Under my skin, part 1

Under my skin, part 1

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I’m fine, but I find myself thinking about cancer a lot these days, so this is the first part of a mini-series.

It’s summer, which is moodwise a good time for me, as is spring. But it is also the time of the year where I am reminded on a daily basis that I’m at a higher risk to devolop Melanoma (again) than most people. Leaving the house or just sitting on the terrace requires some planning and preperation, like using sun blocker.  As you can see in the picture above, there’s not much tan on my skin, but that’s the least of my worries. I’m not always able to enjoy the nice warm summer days. Sometimes I think “Am I careful enough? Is this time in the sun too much and will cause cancer?”

In February I had a check up with my dermatologist. He said: “It was almost twenty years ago that you have been diagnosed with Melanoma.”

I know he meant well, like “Don’t worry”. But the truth is my life has changed irrevocably with my cancer diagnosis, and I lost a big part of carefreeness forever. It’s not always the others who get cancer… But acting responsibly and protecting my skin means I am confronted with it every day. It’s difficult to steer a middle course: Being mindful and careful is helpful, panic isn’t and makes things even harder.

Sometimes I get angry when I see how careless many people are behaving in the sun, without giving the possibility of getting Melanoma a single thought. I would like to be so carefree again, but I have two scars on my left leg as a constant reminder. And I wonder how many cases of skin cancer could be prevented by being more precautious.

Maybe these thoughts are not so unusual for somebody who survived cancer. Please, bear with us. Even if we have been “cured” from cancer, sometimes there are triggers that remind us of really hard times.

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10 thoughts on “Under my skin, part 1

  1. Hello dear Viola, I’m sorry to hear of what you’ve been through, I cannot imagine. I’m very glad you’re well today, many people, cats and dogs need and love you. Including us online. Yes, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun as it’s really strong these days.

    I have a silly neighbour living opposite who every summer made much fun of my lightly tanned skin. She ridiculed me! I didn’t think she was nice and she was being reckless. Why? She had RED skin the colour of a lobster! 🦀 I’ve naturally fair skin but her natural skin was even fairer. A few years passed and one day her husband told me while we were politely chatting on the street, that she had a brush with cancer. He said they couldn’t believe it because she had NEVER sunbathed! Ah the lies we tell ourselves.

    Love to you and yours and enjoy your break 🐕 🐈 🌻 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your neighbour isn’t the only one. My dermatologist told me about a patient who still used to bath in the sun (without sunscreen) after being diagnosed with Melanoma and got it again. Sigh… It maybe a hard lesson to learn with illness and limitations, but it has to be learned nonetheless. xo

      Liked by 1 person

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