I went to the store the other day and stocked up on sunscreen. Got the spray kind, the lotion and one especially for the face. Threw out my old, outdated ones.
I’m pretty sure most if not all of you are very aware of the dangers too much sun can cause our skin. However, if you’re anything like me – if I don’t see, hear, feel or smell it, it’s out of my mind. I’ll find myself out running or just in the sun and thinking oops, I should have used sunscreen, oh well. Huh, this past month has really given me a wake up call.
My mother is in her eighties and it appears that every single cancer cell has decided to surface on her this year and she wasn’t even a sun lover. She hated being in the sun as a matter of fact. As Floridians, going to the beach is a normal pastime for us. My dad would pack up the car to go to the beach and he and I would play in the sand and surf while my mother would create a little tent using the open car door and towels and stay in the car seat reading the newspaper. She would never venture out to play with us. So, it’s really a surprise for me to see her suffering from so many instances of skin cancer at this stage in her life.
She’s being sliced and diced. Sounds crude, I know, but this is exactly what happens when skin cancer surfaces. They have to cut little pieces of you off to get rid of it. One is a bit more serious requiring a skin graft as if she really needs to lose any more skin on her body. It appears that she’s going to be in a lot of discomfort for the rest of this year at least because they can only do a couple of locations at a time. Each one requires at least 2 weeks of healing – changing the dressing, applying antibacterial ointment, then removal of stitches or staples. Then the next round starts again…
I’m the one that takes her to her doctor appointments and also helping with the incisions in places that she can’t reach. I see her discomfort and struggle to keep the places properly dressed for healing. Some of these incisions will need to be done in a hospital setting because the location of the cancer isn’t easily removed. She’s going to have scars and indentations from each and every one of those cuts.
I’ve had 2 instances of skin cancer myself, but that was about five years ago and I haven’t had anything since. Like I said, as time goes by if it’s not front and foremost in my senses, I get comfortable and complacent. Life moves so fast that I don’t always remember to apply sunscreen. Which is pretty ignorant and lazy of me considering how much I love being in the sun. I thrive on the warmth. A lot of what I love to do is being out in the sun, running, swimming, walking…etc.. So, I’m whipping myself in line here. Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen. I’m sending this out to everyone because if I can convince just one other person of the seriousness of using sunscreen and being careful in the sun then I’ll be happy.
Enjoy the sun, but come on… just be smart about it. I’m saying this to myself just as much as I am to everyone else out there. None of us want to have to go through what I’m watching my mother go through.