feeling better about it all now. We are blessed by all your recipes. I hope you experience a return on your investment in this blog in many ways!

  276. Stacy says:

    Thank You for sharing Mel! Very brave of you! Unfortunately this is the 4th time I’ve heard this story from people I know, well I don’t really know you, but you know what I mean. Young people. Very scary.

  277. Tanya H. says:

    I have the same cancer history as you and just discovered a new nodule on my vocal cord (along with a vicious family history)…it’s nerve wracking, but I’ve been offered, and will take, genetic testing to see what I’m most at risk for going forward and how best to protect and screen myself.
    It was a shock having cancer in my thirties, even though I’d lost a good friend to breast cancer just before diagnosis. It can happen to everyone, and I’m sure your message will make a difference to someone.

  278. Katie Parry says:

    I just wanted to say I love you! Thank you for everything you do for my family and I! We are truly blessed by following your blog!

  279. Joanne says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. You look wonderful…and of course, you are now healthy which is the most important. I just took a friend for surgery for the same sort of thing on her cheek this week. I am going to send her a link to this blog post so that she can read about your journey. Wishing you continued good health.

  280. Julie B. says:

    Mel, I read your blog everyday, your recipes are my go-to’s. Thank you for sharing your story. Hearing about your journey with skin cancer is stark reminder that we all need to be vigilant. I am with you– wide brimmed hat, umbrella, long-sleeved bathing suit, head to toe sun screen and all! Take good care.

  281. Ketz says:

    Dear Mel,
    Thank you so so much for sharing this, it is so very important and I know I have neglected putting cream under the sun as well as my family…this will change now !
    God bless you, you are so incredible and such an inspiration to me…not only in cooking ! =)
    Praying for you and thinking of you
    Lots of love and have a great w/e

  282. Pam says:

    Dear Mel,
    You are brave and beautiful and such an inspiration! Thank you for all you do.

  283. Beth W. says:

    Well. That made me cry. I feel like a best friend has had a serious illness for months and I didn’t know about it. You are a staple in our household. There is only one Mel around here. I wish I could have shipped you a meal or 10. I am so grateful your healing, although painful physically and mentally has been wretched, I am so thankful the scarring is so minimal. Thank you for sharing your story. It is something I do not take seriously enough for myself, also being a 70’s/80’s gal who tans gloriously. My kids and husband do not though and I am vigilant about their sunscreen. I will try to do better for myself because of you. I will also make my husband a dermatology appointment this week. I just educated my pale youngest with your photos…you will be happy to know I showed her your most recent photo first (as she gets jiggly tummy too) and she said “I don’t see anything, what are you showing me?” Then I scrolled up. It made an impression. Thanks for sharing your story with us. You may have just saved some lives. Love to you and your family.

  284. Kim says:

    Mel, I’m a long time reader but this is my first comment – thanks for being brave and sharing this story. My dad had a similar experience a few months ago, and it’s very sobering to say the least. Sending good vibes for continued healing and health. I appreciate your courage and your message!

  285. Robin says:

    Dear Mel, Ever since I found one of your curry recipes online, your blog is the only cooking blog I subscribe to. This is because I can count on your recipes to be tasty and not too complicated. I enjoy your writing and even if I am not interested in a particular recipe I enjoy reading what you have to say. It was brave of you to share your story in order to help others. Thank you for this story and all the others you share as you tell us about cooking.

  286. Holly says:

    My mom is a melanoma survivor (had a mole in her late teens), and last year had a basal cell carcinoma on her nose as well and her experience with the skin graft, etc. sounds like exactly what you went through. It was so hard in her emotionally, and she still talks about it months later. I’ve been going to the dermatologist for years since my family history is not in my favor, and since I, too, wasn’t careful in my 20’s. Now a hat is mandatory everytime I spend time outside, and Eurcerine body lotion with SPF is a good base for every day, but sunscreen is added when there is extended time outside. Thanks for sharing your pics. I live far away from my mom, and she was so self conscious about going out after her surgery, but I really didn’t understand how it looked. Fingers crossed for both of us going forward!

  287. Stacy says:

    Thank you for the advice to lather up my kids! I am really bad about that. I am sorry you had to go through this. Glad you are healing and spreading awareness 🙂

  288. Dana says:

    Oh, Mel, I love you!! I wish I could hug your neck!

  289. Emma says:

    You look beautiful! What an amazing gift our bodies are! Thank you for sharing this. I got a little emotional empathizing with your feelings throughout this. Thanks for the reminder.

  290. Leah says:

    Thank you for sharing this. You’ve healed so beautifully. Your website has been such a gift to me and my family (sitting down to a yummy dinner with teenagers is priceless) and this is just one more gift. Thank you for the reminder.

  291. Molly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been going back and forth over whether to see a dermatologist about a spot on my nose…I made an appointment yesterday after reading this! You healed up beautifully. Thanks also for a wonderful blog – its my favorite!

  292. Cathy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am certain you’ve learned so much about yourself and being healed in so many different ways. 😀 I love you!

  293. Melanie says:

    Thank you for using your platform to promote safe sun use! My father is a melanoma survivor–one of the blessed few. It was an eye opener for all of us. I must admit, following the sunscreen recommendations for children is a daunting task: getting them to hold still, applying the recommended amount (which is copious), and reapplying every 2 hours they are in the sun is a time, sanity, and money drainer. I do the best I can: we stay in the shade most of the time, which thankfully is not hard on our tree-laden acreage. I feel sorry for the mamas who have little shade to hide their kids under 🙁 On another note, what an ordeal you went through, especially when you weren’t prepared mentally for that. You still look beautiful.

  294. Bearsmama says:

    Mel,

    Thanks sooooo very much for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you had to go through this, but feel so fortunate to read your reminders about safe sun care. I had a BCC on my face treated about 6 years ago. Thankfully, no MOHS surgery, but treatment nonetheless. It was a bit of a wake up call for me about being more diligent about using my SPF.

    I’m so happy to read (and see!) how well you’re healing. I’ve contacted you before about how much I adore your blog (I have a family where we all eat differently and your recipes work well for us). I’m a big fan and thrilled to hear that you’re feeling better.

    Continued healing & best wishes,
    Beth

  295. Sue says:

    I love your delicious blog with all the wonderful recipes. What’s more important though is that I admire your bravery in exposing all the pictures along with your experiences of dealing with a dangerous cancerous growth. Kudos and accolades to you for sharing all this information. My appointment to the dermatologist is coming up in 2 weeks. I hope others do the same. Thanks so much Mel and best of luck to you.

  296. Lachelle says:

    Thanks for your story. May the Lord bless you as you continue to heal. And, thanks always for all your wonderful recipes.

  297. Marsali says:

    You are so beautiful. Truly, I’m crying a bit. Thank you for sharing this online – that took a lot of courage.

  298. Julia says:

    Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. I had the same experience last fall but in my hair part. I thought I had a blemish that would not go away. My dermatologist looked at it and did a biopsy immediately and it was basal cell carcinoma. The MOHS surgeon was able to remove all the bad cells leaving a two inch scar. I used sunscreen but never thought to put it on my scalp. The surgeon said I was fair, blonde and my fine hair didn’t do me any favors. Hopefully your readers will tell other people and make everyone more aware of the early warning signs and what we can all do to prevent skin cancer. My dermatologist recommended a tinted sunscreen that adds a little color to my face, even when I don’t use makeup that contains sunscreen. Thank you again for sharing and keep those regular dermatologist appointments. You have healed beautifully!

  299. Wendy Steenblik says:

    I’m new to this website and already love the things I’ve tried. Thank you for sharing your story and the pictures. It takes a lot of courage to post your story. In the velveteen rabbit story, the toys didn’t become real until their hair was loved off and they were well used. I feel like the older I get the more “real” I’m becoming. Take care and know that all of us out here reading your blog will be the other ones on the lake with big straw hats and lots and lots of sunscreen.

  300. Betty says:

    Thank you so much for courageously sharing your story! Best wishes for continued healing!

