I have been a victim of skin cancers. A few months short of my 27th birthday, with a toddler and a newborn, I had a melanoma removed.
My husband discovered what appeared to be a discoloured freckle.
As I was pregnant, I pretty well ignored it until after I gave birth. Very stupid and not recommended, but I was young and bulletproof and bad things just didn’t happen to me.
It was certainly a shock when after the freckle removal the doctor rang back and said to me “get to this cancer specialist”. Of course, I tried to tell him that I was busy and would do it soon. No No, I was told get there today we have made an appointment for you.
I was mortal, shock horror.
Fortunately, it was still a level 2 and able to be completely removed. An acquaintance a few years later was not so lucky. In her early 30’s she had a melanoma on her back that had spread and she left behind 6 children under 12. Very sad.
I have a large hole in my leg and a skin graft as a visual reminder of the damage the sun can do.
I am a lot more careful now and even
After my initial surgery, I had 6 monthly skin checks and since then I have had skin checks at least once every 2 years, sometimes yearly. However, I am now working on reducing this to a check every year and an occasional one in between time if I spot anything at all.
Nowadays I always wear a high factor sunscreen and mostly a hat outdoors. I don’t ‘coverup’ completely, I do wear short-sleeved shirts and shorts. So I reapply regularly and try not to walk around in the sun during the hottest part of the day.
If I must be out at this critical time I wear a shirt that covers my shoulders and a hat.
I use a foundation
In my 20’s-40’s I worked indoors 5 1/2 days a week but now is different.
Whilst I work outdoors undercover, I can still sometimes be facing the sun for most of the day due to the location of my worksites.
I travel a lot and have sunscreen inside the cab of my motorhome to regularly apply during the day. I have a bottle of sunscreen at work and one next to my toiletries so that I see it each morning. Sometimes we are creatures of habit and if we put everything that we need within reach, it can make a big difference to our routine.
I encourage everyone not to be complacent and undergo regular extensive inspections. If you are not happy with the service of the skin clinic or doctor you use, then find another.
I was lucky and I hope that by sharing I can help others realize just how fragile our skin is and how quickly things can change.
Do you know someone with fair skin that spends a lot of time in the sun. Please share this message if so as it may help them.
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