Isn’t my whole body pre-cancerous?

I didn’t write about this last month because I was dealing with a depression that made me unable to put the right words to things but I’m feeling like I’m coming out of the dark now (KNOCK ALL OF THE WOOD) so now I can tell you that my body is trying to kill me, but incredibly slowly…which is probably just the natural process of aging, now that I think about it?

Anyway, I was trying very hard to make good decisions so I went to the doctor and he was like, “You need to see some specialists and also eat more high-fiber greens and less meat” and an hour later – following his advice and making good decisions – I broke a tooth eating a fucking kale salad.

My friend Vicky was like, “Weird. Did you massage the kale first?” and I said “no” because what?

Apparently kale is naturally tough and you are supposed to massage it before eating it to break down the fibers but it seems ridiculous to force me to give an intimate massage to something I don’t even like, and also, I thought the fiber was the whole point of why I was having to eat it in the first place? So basically I have to pamper something that tastes like dirt or it breaks all of my teeth, which feels weirdly abusive and 100% the opposite of how health food is supposed to work.

Then I went to my optometrist and she was like, “You need computer glasses” and I was like, “YOU NEED COMPUTER GLASSES” and then I realized she wasn’t insulting me and she made me get these special glasses for reading and working but they have this weird distortion and every time I move my head it feels like I’m on a boat and now I’m getting carsick just writing this. She also said that I should go back to my doctor and have him check me for Sjogren’s Syndrome and Graves Disease and those both sound bad and also possibly like something I’ve already tested positive for because I literally have so many diseases and disorders that I can’t even keep track of them. And I should totally get tested for them and that’s why I’m writing this down so I remember to eventually but I’m at that space where I have no energy. Also, I realize that maybe I have no energy because of one of those diseases I’m too tired to get tested for and am basically my own worst enemy.

In my defense though, I did go the dentist, optometrist, arthritis doctor, psych doctor, regular doctor and then my regular doctor was like, “I want you to see a dermatologist because of these discolorations on your face” and the dermatologist was like, “Oh, it’s just melasma but you actually have a scary looking mole here and maybe we cut that off immediately to check it?” and he did and then called me and was like, “Well, it’s pre-cancerous” and I was like, “Awesome!” because I assumed my whole body was pre-cancerous because that means “before cancer” and that sounds good, but he was like, “Not really ‘awesome‘, precisely. But really awesome we got it off because it definitely would have turned cancerous and you need to come back in so we can make sure we got it all off and it isn’t growing back because if it is we may need to do something else.” This sounded lightly threatening so I dealt with it by not thinking about it all until every night from 1am to 4am when I thought about nothing else.

BUT! I just got back from the dermatologist and he said it looks like it’s healing well and not growing back yet so I am breathing a tentative sigh of relief until 1am when I will convince myself that my dermatologist was drunk or that he needs computer glasses.

So long story short, kale will kill you, computer glasses are for the birds, SPF 15 is not acceptable according to my doctor and all of you need to go get your moles checked because I literally didn’t even know this was a thing I was supposed to do until now. Also, someone please remind me to get checked for that other junk eventually because I need a few weeks to recover from all of this excitement.

PS. They gave me some skin bleaching creme for my melasma but it isn’t totally working so instead maybe I’ll just push all of my hair to the front to cover my right cheek and then cover my left one with a face tattoo or a more manageable dog who understands commands like, “stop wiggling and perch on my shoulder like a good girl.” If you see me in public, please be assured that it is not dirt and that I am now lightly regretting the fact that lipstick is the only makeup I ever learned how to use.

PPS. I didn’t dye my hair blonde. I actually dye it brown a few times a year but the back never takes so it’s brown-grey in the front and blonde-grey in the back for no reason at all. Even my hair can’t get it together.

121 thoughts on “Isn’t my whole body pre-cancerous?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I went to my doctor because I was having trouble breathing. He said it was just psychosomatic and sent me to a psychiatrist. She prescribed medication and I’m much better now.

  2. Oh yeah, the mole thing is no joke. Each time I go to the dermatologist I need like 5 removed. UGH! (I am basically allergic to sunlight and have very fair skin and a few weird skin conditions) Glad yours is no longer an issue! And they don’t usually grow back, but it’s good to check. Your dermo was NOT drunk, I promise!

  3. Healthcare is HARD! But I’m proud of you for working on taking care of yourself, and you look SO MUCH like Hailey in that picture! <3

  4. I think they’re totally not giving you enough credit for catching this while it was pre-cancerous. You’re rocking pre-cancerous and don’t let them tell you otherwise!!!

  5. Same re: the precancerous skin removal though my dermatologist said to me “As soon as I saw your eyes I knew we’d have trouble” – I live in Florida and have light colored eyes and pale skin but I hate the sun, so she was pleasantly surprised. I get to see her next month for a six month check up because she said I’m at the age where that sort of thing starts showing up.

    Fun getting old, huh?