  301. Barbara says:

    I don’t usually post, but I had to reply to this.

    I am NOT a vain person but in 2002 I had a lot of skin tags around my neck and other spots. They would catch on a fine chain I wore. So I went to the dermatologist. He got rid of the skin tags, but he also checked me out. There was a black round spot right in the middle of my back. Looked nothing like the skin cancer pictures. He did a biopsy and it turned out to be malignant melanoma. Thankfully, he just had to remove it and that was it.

    Moral of the story, go see a dermatologist. You never know.

    Barbara

  302. Christine Hull says:

    Wow! You just scared me into making a dermatologist appointment for myself! I had a doc (a few years ago) remove my basal cell mole but I never got the MOHS surgery. He just removed it, sent it to the lab and then had his nurse call me back to let me know that it was basal cell. Should I go back in and see if there is more basal cell on my skin? I thought I was good…

    • Amy says:

      You healed really well! That must have been scary for you. Thank you for sharing, I think I’ll call my dermatologist for a check up!

    • Jenny says:

      I work for a derm, so if they didn’t have you come back for further removal than most likely all the cancer cells were removed with the first biopsy. BUT…having said that since you made a BCC then it’s an indication that your skin has reached enough sun exposure to do so and you may very well make more BCCs which is the reason why regular check ups (every 6-9 months) are so valuable in catching it early. 🙂

  303. Danielle says:

    Thank you! I am grateful for your candid sharing and so sorry you had to go through all that…!! I really think it is great you shared and recently just got some good face moisturizer with spf and agree with you on the big hats and such. Last summer I wore a long sleeved rash guard swimsuit and loved it…I wish I would have known all this 20 years ago…:) thank you again!

  304. Susan M. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are an inspiration and sharing this has helped many including me! A great reminder to all of us to take care of ourselves! You look amazing and wishing you continued recovery!

  305. Stephanie says:

    I’ve never left a reply on a blog before, but this post compels me to do so! I have been postponing a dermatology appointment … too busy, not important enough, etc. However, I have a large history of melanoma in my family. Thank you for being candid. It’s the push I needed.

  306. Kristine J says:

    Mel-Thank you so much for sharing! I had basal cell carcinoma on a chicken pox scar that kept opening up. I went in to have it removed and they called later in the week and said that it was larger than anticipated, and that I would need MOHS surgery. Luckily, they were able to get it after the first removal. I was only 37 at the time, and I still have a scar on my forehead with bumps on the top and bottom from the opening they cut to open it up. It doesn’t bother me as much anymore, but is my new normal, along with one eyebrow that makes me look like I’m mad all the time;) Your scar healed up beautifully, and what a blessing to have checked. I would also love a “favorite things” (as another commenter mentioned) on your favorite sunscreens, sun hats, and long-sleeved swimsuits. Thank you for all you do and share, you are amazing:)

  307. meg says:

    Bless you, dear Mel! I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this, but your story really is just the push my husband and I need to make an appointment with the dermatologist to check out our moles! Thanks for being so brave and vulnerable in sharing your story! You are, as always, the best!!

  308. Tricia says:

    I honestly thought you were going to say you had an accident with your pressure cooker!!! I am so sorry about this!! Scary and concerning for sure. I just had 6 moles removed and a few were precancerous a few years back. I lived in a tanning bed during my high school years and early college. Did you know Ohio has more per capita than any other state mainly because of how overcast it is here? Well I had been really good about sunscreen since then for a while then I totally dropped the ball. I have a 5yr old, 3, 2 and 5mo old so I was too lazy saying how can I possibly put it on them all the time every time they want to go out which is every day? But your post has certainly made me realize I better come up with a plan of action – for my children and for myself (I have a huge flower garden that I spend a lot of time in). I do want to thank you for your website. I’m a busy homeschooling mom and last year was overwhelmed with doing the basics…cleaning and cooking. Flylady helped with the former and you have been a God-send with the latter. Christmas dinner which I hosted was all you. As was Easter. We have not eaten out one time since the first of the year and I thank you so much for the time you spend to post (and not OVERpost!). For simple yummy healthy recipes. Breads, desserts, mains, sides, tips and how-to’s…thank you from the bottom of my heart for modeling for me what I’ve always wanted to do for my family. they thank you too:). From a loyal new follower:).

  309. Lindsay says:

    I’m so sorry Mel! This was really vulnerable and brave of you to share. It must have been so scary, and also hard waiting for things to heal. Thanks for being willing to share to try to help others! It also helps us as readers to connect with you. I have a couple of moles I think I’ll get checked!

  310. Lisa Rivera says:

    Mel, you are amazing. You inspire me to serve my family yummy, healthy food and to enjoy my life as a mother and wife. Thank you for sharing yourself on such a personal level. Although you do not know me, you have been known by first name in our house for years now. You look beautiful! The body is an amazing thing that really does heal so miraculously.

  311. Tonia says:

    Amazing! Divine intervention indeed! Always go with your gut, even if it feels a bit silly.

  312. Melanie B says:

    Mel, you look great! What a miracle you caught it when you did and another miracle that you healed up so nicely. You continue to inspire me in so many ways! Thanks for keeping it real on your blog!

  313. Pat says:

    So sorry you had to go through all of this. But, I am grateful you asked, that you had a good doctor who knew how to help you, and that God was watching over you.

  314. Pam says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. If you can save one life or prevent skin cancer by your story, you’ve done well. I am glad everything is okay! Happy and healthy thoughts are sent your way! <3

  315. Irene says:

    I have never left a post, always come to you when I’m stuck for an idea for dinner. I felt that I must leave a comment this time. Mel, you are truly brave and inspirational. Thank you for sharing something so personal. If it helps just one person to stop putting off that appointment with their doctor, or a reminder how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, it is so worth it. You are very beautiful (from one non-makeup wearing gal to another)….wishing you a speedy recovery. You are a life saver….more than you know! Big hugs! Thank you again.

  316. Ryan says:

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I’m glad they got you taken care of. Also, your doctor did a wonderful job. That’s a lot of potential scar tissue and I wouldn’t have noticed any of it just looking at the last picture. Thank you for sharing.

  317. Liz says:

    Knowing you, you have probably already done a ton or research on sun protection, but if you would like some help deciphering all those products out there, as a pharmacist I would be happy to help. Thanks for all you do!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Liz – thanks for the comment. It took me a while to read through all the comments on that post and I wanted to respond to yours because I actually would love at little help! I’ve done hours and hours and hours of research as well as talked to all my doctors and several family members who are doctors and to be honest, I’m still a little uncertain. Do you have any insight into the controversy between mineral-based sunscreens and chemical-based? The minute I think I will only use mineral-based for the rest of forever (even though they are less idea because of the white layer and inability to absorb), I read or hear something that some of the controversy is focusing on scare tactics and “regular” sunscreens may not be that bad. If you have any light to shed on the best sunscreens to use, I’d love it. Thank you so much!

      • Shan says:

        Hi Mel, I’m so sorry about your experience with a skin cancer! It can be scary. I work for a dermatologist currently and we recommend sunscreens with zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a “physical blocker” meaning the sun rays essentially “bounce off” your skin whereas chemical blockers are absorbed and they break the UV rays before they reach your genetic material. Zinc oxide blocks the largest amount of UV rays and therefore provides the greatest protection. 🙂 My moisturizer has a sunscreen already in it which makes my skincare regimen in the morning that much easier! I use Elta UV daily and I love it! Thanks for sharing your story!

        • Heather says:

          Mel, It would be great if there was a guest post on sunscreens, what to look for and the difference! I also had a basal cell carcinoma. It was removed off my lip. It took me 5 years to go back to have it checked though. I was “busy” being a mom. I just recently went back and got a clean bill.

  318. Heidi H. says:

    Mel, did I ever tell you that you’re my hero? Thanks for being real and sharing such an important life lesson with us. I have two littles and I promise I will be so much more careful now. Thank you and God bless!!

