A Word to Families and Friends
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You know the drill. “Do you have sunscreen on?” “You know that could be a bad mole?” “Did you reapply?” “You’re going to the beach all day?” We ask a lot of questions. We give a lot of answers. We give unsolicited advice. We make mountains out of mole (no pun intended) hills. We can be annoying. We can be ‘Debbie Downers’. Chicken Little, here we come! We are skin cancer survivors and you still love us.

Please understand

We have been through a lot. We have been prodded, snipped, burned, cut, sewn, and patched. We get scared. We have been through trauma. We are forever diligent. We want to help. We want to save lives. We mean well. We want the best for those we love and even for those we don’t. We just don’t want others to go through what we go through.

Please be understanding

When we remind you for the thousandth time about skin care, please be understanding.
When you find three bottles of sun screen in the car, please be understanding.
When we insist that you see a dermatologist, please be understanding.
When we prefer not to go to the beach, please be understanding.
When we wear long sleeves on a hot day and it looks wacky, please be understanding.
When we examine your skin in some odd way, please be understanding.
When we send you a link to SkinCancer.net, please be understanding.
When you get sunscreen in your holiday stocking, please be understanding.
When we prefer to keep the convertible top town or sunroof closed on an awesome day, please be understanding.
Overall, please be understanding.

Families take note

More than likely fair-skinned, light-eyed, freckled parents will produce the same in their offspring. Studies show that this skin type is more likely to suffer from various forms of skin cancer (Although skin cancer can affect those with darker skin). There is evidence that suggests that there is a genetic factor at work in skin cancer1. What does this mean? It means that we (skin cancer survivors) are probably aware that you (our families) may be at a higher risk to get skin cancer and we don’t like this one bit. This may come out in the way we speak with you. We may sound preachy and we may lecture, but we do this out of care, concern and love. Please understand that we are not trying to ruin your fun, squash your vacation plans, or make life difficult. We just feel that it is our job to let you know what we know to help you.

Let us know

Communicate with us. When we have said enough, let us know. We you get the point, tell us. When you are out of questions, make sure we are done with our answers. If you do all of these things with sensitivity and understanding, we should get along just fine. We may get upset at times with you, if you don’t immediately respond in a way that we want, but remember the old proverb that says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”

view references
  1. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/skin-cancer/risks-causes
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