  6. Well, your hair looks really cute. Sorry about the other madness and I’m glad you got your pre-cancerous spot removed. I have had some and an actual skin cancer removed and none have come back, if it makes you feel better so you don’t have to think about it between 1 and 4am.

  7. I also once broke a tooth on salad. My dentist said she’s never had anyone break a tooth on chocolate. There’s a lesson there.

  8. I haven’t read your last few tidbits of random crap since in its own small way, my self has kept me busy for a few weeks, but I am so glad I read this, although truthfully I wish your latest tidbit á merde didn’t have the pre-cancer hashtag. Long ago when I was in a serious depression and it was still the era of handwritten letters, my sister left slip that she read my (teat-stained) letters to her colleagues in the lab because everybody thought I was so funny, so now I’m on the other side of that sentence except I have no one to read your depressed brilliance to because, husband. And I know we can all laugh with each other, but I so wish, for your sake, that you had no need to be funny de profundis but as long as you have, I will read ‘‘em and weep. Sorry about the Latin, but parochial school.

  9. Ok. So, you are totally rocking the hair in eyes, dog on shoulder look. Just stop coloring your hair. You might be surprised at what you get. I got this weird stripey Disney vibe that people think cool, or they’re liars. Who cares? We all know you are racking up diseases to support your anxiety/depression habit! Seriously, so glad you are honest and funny. You help us all.💔

  10. Good for you for healthcaring! And Sjogren Syndrome can be a pain, but usually not, like a PAIN pain, if you know what I mean. It’ll just mean eye drops and Chapstick and hand cream and nasal saline gel and lozenges and and and…

  11. The only ways to make kale your bitch is either as kale chips or boiling it for two hours, squeezing out all the liquid, and then hiding it under eggs and cheese.

  12. Feeling you on the healthcare is hard.
    I broke a tooth in 2020. I finally went to the dentist last year about extracting it and he’s like “its too broken, off to oral surgeon with you”. Not done that yet.
    Injured my ankle badly in late 2020. Late last year the sports Dr said “there’s not much more we can do – try orthotics, see the podiatrist”. Still need to do that (although 9yo needs new orthotics too, so that might get me over that line).
    I’m also overdue a smear test, and was referred to a skin care clinic in late 2019 for a concerning freckle that came out as a bump, but haven’t actioned that either.
    Ugh.

  13. The frozen nitrogen is your friend. SPF 50, and a really big pirate hat are a sunshine must. I hate that I have to flounce around like an effing throwback to antiquated mores but those old ladies were actually right. Freckles can kill. But it’s kinda fun to freak the shit out of people who don’t believe in skin protection at all ever. If Wolverine can do this, then I’m down.

  14. Love you, Jenny. Self-care is a major pain in the ass, but you’re handling it with style and grace, along with keeping us all laughing along the way!

  15. Currently living in a Schrödinger’s salt limbo because my Cardiologist told me to eat more salt and my Urologist told me to eat less salt and neither of them will talk to the other.

  16. Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies. Your hair looks good that way, BTW. And while I’m sorry you’re going through all this, I’m a little bit relieved that I’m not the only one whose mind goes into overdrive between 1 and 4 a a.m.

  17. Been doing the skin check thing 2 times a year since I was 18 (50 now) with a little break when the dermatologist had some kind of problem and wouldn’t let their female patients see male doctors anymore. Took me over a year to find out where the MALE dermatologist that quit that office because of their bullshit went. Now my mom and my brother both will only see him too, and I have problems getting any male doctors, because all of the female patients from that time have on their charts “no male doctors”. Anyway, because I am Scandinavian pale and have a lot of “spots” (that’s apparently the technical term they use, as in “wow you have a lot of spots”). I have had soooo many biopsies, and as long as they got it all, no big deal. I have had to go back for a lot of reincisions (where they take more just in case) and I have had no problems, except for; I scar badly, and most of them were on my back, sooo now my back kind of looks like I have been shot with a machine gun. The one female dermatologist that I saw briefly while I tracked down my favorite was more interested in my scars that I don’t care about than in giving me a screening. She literally wanted me to start buying 15 dollar soap for my scars.

  18. I finally got somebody to believe that COVID screwed up my hearing and got to see an ENT and apparently my eustatia tubes are dysfunctional. Doctor said they don’t behave correctly but they’re not clogged. So long story short, they might end up putting tubes in my ears despite me being 32. So that’s fun but at least my hearing isn’t gone forever.

  19. 1. Go get that Graves Disease bloodwork because it’s a thyroid thing and thyroid can affect depression.
    2. I’m super fair and my doc sent me to the dermatologist who seemed vaguely offended that I was there and sent me away with instructions to only come back if I got a mole that changed shape but the one on my arm didn’t count. And I still don’t know why it didn’t count. Very odd.

  20. I feel like something on my body just gives up every day and I debate whether I can live without x, y or z. Is this middle age? Because I don’t really care for it.