  319. Julie says:

    Mel,
    I have enjoyed your blog over the years, but have never written. Wish I had known the struggles you were going through so I could have kept you in prayer! So sorry you had to go through it all! The extent of the cancer growing under the surface must have been shocking!

    I am so pleased for you and what a great job your doctor did to free you from cancer and save your beautiful face! I can’t even imagine how scared you must have felt post operation, with all those stitches! Thank you so much for sharing your story and the photos!

    Blessings to you and your family!
    Julie

  320. Kayla says:

    Thanks for this post. I needed a boost to keep up with skin protection with the weather warming and keeping up with littles who love to be outside.

  321. Angie F. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing such a terrifying yet personal experience. I know many will take this lesson to heart and I’m certain it will help those who have been delaying a doctor’s visit. I have always enjoyed your cooking blog – not only for the cooking, but for the genuine person you are. I really am amazed at how well you have healed!

  322. Kristi says:

    Oh Mel! What an ordeal! Thank you for the warnings and I will definitely be taking sun care more seriously! I have a wicked case of melasma that never goes away, and I’m super self conscious about it. You’ve also inspired me to pay a visit to a dermatologist. Thanks for the heads up, your stitches healed beautifully!

  323. Eniko Blanchette says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. We just had a scare with my husband in January. A little spot on his chest turned out to be melanoma, caught it early..leaving a two inch reminder. This has opened our eyes, having been sunworshippers growing up on the beach. Your site is my “Go To” if I need a quck, easy, great dish. Sending you prayers for quick healing and recovery.

  324. Deb says:

    Oh Mel, you are golden! Not only do you offer up delicious family meals, and wonderful tips for children’s gifts and toys, all while raising a busy family, you are courageous enough to share something very difficult and scary for you personally. I am so very thankful you checked it out and did what was necessary! You are lovely through and through. I thank God for another loving Mother raising a family.

  325. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Skin cancer is very scary stuff.

  326. Adrienne says:

    Mel I’m so glad you are ok! Thanks for sharing your story. So much love to you and your family.

  327. Allyson says:

    Your healing has been REMARKABLE!!! Wow!! Thank you for sharing – we needed to hear it. (((Hugs))) my friend.

  328. Ashlee says:

    Wow Mel. That’s scary but I’m so glad it’s healed well. I’m a nazi on sunscreen with my kids but I’m there with not having it much as a kid myself. You’re brave!

  329. Thank you for sharing this. And I’m so glad you’re healing so well!
    I was scared into wearing a hat and more sunscreen a few years ago (nothing as serious as what happened to you), but I stupidly have slacked off as the years go by. Not any more! Thank you for the important reminder.

  330. Chris R. says:

    So glad the healing has gone well. I had almost the same surgery/scar on my nose for the very same reason about 3 years ago. It’s pretty hard to see now, but I always wear a hat and sunscreen now. Not a fun thing to go through. A reminder like yours is good to remind everyone it can happen to them. Thanks for posting about this.

  331. Bruce says:

    Love and prayers Mel!!! Miss you and your family so much. We had a struggling young man over to watch General Conference today and made him your Green Chili Enchiladas and I told him about you and your cool family, and now I read this.
    I have had a few basal cell and squamous cell spots taken off my noggin over the past few years and will need to be very vigilant myself.

  332. Moriya Olsen says:

    I have been the beneficiary of your blog for a couple of years now! I’ve never commented but feel impressed to do so. Your blog is amazing. You are amazing. I love your sense of humor, your amazing example of serving your family and for sharing your story. You have healed beautifully and I appreciate the reminder to take care of myself and family better. I have loved ALL your wonderful recipes and great tips in the kitchen. Your blog greatly blesses me and my family. I’m so glad you are healing well and thanks again for sharing your story! You are an inspiration and I’m grateful to have found your blog.

  333. Mollie says:

    Oh, Mel! I can’t hardly believe all the while you were going through all this you were just acting happy and sharing great recipes with all of us. You are so brave to share your story (and go through everything!) and you have inspired me! I put sunscreen on before my run this morning, which is not my habit. I just want to reach out through the internet and give you a giant hug. Love you!

  334. Anji Marx says:

    Wow, that was an amazing story to go with those scary photos. You have been through a lot and I admire your strength. Thank you for sharing this story. I had a golf ball sized lump removed back in November that was not cancerous. But it had grown over the years and I am grateful to have it gone. Its still frightening the odd things our bodies can do. I appreciate your post, its a very personal thing to share with all your readers. We love you here in my house, your famous. And now I think I will go make an appointment to see a dermatologist!

  335. Paula says:

    I worked for a Dermatologist for many years. It was life changing for me to see how many people (many who were in their 20’s and 30’s) who had developed skin cancer.
    It is wise to to schedule a yearly full body skin check. A good way to remember to schedule an appointment is to call sometime around your birthday each year. Your doctor probably wants you to come in more often due to your skin cancer history.
    Don’t underestimate the amount of sun exposure you get through the drivers side window of the car.
    So glad you were able to catch that when you did. It looks like it is healing up nicely.

  336. Holly says:

    You’re beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I am glad you were able to get it taken care of and were inspired to visit the doctor!

  337. Sheila H. says:

    Knowing how much your readers love you, I do believe that you have touched our hearts and struck a cord with the reality of skin cancer. Seeing someone go through this (even through your blog pics) can be a catalyst for change. Thank you for that. My mom had a chunk of her nose removed the same way and healed as beautifully as you have, so I am the mom who chases her kids with sunscreen and carried a tube of zinc in my purse. Thanks for keeping your blog so real and heartfelt.

  338. Chris H says:

    I am always delighted when your emails pop up in my inbox, and I often go to your website for recipe inspiration. Last Friday, you delivered a different kind of inspiration!
    Thank you for sharing your story, you are an awesome lady!

  339. Lisa D says:

    Mel, thanks so much for sharing this! I feel as though I jump into your kitchen every time I make food from your blog and I felt as though I was just chatting with you in your kitchen again while reading this. You have been through a lot and have healed amazingly well. You would never know this happened based off your recent picture. So glad it all ended well. Thanks for the great post and great reminders!

  340. Kristi says:

    Thank you for sharing, and for the reminders about sunscreen! I am so glad that your story has a happy ending.

  341. Sarah says:

    Mel, thank you so much for this post. My Mom went through a very similar thing, and the body is amazing with how it can heal! Her scar just kept improving over time. I forwarded this to my husband, after years of encouraging him to wear sunscreen. I think your post pushed him over the edge, he is committing to daily sunscreen. I appreciate you and your delicious recipes! 🙂

  342. Staci A. says:

    You healed wonderfully. What a truly amazing example you have been to your children! My wife works for a company dealing with cancer and genetic mutations, it can all be so scary. I admire you so much.

  343. Linda Turco says:

    Mel,

    So sorry about your ordeal. Thanks for sharing your experience and for sharing your photos. I’m sure you’ve helped countless individuals catch their cancer early by sharing your story ! And by the way, you were still beautiful even with that nasty scar on the side of your nose! My husband made an appointment to see a dermatologist next month for a “spot” on his nose. Hopefully, it won’t be cancer? I can’t believe how brave and courageous you were and that you had to go through this all by yourself It is remarkable how quickly and beautifully you’re healing. It really is miraculous how fast our bodies heals ! What a miracle. I wish you all the best going forward and thanks again for the important information and warning. I love your blog and your recipes !! Happy Spring!

  344. Jamie says:

    This is such an important post and I cannot believe how similar our situations are. 5 years ago, a mole on my back turned out to be melanoma. I was 8 mos pregnant and was whisked into emergency surgery a few days later where they removed lymph nodes to test and removed a large portion of my back…I tell my kids the 6 inch by 1 inch scar is a shark bite. Luckily, it turned out to be stage 1, but I have since had a melanoma on my leg and a basal cell under my eye removed by mohs. I just had another basal cell on the left nostril discovered as well that is very small, but I have been putting off having it removed by MOHS until our insurance improves this summer. But your story inspired me to make the appt now so it doesn’t get worse in the meantime, so thank you!!!! And I second everything you say about skin checks and sun prevention! I have never been tanning and always been a stickler about sunscreen. Genetics are huge…everyone should be checked.

