View Full Version : I'm getting back on my horse tomorrow..celebration and PSA

Meredith Clark
Jan. 15, 2011, 10:38 PM
I'll go ahead with the PSA part first...

This fall I was diagnosed with skin cancer. I'm 25. I'm not a beach person and I don't use tanning beds since a few times before my senior prom. I really think my skin cancer (which was on my face) came from years of horse showing.

When I was little I would be out in the sun at horse shows all day long. I remember my mom putting sun screen on when I was really little but I also remember always coming home with a beat red face.

The procedure was horrible. I had a chuck of skin the size of a nickle taking out right above my lip. I have a really bad scar and my lip is still huge. The plastic surgeon promised me that in a little over 6 weeks most people won't be able to tell it's there.

I haven't been able to work for weeks and I haven't been able to ride either. Tomorrow I'm going to sit on my horse. I'm not allowed to do anything strenuous, I can't even lift the saddle on his back.

I had a lot of plans to do a jumper series and dressage series this winter and I wanted to come out strong this spring after such a great fall season. That isn't going to go as scheduled but at least i'm healthy.


Wish me luck tomorrow, I hope Juice Pony remembers me and WEAR SUNSCREEN AND A HAT ALL YEAR WHENEVER YOU'RE IN THE SUN

Jan. 15, 2011, 11:07 PM
I do, and good luck! Have fun Mere!

Jan. 15, 2011, 11:14 PM
Congratulations! I am so sorry you had to go through this, and your PSA is so important. Horse folks get lots of sun exposure. I have myself checked each year by a dermatologist for just that reason. I had a large, flat, multi-colored mole removed this fall. It was on my temple and while not cancerous, it was questionable. It hurt!! and I have a sizable scar, but it will fade. A scar is better than cancer.

Good luck getting back on...you'll feel marvelous afterward, at least emotionally. Now, you'll have a lifetime of healthy rides to look forward to.

Jan. 15, 2011, 11:20 PM
Best wishes for your return ride, and even though you may not be able to keep your show plans this season, at least you will be around to share many more with your horse!

I am definitely guilty of not protecting my skin as well as I should. I went to Florida in October for my grandfather's memorial and my dad had to keep reminding me to put sunscreen on - I'm not used to that kind of sun! Thanks for the PSA, and I'll definitely be more diligent about it.

Jan. 16, 2011, 01:31 AM
Good luck Clarkiepoo!!!!!!! May da Schwartz be wif yewz!

Jan. 16, 2011, 08:50 AM
I hope you have a wonderful ride!!!!

And..... thanks for the reminder. I too, am horrible about not putting on sunscreen!

Thanks :)

Jan. 16, 2011, 11:13 AM
Wow, Mer, I just went through the same thing! On my upper lip- I am having the surgery in Feb. I was always the one who sat under the umbrella at the beach with a book, I hated getting burnt- unless I was out at the barn- then my face and arms took a beating.

My husband has always been on me to use sunscreen, he is a farrier and triathlete, burns easily and uses it constantly- now I am listening to him.

Zu Zu
Jan. 16, 2011, 11:17 AM
Have a grand ride ~ :D


Jan. 16, 2011, 01:55 PM
have a WONDERFUL Ride, and I'm sure the Juicy Pony will remember you :) And a VERY good PSA. Even if you DON'T Burn, any extra protection is needed, especially since so many of us are outside so much. I don't burn. God bless my strange strange genetics (native american/irish go figure), but over the last few years I've definitely become about religious about the sunscreen because I've learned even if you don't burn, large amounts of exposure can be bad. Not cool. So jingles for quick recovery from your surgery, and I am so glad it went well!

Zu Zu
Jan. 19, 2011, 06:28 PM
Update on your first ride ~ hoping it was great ? :D

Did you ever get a barn cat ?

Jan. 20, 2011, 08:18 AM
I have used those soft spongy scar reduction pads. There are a few brands. I used the ones you do not need the creme/ointment with. You just cut the pad to fit, stick it on and go to sleep with it. It seems to keep it flatter.
I used it for my surgery site on my knee and I got a hoof to the face and got 7 stiches just under my eye. You can't even see where I had the stiches on my face. It was just sewn up at the emergency clinic, not by a plastic surgeon.

Make sure you use sunscreen on the scar itself, even this time of year. I was told that it is more likely to stay discolored if you do not use sunscreen.

For anybody that needs surgery on their face for cancer I would recommend looking into Mohs surgery.

I had Mohs surgery on a large growth on my shoulder. Basically the dermatologist surgeon is also a pathologist. He removed to the point that the thought he had clear margins. He then takes a biopsy of the clear margin and examines the slide before closing the surgery site. My surgeon did not have clear margins so had to take a little more, re-biopsy & recheck before closing. An additional clear margin biopsy is sent to an outside lab as a double check.
This way they can take as little as possible but still get everything.

A friend at work had a cancerous growth on the side of her nose. She had it removed. The growth and the clear margin biopsies where sent to the lab. The clear margin wasn't clear. So two weeks after the first surgery she had to have it reoperated on. The Mohs surgery will theoectically prevent this.

Fractious Fox
Jan. 20, 2011, 08:39 AM
Congratulations on your recovery!!! I'm very dedicated to skin cancer awareness, too! My family is riddled with it, and I had my first precancerous spot surgically removed when I was 16. I have probably had no more than 10 sunburns my entire life, so I think it should be added that it doesn't take extreme exposure.

Hats and super high SPF sunscreen is the way to go!! I think sunscreen application should be a part of your morning routine, or at least part of your riding routine (ie: keep a bottle in your helmet and put it on when you don helmet and gloves).

Jan. 21, 2011, 11:02 PM
Wow Meridith, that's really scary! good for you for getting back on your horse!

How did it feel to be 'back in the saddle'?

Jan. 22, 2011, 06:38 AM
Congratulations and good luck.

I had a cancerous mole removed from my back, and a mole pre cancerous removed from my chin , dead center.

Follow the Dr.s orders, I have a barely perceptable scar I don't need to cover with make-up!!
I did opt to have a platics guy do my face though.
Keep that scar well sunscreened!!!

Jan. 22, 2011, 08:42 AM
That's a big bummer!! But so glad to know you're back in the saddle.

Thanks for reminding everyone to use sun screen.