    As for dermatologists and skin checks…DO IT. I had what I thought was just a really dry spot on the upper lip that I ignored (see above) and by the time I had it checked it was basal cell skin cancer and they had to cut it out. The doc casually mentioned – during the procedure that I was wide awake for – that I may have an “Elvis” smile afterwards. I didn’t. And I don’t think I could rock an Elvis smile even if I tried. It did sound intriguing though, but not while I was literally crying from how bad the numbing shot hurt. Which is just ridiculous. The numbing shot shouldn’t hurt more than the procedure. But anyway.

    So now I see my dermatologist every 6 months and she goes over my ENTIRE body. Honestly, I think we are considered married in some cultures simply based on what all she’s seen of me. But, the up side is that she goes through my hair to check my scalp and if I close my eyes I swear it feels like I’m at a very expensive and clinical spa. Plenty of sunscreen, wear a hat, book your “spa” appointment. Those are my words of (somewhat) wisdom. 🙂

  21. Chard is infinitely superior to kale and doesn’t need a massage. Many blue-light (computer) glasses have some magnification that can make turning your head wonky, but you can get ones without it.

  22. Excellent #9 Mary Beth. Now I know another swear word from a foreign language! But seriously, yes Jenny. At some point in time, your life may be reduced to a never-ending series of scary doctor’s appointments. I too am just coming out of a period of intense, all-day-long anxiety and mentally I finally feel well. My new therapist is lovely but I assume she won’t be available to me for long based on the history of this mental health company (bad self talk). Good on you for going to the dermatologist. I see mine often and, once a year, get a complete skin check. I’ve also had a lot of dental work done. Seems those fillings from the ’60s are starting to fail so it’s root canals and bridges and crowns, oh á merde. The old saying is true: Old age is not for sissies. Still, there are many good things about growing older. Many things are no longer important and you get to retire eventually.

  23. I just had some pre-cancerous stuff FROZEN off of my nose….which I guess makes sense, since it is the opposite of the sun that caused the issue in the first place, but still. OUCH!

  24. First off this is why I don’t eat kale. Besides it tastes horrible it’s just too high maintenance apparently. Second my mom had so many diseases and all her organs were failing but she still had the donate organs on her license when her doctor saw it he was like WHHHYYYY? Girl all your organs are failing the only thing you can donate is your body to science. I told her instead of a donate sticker I was going to put a hazmat sticker on her license. Lol I should’ve too ;0)

  25. Oh Jenny, as someone who lives with a rare autoimmune disease, I get it. I tell my husband all the time that it feels like I’m slowly falling apart. Sending good thoughts your way!

  26. Like you really needed MORE things to add to your list!
    But yeah…I go to the dermatologist every year to get a full body skin check (hello…pale red head with tons of moles). I’m also having my first colonoscopy next month which will be my first time having anesthesia…ugh.
    My advice on the greens is…find a bagged salad you really like (a plug for butter leaf lettuce) and a healthier dressing (Bolthouse is good) and soon you’ll be eating salads daily like I do. Which I cannot believe…had a doctor years ago tell me to eat a salad every day and I was like phhhft…and now in my mid 40s I do. Haven’t cracked a tooth yet…but I don’t eat kale!

  27. I hear you!! I may or may not have Sjogren’s Syndrome (or Dried Apple Doll Disorder, as I like to say), one test positive, one negative, resulting in a firm maybe…only issues for me are being dry all over, eyes, skin, and ahem. Pre-cancerous moles were on my bingo card, too, as well as floaters and senile (how rude!) cataracts…and lions and tigers and bears oh my. Hang in there, you are in good (albeit old) company here. Oh and also, I hate kale…don’t torture yourself…get your greens elsewhere!

  28. How is everyone finding these proactive doctors? Even when I go specifically to complain about a problem, they just kinda shrug and go “Huh. Weird.” and send me on my way.

    Anyway, glad you caught it before it was post-cancerous!

  29. Sounds like you could use some catoflage. 😁🐱

    I’m getting my gall bladder removed tomorrow, it’s been a real dick to me lately, but at least it isn’t zombified. As far as I know, anyway.

  30. Man, I related to all of this. You, and I are both in the 40’s think where our shit starts to fall apart. I can never tell if something serious is going on, or if it’s just getting old. I have so many weird symptoms, but I can’t be bothered to do anything about it. It’s either something that requires meditation, which then I need more medication because the first medication has weird side effects. Or it’s all in my head, and they’ll just chalk it up to my brain constantly being in flight, fright, or freeze mode

  31. I’m undergoing the process for diagnosing multiple Autoimmune diseases myself, one of which is Sjogren’s and possibly Lupus, maybe others, which I’ve been apparently dealing with for 20 years, but only just now are they putting names to things, thanks to new symptoms and new ways the illnesses are presenting, and still no ‘official’ diagnosis… I try not to think about how my body is slowly killing itself, but some days are harder than others. I guess all we can do is our best and one day at a time, but I refuse to eat Kale. LOL.

