alt=a man fatigued from dealing with skin cancer, bottles of sunscreen around him

Skin Cancer Fatigue

Fatigue (From Merriam Webster):

  • “Weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion or stress”
  • “The temporary loss of power to respond that is induced in a sensory receptor”
  • “A state or attitude of indifference or apathy brought on by overexposure”

Questions I tire of asking myself

  • “Did I put on enough sunscreen? Is it expired?”
  • “Is that bump, cancerous or a pimple?"
  • “Is my dermatologist competent? Why does he rush me? Does she care?”
  • “Why haven’t they called me yet about my biopsy results? Is no news, bad news?”
  • “Can I handle Mohs surgery?"
  • “Why do the kids get sunburned?”
  • “Why won’t the government shut down tanning salons?”

Constant vigilance is exhausting!

It gets tiring, doesn’t it? I mean the constant diligence about how we spend our day, how we relax, how we vacation, it can be exhausting. Honestly, I get burnt out on all of it at times. Not all the time, but at times, I just want to check out and not think about SPF, and UV rays, and stitches.

I need a vacation from my skin. I am tired of anxiety and worrying and planning. I just want to live and not have to think about it every day.

Weariness, indifference, and apathy

This is what I call, "Skin Cancer Fatigue." It’s a combination of all the definitions above. It’s weariness, indifference, and apathy all rolled into one.

I ask myself, “How can I be a writer about skin cancer topics and a moderator and be sick of the whole subject?” (Shrugs)

Well, when I get into this head space, I actually find myself taking my own advice.

Advice I give myself

Here is how I deal with SKIN CANCER FATIGUE.

  • I give myself permission to have it. I admit that I am sick and tired of it. I call it out.
  • I discipline my mind. I take a break. I walk away mentally. I talk to a friend. I engage in my favorite hobby. I watch a movie. I pray. I read. I find a positive space mentally and physically. Sometimes, I need people. Sometimes I need solitude. I find my happy place.
  • I don’t play the “blame” game. When I get stressed or tired, I tend to find fault with others, the system, companies, government officials and entities. I have to catch myself and reframe my anger and point my energy toward productive things.
  • I ask myself what led up to these feelings. Was it really just about skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment? Or was it something else? Do I have unresolved conflict with others?
  • I tell myself that I am not responsible for saving the world. No matter how many people I reach, I may miss a few and that is ok. Others can pick up the slack. The “rescuer” in me has to have limits and boundaries.
  • I reach out to may skin cancer buddies who understand. We talk. We laugh. We cry. They understand how I feel because they have felt it, too.
  • I know that I will get back on track because my ‘default’ mode is diligence, advocacy, and vigilance. I am confident that after my break, I will be in a better frame of mind to get back in the game. I know that my ‘stinkin’ thinkin’’ will soon end after a time of rest.

Skin cancer fatigue can slow me down but it never derails me. I stay in the battle because we are all needed and I am committed to fighting for others and myself. You can, too.

What do you do to battle ‘skin cancer fatigue’?

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