  345. Michelle says:

    Mel,
    SO very glad that things turned out as well as they did. I’m sure it was a very difficult ordeal to go through, however, and I give you SUCH credit for sharing your story and for keeping your chin up! It was a long process but the end results look amazing (just like you)! This is a good lesson for everyone so THANKS! (I’ve not blogged before but will take this opportunity to tell you how much I love your site!)

  346. Kajsa says:

    Good to have you back!!!
    My auntie went through something similar a couple of years ago, An emotional rollercoaster as well as much physical pain!!! I really wish all the best for you and your family, and no more cancer!!!!!

  347. Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing! I went through something similar in December 2014. Mine was high up on my cheek, under my eye. I was pregnant at the time too and totally freaked out. I had to wear a bandage on my face for two weeks at work, which was so difficult. And I had a crease in my face that I was positive would never go away. Well, it did, and now you can’t even tell I had anything done. And now I’m very vigilante about sunscreen and time in the sun for me and my kids!

  348. Terry Saunders says:

    You are a rock-star, Mel! And a superhero! Thanks for sharing this.
    Much love, Terry

  349. Angie says:

    Hey Mel! I’m so glad you got that taken care of. And, in my opinion, it healed very nicely. Thank you for sharing.

  350. Cathy Boudreau says:

    This is my first time visiting your site, came here through Pinterest. I read your story with interest, your doc is amazing ! Now you’ve made me think seriously about seeing a dermatologist I too have a few areas to be checked. Funny how you start out about food and end up helping people and possibly saving a life ! Thank you so very much.

  351. Jane says:

    Thanks for this, Mel. I live in New Mexico, Ground Zero for skin cancer. We lost a member of the House of Representatives to squamous cell skin cancer that started on the top of his ear, an area unprotected by most men’s hats. It was an object lesson in being more careful.

    I’m a fitness walker, and I always wear UPF 50 protective clothing and a good sun hat.

    Looking forward to your suggestions.

  352. Alizabeth says:

    Oh sweetie, thanks for sharing. I have two big scars (arm and leg) and appreciate your advocacy. I can’t imagine the pain you experienced due to your location. But I must say, you healed much better than me! Anyway, it’s a lifelong thing. My leg was at age 20 (after I “won” ten free tanning bed treatments), my arm was December 2014, age 32. Again, thanks for sharing! PS can’t wait to try the cookie bars you shared today. Yum!

  353. Jocelyn says:

    You are still amazing and beautiful. Thanks for the sun safety reminder.

  354. Rachel says:

    I love you for posting this!!! Thank you for having courage in order to bless my life and others!!!
    Today, I went to the doctor for something I have been avoiding. Time will tell how it will all work out, but I finally had the courage to set and keep the appointment.
    Good job taking care of yourself and encouraging the rest of us to do the same!
    Thanks for being awesome Mel!!

  355. Scarlett says:

    Thanks you for sharing. I’ve had all three types of skin cancer and falsely thought the only ones I really needed to take seriously were the 3 times they were melanomas. I thought I was well informed but you made me aware that all need to be taken seriously. Good luck in your healing and future skin checks. so glad you have healed so well to date. You look awesome!

  356. Natasha says:

    You look great! It has healed so well! My 89 year old great aunt underwent a similar MOHS procedure last year that was even more extensive. It required a separate surgery where the created a flap on the side of her face that was there for quite awhile. Then she had to have another surgery to attempt to turn the flap back into a nose (they pretty much cut off her entire nostril with the MOHS). As a result, her nose is essentially terribly disfigured. Given her age and the extensiveness of the procedures we did not want to attempt any further procedures for cosmetic reasons, but it is terrible to see her so disfigured. It is a long road, but really, you look great!

  357. Jen D. says:

    It takes a lot of courage to share something like this in the image obsessed world we live in. Thanks for caring about the well being of others so much! And I think you look completely adorable and the scar is not detracting from that in the slightest!!

  358. Aubrie S says:

    Mel, we love you at our house! So glad that you are alright and that you are healing well. Thanks for the tips on keeping safe in the sun!

  359. Emily says:

    There are so many comments to this post that I doubt you’ll get to this one! First off you look amazing and the incisions have healed wonderfully. Merderma is magic in cream form! I hurt my leg a few years ago…like tore all the layers of skin off my shin (no pics to follow). It was a pretty large area on both legs but as soon as it healed I started to use Mederma and now you have to be looking for the scars to find them on my leg. I had to use it two times a day for 18 months but wow…magic.

  360. Misty says:

    I am so grateful you shared your story. I am a mom of 3 and am ashamed at how lax I am with sun exposure. Thank you for helping me to make healthy changes! All my best to you! #youaresobrave

  361. Beverley says:

    Mel, thank goodness everything turned out well and your lovely face it back to normal. What a scare you must of had and glad you are back to your good self xoxo

  362. Annie says:

    While we don’t “know each other” – that is neither here nor there. Because I love you! Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you’re doing better!

  363. Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing your personal story with all of your fans. We ALL need reminded to take this issue more seriously. I am grateful to have read this post. You are beautiful inside & out.

  364. Chrissy says:

    Oh Mel, thanks for sharing your story. I’ve too, had a brush with skin cancer and had a wide excision done near my ankle, also for a mole that I thought was going to be nothing. That was in college, and everything ended up checking out ok (thankfully!), but I won’t lie, I haven’t been back since then for a skin check. Thanks for inspiring me to make an appointment. 🙂

  365. Cindy says:

    Mel,
    Thanks for sharing your story. We had a close friend go through a similar situation this fall. Having grown up in the lake country of Minnesota, I think I will be making that dermatology appointment.

    You are truly beautiful inside and out!

  366. R says:

    My friend just shared this post with me, I have tried looking online for post MOHs treatment and everything was SCARY and extreme and very doom and gloom. So I really appreciate this post so much! My story/background sounds just like yours and I have a blog, too! Except, I just had this done last week, same side of the nose but was able to do the skin graft. They removed the bandage a week later and my nose looks like a scary movie/zombie horror! I have so many mixed emotions, thankful it’s gone and guilty for being so vain! I am so thankful you posted this so that I can have a little more perspective in regards to the healing process! Your nose looks so normal after only a matter of months and it gives me so much hope!! Thank you a thousand times!

  367. Jody says:

    As a fair skinned red head, I have been there, done that. Three big Mohs wounds on my neck left me wishing I should have had a face lift during the surgery. It’s no fun! Glad you are flawless again! Me, too.

  368. Sarah says:

    I had a similar spot on my forehead and it was Squamish cell carcinoma. 27 stitches later, I looked like Frankenstein! I really thought I would be disfigured forever. My Dr. told me most of the damage to my skin happened before I was 18. I slather my kids up with sun screen even if they’re just going out in the backyard.

  369. Candela says:

    Thank you for sharing!! You look as cute as always, honestly… I can’t see the stitches on the last picture. Thank goodness for great doctors! Also, thank you for the reminder. I’m dark skinned and never worry about this (although I should), and it makes me a very forgetful mother when it comes to protecting my children’s skin. My husband is fair skinned, and my children are as well… I need to be better! Thank you again. It must take a lot of gut to share something so personal with all of us, but it can prevent a lot of grief.

  370. Janet says:

    Wow! You are the second person in a weeks time that has shared a scary skin cancer story! Praise God both of you are just as beautiful today as you were before! I really needed to hear/see this as I am wintering in Arizona and have been spending lots of time outdoors and never gave it a thought until now. I will be putting sunscreen on daily from now on, and this summer I will have the grandkids every day and they will also be protected! Thank you so much for sharing something so personal…and scary!

