January 4, 2017

Skin Cancer 101

Most of us living in Florida have heard about the dangers of skin cancer.  Not only am I a 4th generation Floridian (eye roll . . . I know, I say that a lot), but I was/am a sun worshiper.  Not much for church anymore, but the sun?  Yes, I have worshiped the sun ~ slathered in baby oil kind of worship (although not since my teens).  On my list of the top 10 things I love in life would be the warmth of the sun on my face.  In fact, when it's time for my journey to end, I can only hope I'm experiencing that feeling one last time.

But we all know how life works . . . too much of anything is just not good for you. Maya Angelou said it best - "Moderation in all things. And even moderation in moderation. Don't get too much moderation, you know?".

And oh how Philip and I have loved the outdoors since we were kids.  Not only did Philip play outside, he worked outside for most of his adult life too.  Even now, as a Chief Engineering Inspector, he spends quite a bit of time in the sun.  That's not going to change . . . but a number of things are.

There are three major types of skin cancer:  basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.  If you had to pick one to have (kind of like picking our last president - the worst of three evils) . . . you would want the basal cell kind.  It doesn't spread.  Squamous cell can spread, but rarely does . . . and melanoma ~ well, melanoma just plain sucks.  You would never pick melanoma.

Philip has squamous cell carcinoma.  Hopefully the more accurate way to put that is Philip HAD squamous cell carcinoma ~ as today he had "it" removed.  The bitch about this particular cancer is that if you've ever had it, the chances of getting it again are 50/50.  The good news is that when caught early, it's completely manageable.  Now you can bet I'll be going over that man with a fine tooth comb from here on out!  ๐Ÿ˜  I could never, in a million years, imagine my life without him.

So we switch to long sleeve work shirts and a hat . . . 50 spf sport fishing shirts.. . . daily sunscreen . . . and no more skinny-dipping in our blow-up pool every summer (which really sucks, but you do what you gotta do). ๐Ÿ˜

I'm sharing this because one - I tend to share too much . . . and two - the doctor said that once the damage is done . . . well, it's done.  So it's important not to allow the damage to happen.  So my advice is . . . cover up ~ cover up now ~ and no more skinny-dipping!

As for my weird growth behind my ear . . . it's seborrheic keratoses - sounds freaky . . . but it's harmless and heredity (and already occupies many other body parts).  Just another thing to thank my father for.  There's no doubt I am my father's child - lock, stock, and barrel.  I can only hope my kids love me as much as I loved him.  ๐Ÿ’—

I can't end this post without a photo.  Now, I could photograph Philip's squamous cells, but that would be just plain gross (and the smell during his procedure - oh man, wasn't expecting that!) . . . how about I end with something pretty I captured this morning?



  1. Oh, gosh, I feel like I've missed so much (my dad's been sick). I've been having fun catching up on your blog. I'm so glad to see the good news in this post . . . and the picture of the chives is just lovely. Your whole blog is so pretty. I really like the pictures you've included (on the right) of your blog's main characters. Each one captures so much personality!

  2. I'm very relieved that dad is okay!!
    And I will start wearing sunscreen more often ๐Ÿ˜Thank you for sharing! I love your post and blog!
    The chive picture is incredible!!

  3. Good news x two = wonderful! Love the photo of the chives.

  4. Thankful that it was caught. Thank you for the information. Sunscreen scares me though. I prefer long-sleeved white shirts and a big, floppy gardening hat.