  32. I just want to say “Yay You!” for going to all of the doctors. I decided that I was quitting doctors and dentists during Covid, but then actually getting up the guts to go back to the dentist after 2+ years took a *lot* of mental effort (and the resulting round of cavity fillings and root canals was no picnic either). I still haven’t dragged myself to the doctor yet, so you are ahead of me there, but I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am that you went to at least 6 different professionals to do all the things. That is some serious control over your life that I envy.

  33. I think this is way people used to only live to the ripe old age of 30. Modern medicine is helping us live longer provided we undergo the appointments, meds, stabbings, groping (gropings? not sure about that one), and the many other things that eventually just make us feel insane for putting ourselves thru it all in the first place. Personally, I’m looking forward to being that ‘crazy’ and eccentric old woman that uses every holiday as an excuse to decorate for Halloween!

    Thank you for helping to normalize the insanity for all of us. Sending you my love and positive energy thru the ether, Jenny!

  34. Definitely get the Sjogrens/Graves checked out. I have Sjogrens and there are things, fatigue, aches and pains, dry eyes and mouth that meld with everything else, but there are some treatments that help a bit. Not just moles ya’ll, if you have a spot that never heals completely (even check in your hair) def get it checked. If your doc says don’t worry keep an eye on it anyway because everything should heal.

  35. Geez, Jenny. I swear, I’m going to spend money, come down to San Antonio and invite you to day drink with me. Because that will obviously solve a lot of problems.

  36. I’m a tattoo artist. I could totally tattoo the other side of your face for you. Or – OR – WE COULD TATTOO YOUR WHOLE FACE THE COLOR OF THE MELASMA and then you’d always looks like you just got back from a vacation at the beach.

  37. I love sautéed kale in a bit of oil, and some soy sauce and dash of lemon juice if you are willing to give kale another try! No massage needed if you cook it.

  38. When I turned 40 everything the doctor found on me was, “It could be cancer.” When I hit 50 everything was, “This could turn fatal.” Now I’m 60, I don’t listen to them. I go. I take care of myself. But, I don’t listen to their prognostications. I’ll die one day of something. I’m counting on it. Until then, “Bring me your finest giant, metal chickens.”

  39. My doctor scared the heck out of me about a new “mole”, and actually used the word “melanoma” in my chart. Which I then worried about for a month until I could see a dermatologist and then she was all “Oh, it’s just a broken blood vessel”. But come back so I can scan your entire body and scare you some more. So that’s in April…

  40. I know exactly how exhausting it is going to the doctor a lot, but please get your thyroid checked. I had Grave’s Disease years ago, and had the weirdest combination of symptoms ever – extreme fatigue, weird feverish episodes, patches of dry skin, my eyes felt weird, I was depressed and anxious (but that was nothing new), I craved sugar and would eat half a bag of cookies in one sitting, but also I was losing weight. When I went to the doctor I had to actually suggest that he check my thyroid and he was like, “oh hey, that’s a good idea!” And that’s what it was – hyperthyroidism. I took medicine for two years and it went into remission. After the medicine started working I felt better than I’d ever felt in my entire life! That lasted for a few years. I don’t know if it was just that medicine or other factors, but I would love to get back to feeling that good again.

    I’m glad you had that mole taken care of before it took care of you! Also, I totally relate to the 1 am to 4 am black hole of worries, which is why I have a sleep disorder and can’t fall asleep before 4 am. Why are there are so many awful things your body and brain can do it you?

  41. Graves Disease is totally manageable if you catch it. Much more so that all the other health stuff you are managing. I have it and it is in remission. I was on Methimazole (which sounds like I’m on Meth, but it’s not and I don’t take it anymore anyway because it worked). I know you deal with lots of other stuff, so if your doc has already asked you to get checked, they may have already put in an order for the blood test? You can get the blood test at the same draw that you do for other stuff. Easy peasy. Before I got tested/treated I had hand and head tremors, heart palpitations, chronic fatigue and shortness of breath.

  42. I was told about 10 years ago (when I was 41) that if you tried to tan in the 80’s, it was time to get a mole check. I only had about 10 moles, and I’ve got about 2 left. Three had cancer, the others were on the fence. I had a new one appear last year, and it wanted to join the club too, lol. I’ve got a bunch of weird diseases as well, and it can be a lot to manage them sometimes. A friend told me that after you turn 50, it’s all maintenance. At my most recent colonoscopy, the doc told me I had a “beautiful” colon, which was odd, but nice? Like, thank you?

    It can all be a lot. Good luck to you.

  43. I’ve had a dark spot on my cheek for years. It’s easy enough to cover up since there’s no texture to it, but I’m too lazy to use makeup so my solution is just to not care. My doctor at the time told me to use some whitening cream too, but I didn’t see any difference in several months of using it every day, so I gave up.