  371. Ellen says:

    Hi, Mel! I’m so glad you highlighted this issue – and that you’re recovery has gone so well (you look beautiful!). My skin is super-sensitive to sunlight, especially my face (due to rosacea). I have product recommendations. Non-chemical sunscreens work great!! They also are gentle to skin. Key ingredients are titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. I use CoTZ Face (spf 40) on my face; they also make a body sunblock (spf 50). Another good face product is Cera Ve Sunscreen (spf 50). Also, California Baby with 11% titanium dioxide is excellent; my whole family uses it. Check out Sun Precautions (for clothing, face masks, scarves, etc.) at http://www.Solumbra.com. I’ve used their products for over a decade. I love your recipes, and owe you big time for all you do. Hope these recommendations help. Best wishes!!

  372. Tina says:

    It is hard to put your pride aside! Be ever diligent even if the doctors say you are in the clear. My best friend’s mother died from Melanoma after a heart wrenching battle of five years. She had a spot removed when we were in high school (around 1992) and then she had another removed six years ago. Her doctor told her he had gotten it all, did a final scan and sent her on her way. However, she then passed out at the wheel while driving. She had cancer in her brain, which wasn’t part of anything scanned from previous skin removals! It has been a tragic loss and I cringe when I think of all the freckles I have from being outdoors all summer as a child. No one is to blame, but it can be prevented. Because of your popular blog, you can be an excellent spokesperson!! Best wishes and prayers!

  373. Marci says:

    Calling the dermatologist today, thank you!

  374. Stacy says:

    Wow, you look so great in your “healed up” picture! I had to have stitches in my face at the age of 19 and I worried too, but I got used to the minor scars and accepted them as part of me. Most people never notice them. Thank you for this article. I’m going to share it with my 19 year old daughter who loves the sun and won’t listen to my warnings. I love your blog. You really make me feel I know you as a person and I’m glad you shared this with all of us readers.

  375. Bridget says:

    So, I also thought I was healing up nicely from surgery on my nose. That is when the plastic surgeon informed me that it takes at least a year for the swelling to go away even if you think you look like you are back to normal. Who knew!!
    Also, my husband and I are both militant on the sunscreen thing since day one with the kids. SPF long sleeve swimsuit and the whole bit. I do the same for myself but cannot get my husband to put on sunscreen. I worry.

  376. Rachel says:

    We are very careful about sunscreen and shade. I’m Hispanic so growing up I’d barely heard of sunscreen but my husband is a red head. For his dad it started with a spot. Last may his father was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. His type had a 98% recovery rate. He died six months later. We are very careful about sunscreen and shade.

  377. EileenQ says:

    I love your blog and thank you for posting this! I too am fair-skinned and burned a lot when I was a kid. I get myself checked often and we are also pretty militant with our kids about sunscreen and hats (more challenging as they enter their teen years, but we do our best). You surgeon did a FANTASTIC job, wow. I can’t even see a scar, despite the close up of your (very pretty) face. You are doing a great service with this post, thank you!

  378. annabel says:

    Bless you, sweetie. We all hurt for you and love you – especially those of us who have had to cope with the cancer issue. I use so many of your recipes and am so thankful for them. Who needs a cookbook? Best of luck and prayers for your continued healing and well-being.

  379. Jen says:

    Thanks Mel! I also have been postponing a visit to the dermatologist to check out a spot. It’s been years and I keep making excuses. Who has time when you have a family to care for? After reading your blog, I finally made the appointment. I will see the doctor tomorrow! Thank you.

  380. Alysa says:

    Oh my goodness! I read your story this morning (ok I skimmed it because yikes!) and have been thinking about it all day. I once heard that the majority of sun damage happens before age 18, and that checks out with what you said about becoming vigilant about sunscreen as an adult. Time to go put some sunscreen on my kids! Thanks for sharing this, Mel.

  381. Angie says:

    Hey Mel, I just wanted to say thankyou for blogging about this serious health scare, I’m so glad it was caught early and that you have healed up so beautifully. I truly love this blog, and I am so grateful to you for the amazing recipes you share. Thanks and I will be more vigilant with the sunscreen from now on!

  382. Mary says:

    What a super reminder I’ll be much more aware – thank you for sharing !!!

  383. Julie says:

    I’m curious which essential oils you used on your scars???

  384. Cyd says:

    Reason 4,552,781 that I like you and your blog. Hang in there!❤️

  385. Ada says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ll have a spot on my cheek checked out later this month thanks to this post!

  386. Donna says:

    One more reason that I like your blog! It was good, and brave of you to share your story, and pictures. I grew up the same lotionless way, and in November had a basal cell removed from the top of my ear. Again, good of you to share, and, you healed beautifully!

  387. Layangi says:

    Dearest Mel,

    It takes someone extra special to be able to deal with something of this magnitude, and then have the courage to share it to help others. You truly are a rock star!

    For all the people whose lives you’ve made happier and healthier may God bless you and protect you and your family!

  388. Kay Anderson says:

    I have never posted before either, but wanted to thank you so much for your post. It’s like the pebble you drop in the water-you never know how many lives you have touched and possibly saved) by being open and honest with your readers.
    I have also had MOHS surgery twice on my face for basal cell and once on my arm for a melanoma that was in situ, caught in the very early stages, in additon to at least 2 dozen other removals over the years. Even with my history, I am still lax about using sunscreen. Thanks for the reminder.

  389. Vickie says:

    You are so brave, thank you for sharing your story with all of us – you are an inspiration and beautiful inside and out.

  390. norene says:

    Thank you, Mel for sharing! We are all thankful you are OK.
    My oldest sister had Basel Cell in the same spot you did. She lost a quarter-sized chunk of her already small nose, plus a ‘forehead flap’ to aid in the healing-not pretty, she thought she looked like a Clingon (?) from Star Trek! She also had a dimed spot taken out on her cheek. I got checked out after that & had 2 small pre-cancerous spots burned off both right & left cheek. Typical little spots that were like a tiny sore or pimple that seemed not to heal=BIG RED FLAG! The last time I was in the sun on purpose without sunscreen was about 1984. The spots were found only 3 years ago at age 50. Staying out of the sun with tons of sunscreen & big hats could not take away damage done many years before. Thanks again, Mel, its a reminder for me to make an appointment to get checked out again!

  391. amanda says:

    I had you in mind all week after reading this and made sure to go get sunscreen for my son. This is the time of year when i always forget to apply it because it’s still a bit cool. So, thank you for the reminder!!!

  392. Diana says:

    Mel,

    This very thing happened to my husband. He looked the same as you. We didn’t plan well either, because we thought this small dot can’t really harm anything. Needless to say it was a giant wound, just as yours. Sadly, we didn’t plan well because our daughters baptism was three days later. He was black, blue, puffy, and had his giant bandage on his nose. Let’s just say the pictures are memorable!!!!!!!! You look amazing, and I want you to know you are doing much good in the world! More than just a food blog.

  393. Betsy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. It was both a reminder and a welcomed wake-up call to protect not just our skin, but our bodies and lives in the choices we make. I am so sorry you went through what you did. Thank you for posting so many pictures! The body is truly amazing in the way it heals, inside and out… though not always at the same pace. You look great! Can’t wait to more recipes, the occasional video, and maybe a family shot every once in a while. Thank again, Mel!

  394. Brooke Sprouse says:

    Thanks for sharing this. You look great Mel! Glad to hear your story had a happy ending 🙂 you are the best!

  395. Bri says:

    Holy crap. Haven’t read the whole post, but I will later. This freaks me out. Poor thing. I was scheduled to get that same cancer taken off my nose by my eye two weeks ago. But changed my surgery for September. Ummm, now I’m thinking I need to schedule sooner. I just didn’t want to do it before summer. I will be put under general anesthesia. You look great now. I will read details later when I’m not cooking your recipes. So much love sent your way.

  396. Amanda says:

    You precious thing!! I’ll make that appointment I’ve been putting off. Hugs!

  397. Angela says:

    Oh my!! So glad you’re ok! Yes I will be a stickler about sunscreen from hence forth!! And wow, that healing process was amazing!

