It Happened to Me

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post titled It Will Never Happen to Me. Well, just short of 30 years ago, I had surgery to remove a stage two melanoma skin cancer from my shoulder. Thankfully, they got all of it then; but today I had another melanoma removed from my face along the right jaw line. When my bandages come off, I will have a new dimple.

I should have used more sun protection. I knew that a hat and SPF 45+ sunscreen would have been good; but I chose not to do that. I didn’t want to get melted sunscreen in my eyes. I always remove my hat at sporting events during the National Anthem, in restaurants or in church. And I don’t like it when my hair is flattened. So I caused major anxiety for my family, had to cancel a planned vacation this week and have painful surgery instead.photo-3 (2)

You can bet I’ll be wearing that sunscreen and hat from now on. I have blue eyes and I used to have red hair, putting me at a higher risk for skin cancer. Last time I was diagnosed, I was 32. Now I am 62. Not only can it happen to me, it can happen to me more than once.

Do you think I can help you with my bad example? Avoid skin cancer. Cover up. Choose sunscreen. Wear a hat. To be continued…

Gary Ingram

Gary Ingram

I grew up in Golden, CO in the 50’s, the child of a middle class housewife and a lifelong employee of the U.S. Post Office. My professional career spanned 25 years with the U.S. Government and I retired early. Today I am an Aging-in-Place Specialist (which does not mean I just sit in a recliner and watch football), a devoted “Papa” to my grandchildren and partner to my lovely wife. I’m a crusty old fart who appreciates a good cigar, an old car, an occasional game of golf, Blue Collar Radio, NASCAR and my Denver Broncos. At BoomerReviews.com, I hold the title, “Chief of Questions.” Let’s see what you think about my questions and answers. Chime in!

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Comments

  1. Lois Williams says:

    Good news from the skin cancer research folks, Gary…that little daily asparin you take to prevent heart attack and colon cancer can also help prevent melanoma: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/aspirin-linked-lower-risk-deadly-skin-cancer/story?id=18704991

    The study was on women over 50, but it said the same results should apply to men. Also mentions the ‘ginger curse’ we share (and our Colorado heritage doesn’t help…all that glorious high-altitude sunshine!). Good luck and heal quickly (and wear your hat!).

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