10 years ago if someone had told me that by the time i was 30 i would be having chunks of myself cut away because of too much time in the sun i would have laughed and said 'yeah right.' that only happens to the tanning bed peeps and the florida nanas with leather handbag complexions. when i lived in australia i was *always* in the sun- yardwork, reading, lunch, napping, jogging- toujours au soleil, rarely with spf on... ah the myth of a 'healthy tan.' if you're white, you're not supposed to turn brown- it's just not in our dna.
sadly, i'm starting to feel like a 30 year old block of swiss cheese. on friday i had two more suspicious spots (and their surrounds) removed, leaving me with 17 stitches and a whole lot of uncomfortable.
i've certainly gotten better about being out in the sun- given my own situation and what my mum went through two summers ago with merkel cell carcinoma, i got it, loud and clear- the sun is nothing to mess around with. now a hat goes on if i'm going to be out in the sun for a while, as well as a slathering of SPF and an incessant badgering of anyone around me to make sure they are also adequately protected.
luckily, of the 6 biopsies and 3 excisions i've had, so far everything has been either completely benign or caught so early it didn't have time to develop into anything more serious. and for anyone who is still not convinced they need to cover up/hose down in SPF pre-sun, a pic from friday:
if that's still not enough for you, these few pics should definitely do it. honestly, though, don't click here unless you're ok with pretty gross stuff. i hesitated to put these pics online (hence a link instead of just posting them) because they even gross me out. but j.mo made a good point- it would be silly to go through this and not share the experience with everyone around me just in case anyone needs convincing of what can happen from too much time in the sun.