Warning! Content is Meant to Scare YOU!
Skin cancer is no big deal, right? I believed this as I continued to love beach days, boat days, and time outside from the moment I was born until a few years ago. I truly thought that I would never have skin cancer and if I did, it could just be removed in the doctor office and back to the beach we go!
Metastatic melanoma is deadly; more than that, the things we cancer patients go through should be enough to scare everyone out of the sun. Multiple surgeries, embarrassing spot checks with a group of dermatologists, knowledgeable oncologists recommending radiation to live, and choosing to be part of a clinical trial as there is no known cure for this disease. Does any of that freak you out?
Ignorance is Bliss
I’m hoping it does! It’s not me wishing you any of what’s become my norm, NONE OF IT! What I’ve noticed is that ignorance is bliss when it comes to melanoma. There is some sort of selective hearing; mostly, I find the family and friends can’t deal. I never preach, I never tell others what to do. I think I might be the poster child for what can go wrong and people don’t want to be reminded.
I still go to the beach, I still love the beach. Sanctuary, balance, and peace are found listening to the surf, watching the waves. I do it differently now. Beyond the usual sunscreen, I wear SPF clothing. If sitting, I keep moving position even though I’m under an umbrella. Yes, I even have a shade tent. I PACK…for the beach.
Sounds a bit much? This is life with melanoma. I tend to go to the beach for walks now versus the day. Cloudy days are my favorite. I check the UV index often, not out of paranoia but I consider it knowledge for my day. My love of boating is painfully not fulfilled any more. Spot checks and clinical trial fatigue are the norm.
Does this sound extreme? This is nothing compared to what I and others been through at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This is my life, no complaints as I’m so very happy to be here! Whether patient like Kevin S. Anderson who believed his melanoma was one and done, or me learning to live differently with the hope of many more years, lessons about skin cancer are costly.
Life changing forever, melanoma is now part of me. While I am disease free (YES!), cancer brings a whole new mind set and melanoma a whole new lifestyle. Please consider what you can do to incorporate sun safety into your life. Sensible measures may save you from life altering melanoma.
Read about melanoma. Educate yourself about melanoma. Be afraid, be sun shy. Stay alive! And thanks for signing up to follow my blog! I love to hear from you in the comments!
We can-cer vive!
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