I started to not write this because it could easily be misconstrued as attention seeking or even wanting pity. But please believe me that neither are my motive. I just really want you to know what sun tanning and sun worship can do to you – not just know but listen! Many of you know that I have struggled with skin cancer problems for over forty years – maybe some hereditary but primarily because of spending the days of my youth in the sun every day without protection because way back then SPF lotions were in their infancy. I have had a malignant Melanoma, numerous malignant Squamous Cell Carcinomas, and malignant Basil Cell cancers as well. Prior to this week my last major surgery on my nose was in March, the week the pandemic started. At the end of July, I had eight places biopsied, and six came back as Squamous Cell cancers. I had two surgically removed two weeks ago and will have two more removed within the next month. However, the worst two of the six were removed Wednesday – a deep one on my forehead above my right eye and the most serious on the end of my nose. The one on my nose required reconstructive surgery Thursday by a “plastic” surgeon. They were hoping to do a skin flap which may have ended future problems on my nose. However, because the skin needed to do that potentially has cancer cells already, they could not. Instead they took a skin graft from my neck, and I now have a good bit of my nose covered with new skin – hopefully all will go well and, not that I am vain, but that it will eventually look OK. I sit here writing this with serious pain medication, seven days of not leaving our home, and probably a month of initial healing. So, what is my hope in writing this? My hope is that you will listen to one who knows, never go outside without proper sun screen, do not worship the sun on a beach, and never, ever get in a tanning bed because the damage builds up over more use! I wish I could say that this journey is over for me, but chances are there are other cancers lurking under my skin waiting to burst forth. Enjoy life, but please enjoy it responsibly. 🙏
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