Friday, September 1, 2017

Trust Ciwt on the Sunscreen --- Day 6/192

Walk: Trader Joe's
Distance: Death Defying 2 miles in Never-in-San-Francisco 100 degree weather and LA type smog,                  Yoga too

In August 1997, Chicago Tribune columnist, Mary Schmich began one of  her columns with these words: Ladies and gentlemen of the Class of '98: Wear sunscreen.*

Because Ciwt's father had died quite young of melanoma (the most lethal form of skin cancer), Ciwt was already doing that - religiously, every day.  On her face.  Somehow she had taken the medical warnings to mean 'Always wear sunscreen on your face.  And, if you go to the beach or will be out all day recreating in the sun, put it on your body as well."

This she thought and did until a few days ago when a creepy looking spot appeared on her lower leg right around her pants hemline.  Because she's Ciwt (and anxious about skin stuff), she got herself to the doctor as soon as she could - an hour would have been just fine.  The doctor did a biopsy, which Ciwt sweated throughout her trip. The results were indeed skin cancer, but luckily not melanoma, very superficial because she had had it checked so soon, and she's already had it removed.

The moral of Ciwt's tale here is that we need to be putting sunscreen on every part of ourselves that is exposed to the sun, every day.  In other words: Wear sunscreen.  And, secondly, if you notice any new spot, get it checked as quickly as you can while it is still at a superficial layer of the skin.  

Most likely your spot won't be cancer.  There are myriad kinds of skin spots, most of which are totally benign.  But they all kind of look alike, so likely the doctor will take a biopsy to know exactly what she/he is looking at.  Don't be anxious about that (unless you are like Ciwt).  If it isn't skin cancer - which it probably won't be - so you're out the cost of a doctor visit.  Money well spent Ciwt thinks.

Meanwhile, trust her - and the docs and Mary Schmich - on the sunscreen.  And read Mary's whole column - except for the line about Northern California - by pressing the link above.*

*You may already know it as a 'commencement speech' supposedly given by Kurt Vonnegut. That's how it went viral.  Read it again anyway.

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