  44. Oh wow. Neither Sjogrens nor Graves are fun ( I have been in remission with Grave’s for 18 years, just about lost it last year but thankfully still in remission) and I know a couple of people with Sjogrens. Both are auto immune which you are predisposed to with the RA sadly. As for the mole, not at all fun (breast cancer thriver here) so please keep an eye on those things. Get a mammogram and ultrasound while you are doing all of the above 😉

    The glasses: they look good on you. Your hair looks amazing and the melasma, well, what can I say? You are beautiful inside and out, lets keep all those nasties away.

  45. Interesting they want you tested for Graves Disease. That’s a thyroid condition. And the thyroid is really powerful – can absolutely cause depression if levels are not correct. Happened to someone I love – on meds, ok – off meds, not okay.

  46. As I sit here, right now, I am blind in my right eye. Cornea destroyed, retina all messed up and feeling like a one-eyes jack(ess). It only took 48 hours. Check out pseudomonus bacteria and eye infections. But, I do have my left myopic eye. There is always a positive spin, somewhere, right? And, my friend, that photo is great! It is always something…

  47. Oh, girl, I feel ya. Don’t get me started on the difficulties of dealing with various health issues and doctors. I currently have FOUR eye doctors, and terrible vision, and I’ve been told of an issue with my corneas and a possible solution to the terrible vision, and none of the FOUR eye doctors wants to do the test. *face-palm* My newest eye drops took me two months to get and days of phone calls. I had a series of pain procedures for my thoracic, which helped, only now my lumbar is in terrible pain and I get to start the procedure wheel over again. And that’s just a couple of the many many things I’m dealing with! Worst game of whack-a-mole (pun intended!) ever!

    Mary Beth Blackmon, your “(teat-stained) letters” are giving me LIFE! 🙂

  48. I need to see a jaw specialist and a gastroenterologist and I can’t make myself make the dang appointments, and that’s on top of the rheumatologist that I actually DO see, but I probably also need to add a dermatologist for these weird scans that keep showing up for no reason on my back, and I probably will never do that either. *deep breath* Bodies suck, man.

  49. Yes – pre-cancerous sounds good, but the good is that it is found in the PRE part. I went to Derm doc about 15 years ago for a weird mole thing – which turned out to be fine, but a thing I didn’t even know/see/feel was pre-cancerous and had to be removed (twice), but stayed away after that. I was told at that point that I need a full body check ever 6 months & not to ever miss. I do it – have had over a dozen more pre-cancer or basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer or sever atypical … things removed. A piece that was bad on my nose was replaced with a good bit cut from behind my ear. My ear lobe had a whole punched through it to remove some bad stuff and they magically sewed it back and looks (pretty close to) normal. These folks are magicians! Your “fair” skin will need to keep getting checked! Glad it was found in the PRE part!

  50. One time we were eating Chinese takeout and I told my husband, “Gross, a restaurant worker’s cap is in my food!!” He said to check my mouth first and sure enough, it was one of my onlays… I put it into a plastic bottle cap and then that into a small Ziploc baggie. My dentist thought my idea for preserving my onlay was really clever. That’s the best thing out of this whole ordeal. That and my repaired tooth.

  51. 1) I love you.
    2) I literally just picked a new dermatologist office to try because I have psoriasis and my skin hates EVERYTHING and the meds I use to keep it from spreading farther than my scalp aren’t working as well as they used to and my current dermatologist is pretty good but he’s ancient and I think he’s being kept alive with weird voodoo magic. He’s Polish (like, direct from Poland) and the leading person for Psoriasis and Eczema treatment, etc but he still uses a handheld recorder to take his notes and I’m afraid he’s going to shrivel up and fall into a portal the wherever they keep him when he’s not seeing patients. So I decided to try a new place out that has caught up with new technology. And maybe charts on computers. And the people working there aren’t 137 years old. Wish me luck. Hopefully they are also good at keeping my skin from attacking itself.
    3) I’ve had a couple moles removed. It’s just weird. “Here, let me cut this piece of your flesh off because it looks weird.” It’s a good thing I’m not in charge of that… I think everything looks weird.

  52. 100% broke a tooth/filling on a CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY.
    Thanks Shari’s Berries, I got a crown 😂

  53. First of all, I’m SO glad your mole didn’t graduate into something malignant. I have an extensive family history of skin cancer. After countless doctor visits and many excisions later, the mantra from all the doctors my family members have seen is the same which is that if you catch skin stuff (like precancer) early you’ll be a-okay so regular visits help! Early detection is the name of the game!

    Also I applaud you for going to all of your doctors and dentist (it takes so many mental and emotional cherries to do that). Also with your teeth, it may not have been the evil kale that was solely responsible for breaking your tooth.

    A similar thing happened to me, except I was eating gluten free pizza and what I found out was that I needed a new mouth guard (I’m a crazy mouth grinder at night and I wore down my old mouth guard down like an angry beaver, and because of my angry beaver grinding I also started getting vestibular migraines).