  398. Sofaia says:

    Wow Mel! When I first saw the picture of your face I thought you were in a car accident. Thank you so much for having the courage to post this and for caring enough to do so. It confirms to me I should continue to cover up, use sunscreen, etc., especially on my little one who has fair skin like his dad. I thought I was being overly protective and paranoid so thank you for sharing your story. It is very much appreciated.

  399. April says:

    Mel,
    I meant to respond when I first read this post (the day or two after you published it here), but I was on my phone and got up and got busy…we all know how that goes. Yet, despite the distractions, I haven’t forgotten your bravery to not only tell your story but to show your beautiful face as you have healed. You said you weren’t looking for compliments, which is good, because now I feel free to dish them out! The truth is, you ARE beautiful. Your honesty, vulnerability and heart shine through that porcelain skin and those gorgeous eyes – and your honest words. Thank you so much for sharing something that is already helping so many of us! The other thing I wanted to say, and I feel it is almost more important, is that what you do here every day goes far beyond sharing recipes. You are bringing families to the dinner table. You make mothers, whose work is The Hardest, much easier. You bring a smile to her face and to the face of her family. By bringing us the the dinner table, you invite prayer, conversation, laughter, connection. When we have a God-given gift, when it has been a part of us and in us all of our lives, sometimes it is easy to feel like it isn’t all that special. Please know that what you do here is important and valued. The lemon blueberry cake was a huge hit at Easter, and we are having baked shells for dinner tonight. Your recipes are reliable and delicious and I use them all the time! My prayers are with you as you continue to heal. XO

  400. Renee McLean says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I lost my 34yo sister two years ago to a five-year battle with melanoma. Her experience made me paranoid about every little oddity in my own skin, but after the second time I asked I was made to feel like such a hypochondriac. Thanks for this reminder to keep asking and to take wise precautions. Love your blog even more now!

  401. tristen says:

    What a beautiful and courageous post, thank you so much for sharing! I try to be crazy about this with my kids, but will be even more vigilant! Thank you so much, and you look absolutely beautiful even along the way, but I’ve had face surgeries before and it is SUCH.A.TRIP. Emotions ALL OVER the place, not to mention swelling that sticks around for so long. I’m feeling this so much right now. Thanks for sharing!

  402. Allison Thompson says:

    What an unbelievable inspiration you are!! My mother showed me a similar story when I was in my mid twenties and it completely changed my outlook on sunscreen and sun protective clothing. My children know how much I love your blog and recipes, and now I will share this story with them. I cannot imagine how many people you have taught or “reopened” their eyes to the dangers of too much sun. Thank you thank you thank you. You are beautiful both inside and out!

  403. Aubrey says:

    Bless your heart!!! Thank you for sharing!

  404. elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never had a skin check…and you’re making me realize I really need to take care of that. So, good job, you. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  405. Denise says:

    Love your blog and admire you for sharing your story to put attention on skin cancer and prevention. I’m a nurse and can say that your healing looks great. You are beautiful inside and out!

  406. Francie says:

    I know you probably won’t believe me, but you look great. Your MOHS surgeon did an excellent job! I had one MOHS procedure done on my eyebrow and I consider myself disfigured. You really look good. I had another basal cell in just about the same spot as yours and this time opted for radiation which has its own risks. Thank you for sharing your story. I truly understand what you went through and the aftermath of MOHS surgery.

  407. Judy says:

    Mel, thank you for your story. I have shared it on my FB page.

    You don’t have to lay out in the sun to get skin cancer. I had a sore that didn’t heal some years back on my thigh. It turned out to be skin cancer. Luckily, it was on the surface and they removed it.

    Since then, I follow the World Health Organization guidelines and get checked every 6 months to a half year. I go every half year because I just don’t seem to do it myself. The doctor checks me.com head to toe. I have had several moles just to be on the safe side. People have died of cancer that started as skin cancer

    Thanks for the reminder about the sunscreen. I moved back to sunny Southern CA and had gotten a bit lax.

    Love your blog, and love you for sharing this story. Take care!

  408. Jerry Steeman says:

    I have lived in sunny Southern California all my life and sunscreen is always something that I have but sometimes forget to use. Thank you for sharing what must be a very hard experience for you. Thank you for reminding me that the need to protect ourselves is very real every day , not just sunny days but every day. Thank you and I think you look great.

  409. BETTY says:

    thanks for sharing…i dont read many blogs. if not for Decor Chic and her transparency, I would not have had the knowledge to fight my fight. Your courage to be available and encouraging others thru your battle is kind-hearted. My aunt when through the same ordeal and it was tough but like you came through. Heres to you big brim hat and matching cover up…blessings.

  410. Heather says:

    Your doctor did a great job. Thanks for being so brave about telling your story. Hopefully you can help others – we mothers take everyone else in the family’s problems seriously but our own. Good lesson to be learned.

  411. It takes great courage to share stuff like that. Way to go! And thanks for inspiring many. Glad you’ve healed up so well. God is good!

  412. Dani B says:

    Thank you for sharing, Mel. I promise, PROMISE to slather on the sunscreen & don the wide-brimmed hat all.summer.long. Such bravery to share this with us.

  413. Kendell Prestwich says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I always think I look better with a tan as I’m sure most people do. But with sharing your experience you have just taught me how unimportant it really is compared to healthy skin. I do always wear sunscreen when in the sun for long periods of time, but I may have to now start bringing the hat. So very happy that you made a complete recovery!!

  414. Cat says:

    Wow Mel, so glad your ok. I myself have only become a stickler about it in my 30’s. Sounds like you have had an amazing dr!
    I have been for skin checks and feel the derm barely looked….
    Need to schedule another. Fair skinned girl over here with history of blistering burns early in life and my teens. Sad…

  415. Annie says:

    Oh Mel. I love you. Like a crazy amount of love for someone I’ve never met. Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable… I feel even more like we’re “bosom friends” than I did before. (I’m trusting you know that reference, otherwise that probably sounds super awkward.) And I totally validate you on the no-makeup-train. If you’d just posted that last picture in a random recipe post, I wouldn’t have noticed anything amiss. Anyway, thanks for telling us–I’ll definitely be more careful in the sun!

  416. Kathleen K. says:

    Mel, I agree with Heather–your Dr. did an amazing job–you look wonderful. Your courage in sharing your story is a great service to all of us with skin (fair or otherwise). We all need to be vigilant in using sunscreen and wearing hats. Thank you for being the caring person you are and reminding us all that we need to protect our skin.

  417. Ronnie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story that reminds us all to protect ourselves and our children from the sun.

  418. Tierra says:

    Thank you for having the courage to share your experience and the journey this trial has sent you on. It is always strengthening to hear how God works in the lives of others and what a great opportunity to turn your trial into a chance to inspire others. I loved hearing that you used essential oils to aid in your healing, I LOVE my Oils! They are amazing

  419. Kiarah Taylor says:

    Mel, I just read this post. I’m just a little Utah mom and you are my go-to for recipes. You are so humble, brave and wonderful to share this with everyone. I felt like I should send this link to you. I’m in the process of watching this documentary series on cancer and it is so informative, about exactly what cancer is, why it comes back, and what you can do to prevent and cure it. My husband had a tumor a few years ago, and it awakened in me a desire and need to know more about cancer, because it is so likely his cancer will come back later. This documentary is the best thing I’ve found, with interviews with tons of doctors, cancer conquerors, and experts. At the risk of sounding pushy;) I really think you should watch it. I’ve just been amazed at what I’ve learned.

    There are 9, 75 min episodes. They are airing them for free, just this week, one at a time, and are on number 6 right now. You can also buy the series. It’s called The Truth About Cancer.

    I think you are so wonderful and inspiring and super cute. This is my email address should you want to correspond that way: [email protected]

    Here’s the link to the first one:

    https://go2.thetruthaboutcancer.com/agq/episode-1/

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kiarah – thank you for sharing! I’ve actually been watching this series and have been amazed by the information. It’s incredibly eye-opening!

