A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

As a malignant melanoma survivor, the thoughts of skin cancer never quite go away. My scars are a constant reminder of this journey that began back in 1988. Do I think about it all the time? No, but I do prepare daily to fight this thing and protect myself as best as I can. That is all that I can do. I try not to worry about things that I cannot control and I am diligent about the things that I can.

My daily preparation

Every morning I wake up and prepare for my day just like everyone else. I think about what I will be doing, about where I will be going, about what I will need to wear, etc. I consider what I want for breakfast and say my prayers. A lot of people do those things, but here is where I depart a little. I have become a fanatic regarding the weather app on my smart phone. I look at it every morning and multiple times a day.

Weather forecast – where and when?

Every morning I plan my skin protection based on knowing where I will be and when and knowing the weather forecast that will affect me. I don’t just look at the forecast for the entire day, but I look at the hourly forecast. If I am going to be in Syracuse at noon, then I want to know what the weather will be like there and then. If I will be in Rochester two hours later, then I want to know the forecast for that region at 2pm. I don’t mess around. I have become an amateur meteorologist.

My choices to protect myself from the sun

Based on what I know about my whole day I make choices. I make choices about what I will be doing, who I will be with, and how I will protect myself from the sun. This level of detail may seem crazy, but I know that my skin begins to burn after about 10-15 minutes in the sun. I want to be prepared with the right level of SPF sunscreen, clothing, and I want know my shade options as best as I can.

Keeping the car stocked for sun protection

No matter where I am going I always try to keep a few items in the car with me. This includes a hat, sunscreen, a lightweight, long sleeve shirt, and an umbrella. Most of the time I won’t need these items, but I hate getting caught unprepared. I even keep a small blanket in the car to protect me from the rays that penetrate through the windows. I know that I burn in the car if I am not careful.

Daily mole checks

Do I check my entire skin every day? No, but every day I pick a part of my body to examine as best as I can. I note changes and anything new. I ask family members to assist me when needed. I really don’t take many days off in my personal preparation and examination. I keep a small notebook to monitor my situation. Documenting my journey is important for me.

Mental preparation

I take time for myself. As a man of faith, I feel peace and contentment about what ultimately happens to me. I try to help others. I try to inform others thoughtfully about sun protection. I try to enjoy each day and what it may have for me. Whether online or in person, I see it as part of my life mission to join the skin cancer fight with others in the community. It’s just part of a day in my life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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