Gratitude – and a Rant

I know I have pledged to keep this blog about gratitude for the month of November, and my gratitude knows no bounds, literally. I have a wonderful husband, family, job, dog, house, friends… every detail of my life (except one) is quite wonderful, and I am exceedingly appreciative.

The one exception is my skin. And I’m going to rant about this because I just had another biopsy (the third just this year) because I ruined my skin by sun worshipping in Hawaii for seventeen years.

The first time I had a squamous cell carcinoma cut off my chest, the dermotologist said, “Oh, yes, you’ve ruined your skin. These things will be popping up like mushrooms for the rest of your life.” He was right. I’ve had literally dozens taken off, and had a very serious bout with melanoma that will continue to haunt me. I caught it early, but as the oncologist said, “We don’t consider anyone cured of melanoma until they die of something else.”

All because I loved being tan.

Why do I bring this up now? Because I have just had what we all think is a basal cell carcinoma biopsied from the middle-finger knuckle on my left hand. Basal cell is not that big a deal; it grows and the scars are ugly when it’s removed (I might need a skin graft–my second), but it’s not life-threatening. All because I liked having that “healthy glow” from a suntan.

When they cut one off my face, I almost fainted a half hour later in a department store and had to sit on a big canister of popcorn in a display and put my head between my knees. Imagine having someone cut on your face because twenty years earlier you wanted to wear a strapless dress and not have a tan line.

My gym offers a deal when you buy multiple tanning sessions at a time. I am here to tell you, living proof with scars from my face to my ankles and a perpetual cloud hanging over my happiness, tanning is expensive.

You can’t afford it.


Filed under Cancer, regrets

2 responses to “Gratitude – and a Rant

  1. capncrusty

    You know I wish you all the best with this, Liz.

    That said, I’m glad I’m a “solariphobe” (except when it comes to sustainable power sources, of course). Never have cared for all that glare and heat; it just ain’t comfortable. That’s why I like the Great Northwest…during the nine-month winters, at least. Add to that the greater sensitivity to solar radiation I now have due to BP meds, as well as the huge numbers of sweaty, griping, whining humans that swarm everywhere when that Big Bright Evil Thing is riding high, and the motivation for this misanthrope to stay indoors as much as possible becomes even greater.

    Besides, no matter how tanned, I don’t look good in a strapless.

  2. Donna J. Cruz

    I was always a sun worshiper and was a fanatic about it since I moved to the Pacific islands of Guam and Saipan, often laying outside with little on but raw coconut oil (worst thing I could have used). I was just diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer and will have a chunk removed from my chest in 6 days by the only medical person available to me who can do anything about it. The one inch scar where he removed skin for biopsy is a terrible scar already. I so regret my past sun worship. I feel so for you and pray you will not have to keep dealing with this. I would really appreciate it if you would email me more about what I might expect during the cutting procedure next week. Thank you. Donna

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