Too long in the sun

There’s a Trump-like lesion on my lip, top and bottom, and it’s spreading, a pale red smear along the curve of my lip line, and not terribly painful.

It started as a cold sore, one of those ailments I’ve endured since childhood, but since childhood these cold sores erupt and develop and then they heal.

This one’s not healing so I took myself off to the local GP who didn’t like the look of it and sent me to a dermatologist who diagnosed ‘actinic cheilitis’. A grand name for the results of sun damage, not yet cancerous but on its way if left unchecked.

So now I need to take precautions in the form of sun screen protection, and also a touch of cortisone to heal it in the short term. But cortisone will not undo the effects of the sun. This treatment needs something stronger though the dermatologist recommended I wait till after summer for that.

I’m reaping the effects of all those years in the sun as a child soaking up the warmth on my skin and ignoring the possible consequences.

My mother talked of women’s skin aging prematurely, wrinkling up like parchment, but she did not consider cancer, and she was not too fussed about the effects on the skin of her sons.

Men can have wrinkly skin and all manner of blemishes before my mother would complain.

What would she think of the state of the world if she were alive today?

I’m doing my best here not to mention the American election but even the Trump like lesion on my skin reminds me of the price we pay for ignoring the dangers of too much exposure to the sun, both literally and metaphorically.

8 thoughts on “Too long in the sun”

    1. We’re with you in solidarity, Elizabeth. I find my family and most folks I’ve encountered over the last twenty four hours can think of little else. This election result feels so disastrous and the only way to go on – for me at least – is to hope it will turn out better than we fear or that something will intervene to stop the rise of this craziness. But that’s cold comfort. The best we can do do is to go on striving for all those things that are important: for human rights, for equality, for the dignity of all people and most especially for those most vulnerable. Our babies, our old people, our indigenous people, our disabled people, our refugees, ourselves. We can still learn from this, though that’s easy for me to say from so far away however much Australia basks in the after shocks. My heart bleeds.

  1. My mother had malignant melanoma. Had she survived longer than she did I don’t think her final days would’ve been very pleasant. As it happens she ended up dying of pneumonia and it was all over in less than a week. I was sorry to see her go but relieved for all of us that she went easily and relatively painlessly. Odd that my mother ended up with skin cancer. It was dad who spent days lying out in the sun. Loved the sun my dad did although not as much as Mr Jackson next door who would even endure light drizzle if the sun was still out and about. It was a different world. Hell, it was a different world two days ago. Were my parents still alive they’d just shake their heads and talk about the signs of the times and how we shouldn’t be surprised by anything in the news. As a child I spent every summer outside so Christ knows what damage was done. Nowt I can do about it now and even if I was diagnosed tomorrow I’d still likely survive the next four years although hopefully not the four following that.

    1. Australians are wary of the sun Jim, especially these days but not when I was a kid. It surprises me that someone in England should cop a melanoma but then I’m not sure these cancers always come about because of the sun. Like all lung cancers can’t be attributed to smoking, though most can. Hopefully we’ll both survive whatever fate brings us and our bodies for many years to come. Thanks Jim.

  2. You’ve done the right thing, Elisabeth and sought attention. You have a fighting chance and if any ominous changes do take place, they will be onto it straight away. I wish we could treat the Trump cancer as easily.
    I heard a comment that the reason the pollsters got the election results wrong is because people tell lies. Rather than say who they will vote for and risk ridicule, they give the preferred answer when in reality they never intend to vote that way at all.
    A bit like the invisible melanoma that took my husband. Not here, not there, not anywhere on the skin, “Oh, here I am, internal and malignant and there’s nothing you can do!”
    Very Trump.
    How did they miss that malignancy?

    1. I have more than a fighting chance, Karen, at least I hope I do. But as for Trump, I’m like you and everyone else, uncertain what the future holds. It’s scary indeed. The Trump phenomenon as I like to call it is complex and as usual it helps to know that no one can predict everything that’s to happen. I only wish in this instance, the majority of people who believed in Clinton’s success, had succeeded. But it’s all about to become history now and we’ll see what evolves.

      Thanks, Karen. I’m so sorry still for what happened to your husband with that cruel malignancy, the one that hid away and then tricked your husband and you and the rest of your family, is worst of all.

  3. I think I’m recovering from the shock now—then again, every time I think about it, really think about who they’ve elected to the Presidency, I still find it hard to believe.
    I was somewhat consoled by the thought that I doubt he’ll go for a second term—he just wanted to be President, and now he’s done it, I suspect it will quickly lose its appeal. Certainly, once he starts copping flak for backing down on all his promises …
    These are interesting times. x

    1. It’s scary times indeed Louise for the entire world, this resurgence of overt hatred. Hopefully we’ll find a way of modifying its effects in time before too much lasting damage is done. Thanks Louise.

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