Please bear with me as I take my stand on a soapbox for a brief moment, but I do hope you’ll read this and think about it.
That’s my Uncle Ken… and the cute little bean? Yours truly, around age 2. Ken’s my mom’s oldest brother (she’s in the middle of four boys). He was a successful surgeon, a kind and gentle man. Husband to a beloved wife and dad to two young boys. He doted on me, not having any little girls of his own. It appears I loved my uncle, too, from this photo. Unfortunately, I only know all this because my mom has told me.
You see, in this photo Uncle Ken is dying.
I never got to know this sweet man. He died of melanoma when I was about 2-and-a-half, just six months after my grandpa (his dad) died of lung cancer. I don’t know if Ken’s melanoma was directly caused by sun exposure, but it is definitely the Killer you invite when you bake in the sun (Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring) without protection. It started out small but by the time Ken found out it was too late. He didn’t even go through treatment because as a doctor he knew it would not help.
You are a beautiful and unique gift. PLEASE, do not risk robbing your loved ones of the gift you are.
Neutrogena spray sunblock has been my new BFF this summer. SO easy to apply evenly (and to hard-to-reach places!) and it’s not heavy or greasy. One thing I’m not good about is putting it on my hands and arms when I’m driving. Pool and beach time aren’t the only times you should protect yourself, y’all! I know some people worry about the chemicals in sunblock. Would you consider a nice brimmed hat (they’re so in style right now), staying in the shade, and avoiding the intense mid-day sun (all great along with sunblock, too)? A “glowing tan” is so not worth the potential to really pay for it later. And skin cancer is NOT the only risk from the sun! I have totally embraced my fair, Snow White complexion (which is good, because I couldn’t be tan if I wanted to). So, y’all, say it with me:
PALE IS THE NEW TAN!
And if you really want that summer skin, there are great tinted lotions, bronzers, etc. Please protect yourself!