    If you don’t have a mouth guard you might want to look into that. Your tooth may have already had a crack in it and it just needed the right amount of pressure to (rudely) break off. Also hoping and fingers crossed that you don’t have to add (further) to your maladies collection!

    Also this post is SUPER weird in it’s timing. I planned to schedule a dermatologist apt TODAY (and I did thanks for the reminder) because I’m having a ridiculous amount of dermatology issues right now, including random swelling, itching, pain, and blisters on my feet (to the point it kept me up last night and it hurts to walk a bit). I also get cysts in uncivilized areas monthly (I never want to hear the unhelpful words “sitz baths” ever again).

    I also have horrific eczema as in people look at my hands and they talk about how awful those look and I begin to feel stabby when they recommend moisturizing to me as if I don’t SLATHER myself in moisturizer all the time. SIGH.

  54. Check out Dr Brooke Goldner online. (what’s one more doc?)
    Her plant-based eating plan fixes Sjogrens. And other conditions.
    Put the kale in a green smoothie.

  55. My husband broke a tooth on a donut, lots more fun than kale. There are better tasting greens, avoid kale always! Lord, I’m due for my skin cancer check – how do t I lose 50 lbs of fat and buff up my musculature STAT? I feel so sad for the person going over my chubbo sagginess with a magnifying glass, hope they are paid top dollar!

  56. I had a basal skin cancer removed from my face a few years ago. Now I have this awesome scar. Any time I see someone looking at it I just say “Bar fight.” They practically sprain their eyeballs looking away.

  57. OMG! I thought that was a picture of Hailey and I was gonna say how much they look like you. I guess you look very much like you.

  58. I’ve dealt with Graves’ Disease for 23 years now. Way back when it kicked off, I was exhausted and emotional to the max. They tried throwing anti-depressant meds at it, but that only made things worse. I wasn’t at all depressed, even though it looked like it on the outside. I was fine and happy on the inside. It was strange. I sat and bawled in my car for about 20 minutes one morning when I got to school because the little baby ducks in the road were just too freaking cute for words. It took me that long to pull myself together to go into the building without sobbing. It was humorously pathetic, and I knew it, but I couldn’t stop it. It was just fluctuating hormones talking. Once I finally got natural replacement hormone instead of synthetic everything all evened out again. Most days are normal and fine unless my levels slip out of range. Then getting all heart on my sleeve and crying over pocket lint or other stupid little things is a key sign to get my levels checked. Point is, if you’ve got Graves’, perhaps that’s contributing to your rough stretches, and getting it treated could bring you all kinds of relief. You’ve got hugs coming your way from me!

  59. Ugh I’m so sorry. I’m glad they caught the pre -cancer early. Definitely follow up about Sjögren’s syndrome. I have it and it’s sucks, but if you get on top of it, you can find treatments and coping mechanisms. Also ask your doctor to do an “early Sjogrens profile” if your first SSA and SSB blood work is negative. Sjogrens is very hard to diagnose.

  60. I freak out about moles and –well any skin growth thingy. I have a ton of bright red moles that the Dermatologist said are fine , “they are just cherry angiomas” (and I thought “yeah, that don’t sound so good.”) Apparently they don’t want to remove them. There is one on top of my head, every time I feel it, I think it is a tick and start to freak out. But then I remember and say “oh yeah, that is my cherry and the dermatologist didn’t want to pop my cherry.”

  61. You are simply the best person Jenny. When I read your writing about serious topics, I forget they are serious because I can’t catch my breath I’m laughing so hard. I squeak, I snort and then I feel bad cause this is serious shit. Anyway, I am not afraid to say I love you Jenny Lawson and you are a gift to us all as we live through serious shit and hard times.

  62. Don’t forget the Lady Garden when checking moles. I had a cancerous one there and had to have actual surgery to remove all of it!

  63. Sjogrens can also cause POTS which is the zebra of diseases. Right up your alley! POTS can cause extreme exhaustion among a zillion other things. I seem to remember you had COVID too? That REALLY brought on POTS symptoms and docs act like it’s not a thing when it’s a big thing. Just throwing it out there!

  64. While you’re at it, get your mammies grammed. You know with the machine that squishes them. Not the Internet thing, although that gets you hearts and could be more fun. You might find out you’ve got a killer rack, like mine, and then you can swap it out for less cancery one.

  65. Ah yes, the annual “mole patrol.” Welcome to the world of pale-ass people who have freckles and wait, does this one look different all of a sudden?

  66. As a light-skinned natural redhead, I thought all I had to worry about was a lot of freckles but no I have to watch for moles too. I’m glad they checked it out and you don’t have cancer. We need you in this world as long as we can have you8 so I hope your body cuts it the fuck out with trying to kill you. How rude!

  67. I highly recommend La Roche Posay spf 50 tinted mineral fluid. It’s fool proof and works with even fair skin and tints juuuust enough to make you feel like you fancy and pretty without requiring any technique in applying. You can get it delivered on Amazon. Most of the women I know over 35 use it!

