A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



By Cathy Perkins

I’m taking a detour from our usual discussions about writing and books with a more personal note. I had a spot removed yesterday.

Perhaps I should back up a bit. I was the blue-eyed blonde in a family full of dark-eyed, dark-haired people. We spent a lot of time outside as a family. They got lovely suntans. I got burned.

Fast-forward many years and that sun-damaged skin has a nasty habit of turning into skin cancer. Of course, all skin types can get cancer. And sunscreen—if you put it on—is your best prevention friend.

Most skin cancers fall into the “no big deal” category. Many can be zapped with liquid nitrogen. But as you work your way up (down?) the scale on the various cancers, things can get sketchier. A bit more on that later.

Mohs surgery is the preferred technique for dealing with the cancer. Basically, the surgeon takes a scoop of tissue, then examines it as a series of slices. If the lowest slice still shows cancer cells, the process is repeated until the margins are clear. With a simple procedure, you’re done in one. Hearing the surgeon say, “We’re scraping this sample off your skull” can be a game changer. (It was clear. Thanks for asking.)

I won’t make you look at sobering pictures of tumors or disfigurements. You can Google those. In fact, go here for lots of technical, understandable information.

Bottom line? Ignoring “that weird spot” won’t make it go away. Instead it can give an aggressive tumor too much time to spread. While the surgeons are great at hiding scars and replacing bits and pieces of features, consider this National Check Yourself Out day. Here’s how.

Basal and squamous are the most common types of cancer, but the nastiest form is melanoma. With all of them, early detection is the key. With melanoma, it’s as simple as A-B-C. With a D-E occasionally thrown in.

A – Asymmetry. One half isn’t like the other.

B – Border. The edges aren’t smooth.

C – Color. There can be a variety of colors in the spot, tan, brown, black or maybe a little blue or red thrown in.

D – Diameter. Anything larger than a pencil eraser should be looked at.

E – Evolving. A mole or lesion that changes over time.

But you’re going to look for ALL the spots that weren’t there before, right? 

Oh, and on the writing front, my latest mystery just released. So About the Money romps through eastern Washington with its rivers, wineries, Native American casinos, and assorted farm animals. Add in some wicked fun chemistry between the CPA amateur sleuth & a local detective and Holly Price better solve the case before the next dead body found beside the river is hers.

Last day of the special new release pricing!



Anne Marie Becker said...

Cathy, thank you for this important reminder. My father-in-law (and his dad before him) has been through the "spot removal" a lot, and I'm certain my husband will be going through this at some point. It seems to run in the family. And at least 2 of my kids seem to have that side of the family's body type, so you can bet we slather on the sunscreen and avoid the sun when we can. In fact, I was so relieved this summer when my youngest just didn't want to wear short sleeves. He had to have pants and long sleeves because he was more comfortable that way. Made it easier!

Maureen A. Miller said...

Congratulations on the new release, Cathy!

And thank you for this reminder. I am a blonde, fair-haired Ukrainian who spent her youth prancing about in the Florida sunshine. I used to get so burned my mom would dress me in a muumuu and rub yucca plant sap on me. (Not a pretty image)

Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you!

Elise Warner said...

Thanks for the reminder, Cathy. I too have fair skin and should have that yearly check-up.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good reminder, Cathy, especially to those of us whose family members have had skin cancer. Take care of yourself (glad you're clear!) and congratulations on the new release.

Rita said...

Hugs. Thanks for the reminder.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Anne Marie - both my kids had my coloring (blonde hair/blue eyes) when they were little and we soaked them in sunscreen too.
Keep an eye on your hubby. So hard to get guys to take care of themselves!

Cathy Perkins said...

@Maureen - I never had to endure the yucca plant treatment (I think we all demand pictures :) ).
That Florida sun will get you - I remember being so burned during Spring Break one year that it was painful to go outside.

Cathy Perkins said...

@Elise, Marcelle and Rita (especially you, Ms I-live-in-Florida Rita!)
Schedule those checkups!

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Great post! I'm another one of those fair-skinned sunburn queens. (Thanks ever so much, Ireland.) In addition to staying vigilant, I never skip those annual dermo checks.

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

P.S. Kathy, meant to congratulate you on the new release. That fabulous cover...

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

(sorry, congrats to Cathy with a "C"!)

Cathy Perkins said...

Good on you for getting an annual checkup Lisa!

(And I'm glad you like the cover - I do too!)

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