What is your name?
My name is Kayelene Fowler.
I enjoy the creative arts and travelling!
How did you discover your skin cancer / melanoma / skin condition and how long ago?
I have had a few of skin cancers removed so far, on my chest and arms. I also have a chronic disease, Crohn's disease, and the medications I take for it increase my sun sensitivity. These medications also lower my immunity and therefore any cut takes longer to heal.
I had the skin cancer on my chest removed about seven years ago. That was a real wakeup call for me to be really serious about taking better care of my skin. At the beginning of this year I noticed a spot on each shoulder. My visit to the doctor confirmed skin cancer and I had them taken off. The doctor took biopsies first and confirmed skin cancer. He froze them both off and when I returned a for a check up a fortnight later he did another round of freezing.
Due to my skin not healing as expected the doctor decided to cut one out to make sure all the skin cancer cells were gone. Thankfully I've had the results and all is ok. But, it is not fun having stitches in your arm - you can't use your arm as normal, someone else has to carry the heavy items. My other arm will be checked again in a few months just to make sure all is ok!
I am a primary school teacher and some of the day is outside. My morning routine is to put sunscreen on my face and neck, arms and legs every day. I wear a hat when on playground duty and teaching sport. While I have stitches in my arm I find it difficult to raise my arm up to write on the board.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self about sun protection?
I wish I had been as thorough in putting on sunscreen in my youth.
Thank you Kayelene for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.