By way of a poster on the Knot, I learned of a blog called Que Sarah, Sarah. It was an extremely heartfelt and detailed account of a young woman's battle with melanoma, which she ultimately lost. From Sarah's blog, I was linked to several other blogs and learned of so many sad stories of people lost to this horrible disease. Currently I am following several blogs written by the spouses of others suffering from melanoma. Daily they break my heart, because all of them seem to be slipping away. You may be asking why I'm following these stories. Well, I feel compelled to listen and to be educated about this horrible disease. So many lost voices have been unheard because melanoma is not a big part of our consciousness or awareness. From what I've read, it should be taken much more seriously, because melanoma is extremely aggressive. If left untreated, it will kill you.
I'm asking you, whatever small audience I may have, to please wear sunscreen. I don't care how dark you may be. (After all, Bob Marley died of metastatic melanoma.) Not only that, tell your family and friends to wear sunscreen too. Slather it on your kids as well. If you use a tanning bed, stop. Get a spray tan instead. It could save your life. Also, go see a dermatologist and have them do a full-body check to make sure that your moles are typical. This isn't rhetoric. It's true. Too much exposure to the sun and UV rays can kill you.
If you don't believe me, then read the stories of some fallen warriors: teb, Heather, and Shannon.
Now, read the stories of those who are currently in the fight for their lives: Bryce, Mike, and Keith.
Roy and I have an appointment with our new dermatologist at the beginning of October to get checked out. I've never been to the dermatologist in my life because I never saw the need for it. However, now I do. We are both fair-skinned and have had sunburns in the past, both of which increase the risk for skin cancer. (I've had several very bad sunburns.) Hopefully, everything will be fine. I am thankful to have learned more about this disease, because, let's face it, I am a prime candidate for it.
So, yeah. Wear sunscreen. Go see a dermatologist. Watch your moles and freckles. Just do it. If not for you, then do it for those who have suffered because they (sadly and unfortunately) didn't know better.