  68. I love this so much. My psychiatrist suggested keto bc they’re finding it works BETTER THAN MEDS, so on Day 3 the mister got very cranky and I went completely off the rails psycho, calling friends hysterical and my psych said only to drink more broth. THREE days of this and then he gets sick. We assume it’s keto flu but no, it’s freaking COVID! We have avoided it so skillfully all this time, never going anywhere or seeing anyone. So now our life is just Covid all the time. Wasn’t everyone just clamoring about how AWESOME 2023 was going to be? I’m unfollowing that crowd. They jinxed it!

  69. I did the mole check and my dermatologist was like, “hey let’s cut this suspicious mole off your ass (ok, it was my upper thigh) and see if its pre-cancerous!” And then the results came back and it WAS and she was like, “ok, no big deal. but we only cut out half the mole the first time, so now we are going to cut out an even bigger chunk of your ass. You’re welcome! ” So yeah. Been there, done that.

  70. I found a sore on my back when I dried myself off with a towel and my back was bleeding. “Why would I have a cut on my back?” Went to the dermatologist shortly after that and she did a biopsy. It was melanoma. Thankfully it didn’t spread but I had to have an operation to have it removed. This was in 2019. Glad you go it checked and I hope you don’t have any of those other diseases/syndromes.

  71. I think you are amazing, and I’m glad you’re taking good care of yourself. I love your hair! Also, I love this whole tribe of Jenny people

  72. That’s nothing… I lost a crown on a BROWNIE once. I said “ow”, spit it out, wrapped it in a napkin and finished the brownie. I was NOT wasting good chocolate. Gotta have priorities hon.

  73. Bette Davis coined the phrase, “Old age is not for sissies”.
    I sheared a tooth off at the base during my first pregnancy (48 years ago) while eating a McD’s French fry. I thought the ole’ ‘you lose a tooth with each pregnancy’ was an old wives’ tale. But I got a crown eventually and had another kid while keeping all the rest of my teeth.

  74. I hope you know you have company thinking all the things between 1 and 4 a.m. (give or take, I’m in Washington state so it’s Pacific Standard Time.) Regular daytime hours can only do so much so I guess that is what the dead of night is for. I will be sending you lots of good vibes and maybe a little lullaby or two — hope it helps. xox

  75. Definitely gotta check the moles – I’ve been mole-y all my life but last summer had a new one i didn’t trust and it had to be dug out because it was cancerous. Had a huge bandage that looked like i was Building a prosthetic to be a muppet. Aw well aging sucks

  76. I live that your hair is two-toned. It’s like naturally punk, which is so cool, except I’m too old to know cool apparently (I have daughters) so what do I know.

  77. I went to the dermatologist last fall about a spot on my leg and she gave me some stuff for my melasma that worked really well. ZO Skin Health Pigment Control Creme that is 4% hydroquinone. I’ve had it since I had my son, and it’s almost gone now. I always wear at least 50 spf, have for years and she also recommended Elta MD sunblock that I get from Amazon.

  78. Ah, the joys of getting older and having your whole body betray you. I have RA (plus a few other things) and Sjogren’s, had to have two big clumps of tissue removed from each breast, so with age I’d finally gotten busty enough to have cleavage and then a surgeon basically removed half of each boob and no matter how much fat I try to fit into my bra from my underarms and ribs, I still have no cleavage. Again. And they are moving south! Just like the rest of my skin and fat. I’ve decided my brown spots on my face are beauty marks. Eyedrops for Sjogren’s. Vision failure…well, thank God for glasses…and seasick pills. Look at it this way, though; you have finally arrived at the Crone stage of life where people are more forgiving when you speak your mind because they think “ah, she’s just an old bitch. Humor her.” Beaming you some white light and positive vibes to help fight off depression.

  79. Girl, yes, that skin check is super important! Glad someone saw it and did something! Feel the love and support you are getting ❤️

  80. I love you and also bodies are stupid and can we just become discorporeal because I think it would be an improvement.

  81. I feel ya hun. I just had my very first dermatologist appt and I have those discolorations too, plus some actinic keratoses, and a precancerous spot on my nose that she froze off on the spot with liquid nitrogen.

    And glasses…. Changing prescriptions is the WORST. Good news is your brain will eventually adjust to them but it does take a few weeks. (Now when I take my glasses off if I pay attention I can SEE my vision “keystoning” because my brain is still compensating for the glasses!)

    Anywho… you’re NOT alone, you ARE awesome, and I always look forward to your posts. Love you!

  82. I cracked a molar on a bacon bit in a kale salad at Panera and I wondered why I even bothered. (But thank you because your posts PROVES that if it was a HEALTHIER salad, it wouldn’t have done that.)

    Meanwhile, donut would NEVER.