  420. Pam says:

    This is a wonderful post and very much needed! So many times I myself, as a teenager in the 70’s and 80’s spent too much time trying to get a sun tan the quickest way possible. I had a spot/mole removed on my back a few years ago that turned out to be basal cell carcinoma as well and I know the fear that it brings. Thank you for sharing this very moving post, the pictures are graphic but much needed to wake us up and make us all realize that sun damage is a dangerous thing and we need to do everything in our power to keep ourselves and our families healthy and able to enjoy the beautiful life that God gave us. Blessings!!

  421. Shauna McConkie says:

    YOU LOOK AMAZING! Cancer has no boundaries and it has touched nearly all of our lives. Thank you for sharing something so personal!

  422. Gina says:

    My step daughter is 24 and has stage 4 melanoma which is in her lungs. At 21 she had a mole on her ear that the dermatologist kept scraping and would come back. Last year he removed it and was positive for melanoma. During this process she noticed swollen lymph nodes on the same side as ear, so they did a biopsy, which came back positive . From there they removed a majority of her ear and 28 lymph nodes. Only 2 nodes came back positive. Ear reconstruction went well and we thought we were done, until at her one ur scans it showed up in her lungs. And he we are now doing immuno therapy and hoping to avoid it spreading. I too am one that is naturally dark skinned and am in the sun all the time. I now make sure I am wearing sunscreen and my son too. Please always get anything looked at that you feel isn’t right.

  423. Dee says:

    Oh my goodness Mel….thank you thank you thank you for posting this!! Your story has hit really close to home…my goodness….you were going through all this and we didn’t even know!!! I hope you know that you were supported through all this in spirit! I am going out tomorrow and getting myself and my kiddos hats and getting new sunscreen!!

  424. Deb says:

    I’m so proud to call you my friend. Love ya, Mel! The world is a better place because you are in it. 🙂

  425. Kimi says:

    I am a MOHs technician and work processing tumor tissue daily and have been for years. I love your story and pictures! People don’t understand the importance of protecting your skin! Basal cell is the most common cancer in the world & It can be a real bad actor when left alone too! I’m sure this will help others to make changes to their sun habits I hope! They did a wonderful job on your nose! You look beautiful!

  426. Kristin B says:

    The body is amazing in its healing powers. Thank you for sharing your story. You are brave and inspiring.

  427. Kim says:

    You are brave! Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable for the greater good and share your story.

  428. Stacy says:

    I have an annual checkup with my dermatologist next month. I was considering canceling because going to the doctor is such a pain! But now I think I’ll go. Thanks for sharing your story! Glad it turned out the way it did.

  429. Amanda says:

    I’m so sorry to see that you had to go through this. That looks painful!

    The sun is healing. Exposing your skin and eyes to the sun at solar noon will negate the effects of the harmful type of UV light. You also need a healthy omega 3:6 balance to capture UV light for energy in your cells. I know indoor living causes disease. The situation has been exacerbated the past few decades because of too much blue light from screens and nnEMF.

    I will not fear the sun. I do not wear sunglasses and I expose as much skin as possible during solar noon. There’s a lot to know/relearn since we’re so far removed from nature in modern times. Light, magnetism and water are the most important for health. More important than food!

  430. Natalie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing- I so needed this! I’ve had two spots on my face for a few years now and never knew what they were, or really thought anything of it. Just booked an appointment to get them checked out. I’ll definitely be slathering our fair-skinned kids in extra sunscreen this summer!! You look amazing by the way!

  431. Maria says:

    A friend of mine sent this post to me. This is EXACTLY what happened to me, minus the spot on my back. I am 34 years old (I think I was the youngest person in the dermatologist’s surgery center by at least 25 years), and I was shocked when I saw the hole in my nose after two rounds of MOHS. The doctor sent me across the street to the plastic surgeon, and when he looked at my nose, he decided to put me under general anesthesia the next day to close it all up. So now, eight months later, there is a faint line from above my eye down to the inside corner of my nose. Good for you for posting this!! I never thought I was vain before this, but when your face is swollen and bruised for weeks, and your eye has that fancy “eyeshadow” on it, it changes your tune! I am glad you have it taken care of, and I am TOTALLY with you on the wide brimmed hats. I have been sporting them at every opportunity! When my eight year old looked at my face after the surgeries, he said, “At least you aren’t pregnant.”. Ha-ha! Yes, at least that! Good luck to you, and here is to praying we don’t have to go through. This again! (Toasting our bottles of sunscreen)

  432. Megan says:

    You are amazing. I got teary while reading this post. I’ve always loved your recipes and now I love you even more! I’m recommitting to sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen.

  433. Valerie A. H. says:

    Mel…My goodness!!! I don’t know how I didn’t see this post of yours until today when I was looking through older emails. You have been through an ordeal for sure. How shocking it must have been especially since you really didn’t think the spot on your nose was much of anything. I’m glad you were prompted to ask the doctor about it and all turned out well in the end. Yikes! Very scary though. I’ve had a dry patch on my nose forever that I never checked out. As a matter of fact just this week, I starting applying Frankincense essential oil to it (I was wondering which essential oils you found helpful for healing the skin). Now I’m thinking…I better RUN to the dermatologist! Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Love ya lots! Valerie xo

  434. Tania says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing! I’m usually great at sunscreen for myself and my kids if we are spending a day at the pool or beach but don’t remember it as often as I should if we are just in our backyard, or walking in the city – I’ll slather it on us all from now on – for you (and you are beautiful and amazing!)

  435. Keri says:

    I had a bcc removed from my forehead when I was 20 via MOHS. It is was traumatic experience and the hole left was gaping for me as well! I rarely wear sunscreen but I am very aware of how long I am in the sun. I have never been to a tanning bed and only “laid out” a handful of times. Be careful. Although it wasn’t a HORRIBLE cancer to have I’d rather not go through it again.

  436. Rachel says:

    Hi, Melanie,

    Thank you for your courageous post. I read “The Coconut Oil Miracle” by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. I learned so much about the health benefits of coconut oil and red Palm oil. I think skin cancer is more about eating vegetable oils like soybean, canola, corn, cottonseed which go rancid when exposed to heat (like the sun). Switching to coconut oil which does not go rancid when exposed to heat can protect your skin. I recommend all his books. Best wishes!

  437. Rachel says:

    Hi, Melanie!

    I posted several times because I didn’t realize my comments were posting at the bottom of the list and awaiting moderation! Feel free to contact me if you want more information about coconut oil. Or go to Leslie Fife’s Facebook page “health by coconut” for more info. Best wishes to you and your family!

  438. Sara says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Can I ask what oil you used to help heal?

  439. Jacqueline Lynch says:

    Oh! I’m so sorry you had to go through this! But glad that you are better now. Thank you for telling about all this. And you are lovely, inside and out!

  440. Liz says:

    Hey Mel,

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that, especially driving yourself home.

    I came to the site today to double-check your taco recipe, but now I think I’ll make a dermatologist appointment because I’m long overdue.

    Thank you, and good luck with your healing. The last picture of your face looks really good.

    -Liz

  441. Leah says:

    Dear Mel,
    How happy I am that you are healing up so nicely. It is easy for each one of us to forget our skin is a big vital organ just like our heart! I, too, am very fair skinned and got sun poisoning once in college. That completely changed me. I wear sunscreen every day now. Thank you for having a kind heart and sharing your story. I hope you will not have to go through that again! I appreciate you and all your hard work.
    Take care!
    Leah

  442. Ola says:

    I am so happy for that you asked the doctor and it was taken care of. Thank you so much for sharing. Bless you and your family

  443. Hope says:

    You are beautiful, Mel! Thank you for being so courageous and sharing your post. I have used your blog regularly for the past two years to feed our family of eight. I have been thankful for your talent in the kitchen and now I am thankful too for your brave heart. May God bless you!

  444. francine says:

    thank you for sharing your story and pictures! we recently moved right on the equator, and while i started out as a stickler about sunscreen and hats for my son (he’s biracial, black and white), i have eased off because none of the other parents (who are all doctors) use any sun protection on their children. but your story has reminded me how important it is! thanks so much and God bless you!

