With May (Melanoma Awareness Month) upon us, and thoughts of summer finding its way north (will it, ever?), I’m looking at my first true season of fun in the sun. Since I spent most of last summer, in recovery mode, this is the first season since my diagnosis when I will be truly confronted with shielding myself from UV rays.
Admittedly, I have a horrible history when it comes to using sun protection. Naively thinking my easy-to-tan skin was less susceptible to damaging rays, and not liking the sticky feeling and funky, fruity smell of sunscreen, I rarely gave the risks of sun exposure a thought, despite my love for the outdoors. The thought of a cover-up shirt on a hot, humid day was even less appealing. It’s easy to see where all that got me. An odd tan line from my camera backpack is much easier to resolve than skin cancer.
Up to the time of my diagnosis, I still fell under the misguided social notion that a tan exuded an appearance of health. Now when I see people with deep, dark tans I shudder, cringe, and divert my gaze not wanting to view the damage that can’t be undone.
So to you sun protection, I humbly bow.
I should have know when, I should have known how.
To slather, slop and smear, is by far a better route
To shield, shade and shy from the rays’ harsh shouts.
There is something stylish about a wide brimmed hat,
And broad, dark sunglasses under that,
For skin cancer knows no age, no bounds
Slather that lotion to tame it down.
Don’t like feeling like a greased pig?
Grab a shirt, make it loose and big.
Pale is chic around the black beast
Melanoma find somewhere else to feast.
As the Sunscreen Song, says, “If I could offer only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists…trust me on the sunscreen.”