  83. Started using Metamucil it was a game changer. It cleans you out and hardly any tp needed.

  84. Also have driving glasses that don’t leave my car & computer glassed that don’t leave my desk.

  85. Good to hear you’re going to the doc. Getting older is hell. I have things I never knew existed!

    I was taught the brown spots were called ‘age’ spots. My dermo calls them ‘wisdom’ spots. The office charge to freeze them off is crazy $$ as not covered by ins. His suggestion – use compound W freeze off and do it myself at home. Be sure to use the ‘name’ brand and not the generic. The tip on the name brand is better AND you can use regular q-tips when you run out of the very few applicators they include. **Be sure to do a ‘test’ patch first – to see if you blister. I say test patch as I had MANY on my face, I didn’t want to do all at once. Some on my face and hands have blistered, some just scabbed up. Either scab or blister, be sure to use some sort of antibiotic type ointment/band-aid to keep them covered aka moist (yes, I typed moist). If scabs dry out, they are more likely to scar. My dermo also told me not to use neosporin, to use bacitracin instead. Good luck!

  86. oh and glasses – i found the motion sickness dealio when I did progressive lenses for my bifocals. I switched to the dreaded ‘line’ bifocal and that went away.

  87. I had precancerous moles removed like 20 years ago. And my dermatologist hasn’t asked to remove any other moles since then. And I have a lot of them. So, either my current dermatologist is terrible and I am crawling in skin cancer, or you can take comfort in knowing that maybe you won’t be asked to sacrifice a tiny bit of yourself on a yearly or semi-yearly basis. As for the kale thing, I found out about the mandatory massages right before Christmas and I have not stopped talking about it yet. It is SO weird to have to rub your greens down. Like totally freaky. But I really like the kale salad recipe I found, so now I’m playing some Barry White on my phone while I prep for dinner (just kidding).

  88. My skin loves making random spots…moles, melasma, something my dermatologist literally refers to as “age barnacles” (I should be sainted for not smacking her when she does). I have two good-sized scars on my back from having “worrisome” moles removed that I tell people are from being shot during my spying years. 😂 All of which is to say that you’re not alone and yay for taking care of yourself and you’re lovely, spots and all.

  89. My mother’s dermatologist called her a dermatologic potpourri. I’m pretty positive he meant it as a compliment, in the way a microbiologist would say a bacteria is rare and exciting, though it’s resistant to all antibiotics and deadly. I’m not sure if dermatologic potpourri is hereditary, but I think we should hope that’s a big NO! Stay on those moles!

  90. Honestly I think you have discussed Grave’s Disease before so pretty sure you’ve tested for that. I frequently use kale and have never give it an intimate massage unless you count ripping the leaves off the stalky thing.

  91. We turn 40 and the warranty runs out. I feel ya – just can’t bear another doctor visit.

  92. Hi Jenny. I feel like our depression cycles are in sync. Is that even a thing? This morning I felt like today was going to be horrible. It was by the way. But I looked in the mirror when I was getting ready for work and yelled at my self “Shut up, mouth! Don’t you even think about talking!” My pre-scolding didn’t work as planned. What did work out was my anxiety pill and ice cream when I got home from work. Also, Grave’s disease sounds very deadly. hahaha! Get it? “Grave?” I think you should have an armadillo tattooed on your face. Or, you can have your face tattooed on your face. That would be cool.
    Hang in there, sister. We got this. Right? Maybe.

  93. Or maybe don’t go to the dr so much because dammit they will find something you need to follow up or medicate or unconsciously ignore for the rest of your life.

  94. there is some bad weird health juju going on…it’s epic, like the recent rains. i have been paralyzed with fear and WTF… i won’t elaborate but i commiserate. keep finding joy 🕊

  95. What I want to know is, how the f you manage to get doctor’s appointments? I believe everything you say except the part where you get doctors to look at you.

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  98. Call your dermatologist every year to make an appointment for Mole Patrol. (It’s a skin doc joke.)

  99. Make an appointment with your dermatologist every year for “Mole Patrol”. That’s an inside joke that lets them know your know what you’re talking about.

  100. Raw kale (and other brassicas like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower) will rid your body of iodine and eating them constantly can cause hypothyroidism. Always cook your cabbagey things. Kale is best cooked for a lot longer than cabbage for a good texture, as it is tougher.

  101. I’ve had Sjogrens now for 6 years. It’s changed from Syndrome to Disease since it’s a full on auto-immune disease. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s just dry eyes and dry mouth. It’s the twin to Lupus for a reason and can attack any tissue in the body, including organs, so it’s one you really want to stay on top of. The Sjogren’s Foundation has some really good info on it if you need it. I hear you though on the “have all the things.” I feel like a Pokemon Master but a auto-immune one instead–gotta catch ’em all, right?

  102. The mole thing is no joke. I buried my 35 year old son who died of melanoma that went undiagnosed because it was on his back and he thought it was a zit. See your dermatologist once a year for a skin check of your whole body, including your scalp. It’s a very, very real thing.

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