As May comes to a close and we celebrate Memorial Day here in the United States, it is the unofficial start of summer. With BBQs and trips to the lake or beach upon us, I wanted to write about something other than fibromyalgia, but still something near and dear to my heart. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month. I became aware of this disease as a little girl, since it has plagued my mom’s side of the family. She grew up in a beach town back in the days when they used baby oil on their skin in the summer. Fair skin + no protection + summers in the sun = Disaster.
My first recollection of skin cancer was when I was about 8 years old at one of my ballet recitals. My mom had to wear a big floppy hat to protect her face. She had just had surgery to remove skin cancer, which took part of an eyebrow and had she waited any longer for treatment, she was told she would have lost her eye. Since then she’s had multiple surgeries – nose, scalp, ear. And she is facing two more surgeries in the next few weeks. My aunt, grandmother, and my oldest brother have all had a few removed. We are the fair-skinned ones in the family. Because of this my mother instilled in me at that very early age to take care of my skin. I think of using sunscreen as one of those things that everyone knows they should do, but often don’t take the time. SPF is your friend!