View Full Version : how to deal with skin cancer

01-23-2006, 09:44 AM
I had two basal cells removed this past summer from my face. Out of fear of the sun, I sold my convertible...I just had two suspicious moles removed from my back last week. How do I deal with my new fear of the sun? As a family we love to boat and fish in Cape Cod. My inlaws moved to Florida and we want to visit them in February. But, since I was diagnosed with bcc in July 2005, I feel major anxiety when I think of going out in the sun. How do you move on? I loved laying in the sun with a good book...fishing....my husband is getting angry at my fear...he has heart disease and has accepted his limitations. I'm tired of worrying about should I go to Florida, how do I enjoy myself on our fishing boat with the sun bearing down on me and the sun reflecting off the water on my skin? I can't give up...how do I just accept this??? I want to feel happy about warm weather and still do what I used to do. Thank you. Rose

01-24-2006, 03:09 PM
hELLO Rose

well, first off change your sun bathing habits. Do not lay out in the sun. Plenty of Vit D can be absorbed for what our bodies need just by a 2 min or so exposure.

When out in the florida sun just be sensible and wear a good sun screen with high SPF (I have to use at least a 45) a wide brimmed hat, and some sort of covering. There are plenty of articles made just for sun protection. Doesnt mean we have to only go out at night.

I do not even go out without applying sun screen, nor wearing a hat. I have melanoma and never ever 'worshipped' the sun so I cannot even fathom why I have been dealt this terrible blow.

BCC is a good indicator that you must take care. Be vigilant, and if you notice a mole changing, then get it seen to.

Before going in water, slather on stuff, coming out of water ditto. Use shade umbrellas when at the beach. In one way it is good for you to be VIGILANT also about exposure.

No need to freak out about it. just be sensible. Even makeup, or moisturizer can be bought with SPF factor in. Loads of products. Do not be afraid of the sun...simple respect it.

Bonnie :wave:

01-24-2006, 11:50 PM
Hi Rose:

I can totally relate to your post. I had a BCC on my nose where they had to cut 4 times before getting clear margins. The doctor warned me that there was a high chance of me having another cancer within a year. Nine months later I had another BCC under my eye.

I was never a sun bather. I have always worn 45 sunscreen daily on my face and yet I got two BCC. I have become very cautious when out in the sun. I wear hats and when I work out in the yard, it is in the early morning. I do not count on 45 sun screen to protect from cancer, only from burning.

My husband and adult kids thought I was unreasonably paranoid about being in the sun without a hat. My answer to them was that they were not the ones who had part of their nose cut off. They did not have to go through a skin graft, reconstruction, laser treatments, etc. When they do, then they can say that I am paranoid.

Your fear is totally reasonable. Protect yourself because the odds are more BCC could be lurking. It has been two summers now and my family still comments on the hats and light jackets over a tank top that I wear. I don't care what they say, because once again it will be me under the knife and not them. Stand tough and do what feels right for you.

01-25-2006, 10:39 AM
Hi Bonnie, Thank you for your advice. My father has melanoma too and he wears a full body suit while snorkeling or just boating. I don't have a problem changing my sun habits, it's just that since July, I've been housebound during the day in fear. Then two more spots were found under my eye which the dermatologist is keeping an eye on. The spots have grown under my eye...and I am wearing and from now on always will wear spf makeup all year. Growing up I had many blistered sunburns, am fair-skinned, and freckled. My 16 and 12 year old have never had a sunburn! I will learn to get used to protecting my 43 year old self at all times while in the sun and will count on healthboards for wonderful people like you to lean on when I feel the challenge of fear. I hope you are well. Thank you again for your advice. Rose

01-25-2006, 10:45 AM
Hi Belle2003,
Wow, I am going to have my boys and husband read your reply as it's exactly how I feel. I will stand tough and enjoy the outdoors like you...safely. When my husband suffered a severe heart attack at age 39 I thought I could handle anything! Friends think I'm "weak" as I have basal cell, not heart disease like my husband. This is why I am so happy to have discovered this healthboard as I do not feel as isolated. And it's good to know that it's OK to feel the way I feel.

This board is amazing as I can relate to all the replies I've received. All advice is taken with a huge thank you. I wish you the best and I thank you so much. Rose