Thursday, June 5, 2014

postscript on rash guards: one reader's true story

                          Photo: Me

*In response to today's post regarding rash guards as sun protection, PMK reader Kylie shares her story and presses into the importance of covering up when heading outside for long days at the beach and pool this summer...

Being a 12 year old red-head with fair skin I always wanted blond hair and tan skin … 
Being a 22 year old red-head with fair skin I always wanted tan skin.
Being a 42 year old red-head with fair skin I want to live and see my children grow up.

What changed?  I was diagnosed with Melanoma.

Being from Australia I am well aware that melanoma doesn't discriminate and it certainly kills but it is also the easiest of cancers to get rid off, if it’s detected early.  

Growing up I was constantly running around outside, I never wore a hat, I never sat still long enough for my parents to rub sunscreen in and then when I was older I loved the smell of ‘coconut oil’ burning into my skin, tempting the sun to do its best in the hope of becoming a shade darker!

What I didn’t realize was that the damage I was doing to my skin then would come back and bite me - 

Fast forward 20 years later (older and slightly wiser) I was having one of my yearly checkups at the dermatologist when she said that the mole on my right thigh was ‘odd’.  To this day, I still don’t remember what the mole looked like - I'm pretty sure it looked like every other mole on my body but I'm glad she noticed it.

Within 4 days of the biopsy, I was in the surgery room having it and a good chunk of my thigh removed - it’s that quick!

Now I have a scar and a reminder that everyday I'm lucky.

It takes a few minutes to protect yourself and your children from the sun.  Apply and reapply sunscreen, wear a rash guard & hat - enjoy the sun.

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