Please do not end up like this

July 10, 2014-by John Blair, editor

John Garrish Face web

This is what I looked like after three weeks of treatment for squamous cell carcinoma using the chemotherapy called Efudex®. It was no laughing matter how people reacted to seeing such a grotesque face. Photo © BlairPhotoEVV

When I was a kid, all I wanted for summer vacation was a trip to the beach. Sun, sun, and them some more sun. Yes, there was a price to pay. Not only did I spend numerous nights, shivering and almost convulsing in bed but also condemning myself to a future where I would have to avoid the sun as much as possible.

Yes, skin cancer is real and although it comes in numerous forms, including oft deadly melanoma. In fact, the experts say that a single severe sunburn as a child yields a 50% greater chance of getting melanoma as an adult.

Of course, I tried many things to ease the pain. Once on a Spring Break trip to Daytona Beach, someone even suggested I spread motor oil on my extremely red body. Of course that did not work any more than the vinegar solutions my mother tried to quell my pain as an even younger child.

As an adult, I have had the two  less dangerous forms of skin cancer-squamous cell and basal cell both of which can be disfiguring.

Today, however, there is a modicum of protection available and you can go to: to find the best and the worst of sunscreens.

But a word of warning, the best protection is to completely avoid as much sun exposure as possible. This is especially so for tanning booths since they present a huge dose of Ultra Violet radiation that even the clearest skin can have troubles dealing with.

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One Response to Please do not end up like this

  1. Gin-Nie says:

    John, this was hard to look at; however, shows great courage that you are willing to share this with others to save them from the same fate. God bless you for this.

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