  445. David says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience this has become more and more common it seems. So glad everything turned out ok the area of the surgery is barely noticeable. Still a beautiful and courageous woman.

  446. Rachel says:

    Good for you for being brave and sharing your story Mel. So many people blow off tiny little spots like you had! It’s certainly a lot to go through – mentally, physically, emotionally. Happy for you that things turned out well! You look beautiful!

  447. nehad says:

    Hello from Egypt. .
    I am a fan of your site for 2 years now but never actually been a commenter …I felt pain for the tears in your eyes and just want to wish you complete recovery and happy life with your family …continue to smileostomy you are gorgeous

  448. Juliann says:

    I haven’t visited your blog in awhile, and I was trying to figure out what to cook for my family so I popped by for a visit. What an incredibly brave women you are for sharing your story in hopes of helping others. I am so glad that you got it taken care of and that you are able to post about it looking as beautiful as ever. What a scary scary thing and it reminds us all to take skin care seriously.

  449. Angie says:

    I’ve been a silent admirer of your blog for many years now, and your amazing recipes have truly made me feel like a rock star in the kitchen. Thank you! On a more personal note, I wanted to thank you as well for this post about skin cancer. I’d had a nagging feeling for months that I should see a dermatologist, and reading this post made me finally pick up the phone and set up an appointment. It turns out I have basal cell carcinoma as well. So grateful you had the courage to write about your experience and inspire so many others to get checked. I really can’t thank you enough.

  450. Kristen says:

    Hi Mel,
    Did I see somewhere that you were going to do a sunscreen post?

    Thank you for all you do!

    • Mel says:

      I hope too soon, I just haven’t gotten around to it (and wanted to try some new sunscreen products that were recommended first).

  451. Micki says:

    I’m a little late coming to this “party”, but I haven’t been getting online lately due to bad internet connection in my rural area. Thanks for sharing! You are a truly courageous person and an inspiration to all of us. I will keep you and others fighting this battle in my prayers!

    oh – and thanks for the wonderful recipes!!!

  452. Kerri says:

    This was so similar to what happened to me in Dec of 14! I went in for a spot on my back (ended up being nothing bad) and said, “Hey, what about this thing on the corner of my eyelid?” Two weeks later I had my MOHS surgery and plastic surgery on my eyelid because of the great choice my cancer made in where it had settled in.

    So, if anyone reading this has a spot that doesn’t seem to want to heal and bleeds every so often, run to the dermatologist! Almost a year and a half later, I honestly can’t even see where my yucky scar was. Thanks for sharing this!

  453. JoAnn says:

    Mel, thank you for sharing. I’ve been reading this blog for years now (first brought by the honey chicken recipe!) and I feel like I know you. I was telling my husband about this post, and he immediately knew I was talking about you–“Mel with the good recipes”–and I want to thank you for sharing. You’ve helped people feed their families, and you might’ve helped someone save a life with this post. Thank you! 🙂

  454. Breanna says:

    Hi Mel – Thank you for sharing your story. I am very cautious of the sun and thought I better give these Coolibar hats a try. My order arrived and the hats are too small. They are so cute and great quality. Any referrals for other SPF hats.. for larger domes? *wink wink.

    Love your recipes! Thanks so much.

    • Mel says:

      Darn, Breanna! I’m bummed they didn’t fit. I’ll look around through my notes of what others recommended and see if any are for larger hats and let you know.

  455. Linda Turco says:

    Hi Mel,

    I mentioned after I read ths post that my husband was having a spot on his nose checked out by a dermatologist. As it turns out, he has carcinoma ( I assume basil cell but he couldn’t remember, but I’ll find out). ) It sounds like we will have pictures similar to the ones you posted . We know that he has had this spot for much longer than you, so we’re hoping and praying that it was, and is, a slow growing cancer? I ‘m preparing myself for a deep and far reaching procedure to remove it, but will b grateful if his incision is like yours. Who would have thought that someone would aspire to look like you did after your surgery That has to strike you as funny ! His surgery should be scheduled in about 4 weeks. The doctor didn’t seem to think it was urgent? In any case, it was your brave post and honesty that made us make the appointment ( or should I just say I made him make the appointment ). No need to respond but I will keep you posted on what happens after he has the surgery. Thanks Mel❤️

  456. Laurie says:

    I’m at the beach this week wearing a long-sleeved swim shirt/dress and a brimmed hat, both from Coolibar. I have been told that I look like a little old lady, but thanks to your post, I don’t even care. (Well, maybe a little, but not enough to take it off!) I am very fair-skinned and often burn even with sunscreen, so I know that a similar story is coming for me, if it’s not already growing beneath the surface. Sidenote: I’ve been pleased with this sunscreen: http://www.cerave.com/our-products/sunscreen/sunscreen-face-lotion-spf-50. It has “invisible zinc,” meaning it blends in better than most zinc sunscreens. Thanks for being vulnerable.

    • Mel says:

      I love that, Laurie! You and me both. I wore my long sleeve swim shirt and ankle length swim leggings to the pool again today and even though my kids don’t bat an eye – I got some strange looks. Oh well! Thank for the recommendation on sunscreen. I’m still looking for a great one. Thank you!

  457. Janet says:

    Dear Mel,

    I commented when you shared this story with all of us by telling you that some close friends had the same thing happen. Little did I know that it would be hitting so close to home. Yesterday my daughter had to have a spot on her face removed and the doctor is pretty sure that it is basal cell carcinoma. He thinks he has clear borders but we have to wait for the pathology report. If the borders are not clear she will have to have the MOHS done. Praying that hers goes as well as yours!!

    • Mel says:

      Oh my goodness, Janet – thank you so much for letting me know about your daughter. I’m so sorry she has to go through this; I’ll be hoping and praying the pathology comes back with clean borders. I truly wish her the best – please let her know that. Thankfully she had it checked and removed! Hang in there. I hope it is very minimal.

  458. Erin says:

    Dear Mel, you’ve used your deep readership to good use! My sun history is similar to yours, and yet I fear at some point I will be in a dermatologist’s office in a similar position you were; being very fair-skinned has meant a lot of accidental sunburns over the years. And the worst of those was a second-degree burn after skiing–oh that thin, high-altitude air! I’m determined not to let it happen to my kids, even the ones that turn brown in the summer like little roasted nuts. We all have sun hats, everyone wears sunscreen, and I’m really glad I didn’t do the tanning thing when it was really really cool to do so and people frankly laughed that I was so white next to their (you said it) pretty shades of not-white. (My brother said I blended in with the wall, my sister said she liked sitting next to me because it made her look darker.) And living in a mountain state, yeah, you do get more direct rays than I do in Minnesota; nevertheless, you can still get sun damage on a cloudy day. (And lack of a sunburn doesn’t mean lack of sun damage.) Anyway, I applaud you loudly for using something scary to warn others. And your healing is just amazing. Your last pic doesn’t even show much of a long-term scar. Blessed surgeons! p.s. Mederma is my favorite scar healer–being fair, I also scar easily, so this is a must for me!

  459. Jean says:

    I know exactly what you went through and what you are still going through. My surgery was 2009 for the nose 2010 for the tear duct.

  460. Wendi says:

    Dear Mel-I have been a reader a long time and you have turned me into a cooking machine for my family. We LOVE your bourbon chicken, freezer burritos and roasted vegetable orzo salad (along with tons of other recipes too). I’ve never commented before but I had to tell you a story related to this post so you can understand what a powerful thing you did by sharing your story so publicly. My sister-in-law was complaining of a sore on the side of her nose that wouldn’t go away. She was more annoyed about it than anything and thought it was an unsightly pimple that just wouldn’t heal. An alarm went off inside me and I showed her this post. She decided to make an appointment with her doctor and discovered it was indeed basal cell carcinoma. Honestly, had I never read this I wouldn’t have thought twice about encouraging her to get it checked. And had she not read this, she wouldn’t have made that appointment. All I can say is thank you for your bravery and for sharing. You are an incredible woman and I’m so thankful for you and your blog!

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