It is interesting how your perspective of things change over time.
A home screen photo appeared on my work computer the other day. It was a beautiful photo of a pristine spot with cliffs overlooking water and and sand. The caption read something like “The perfect spot for sun bathing”.
That picture on my home screen would have looked so very appealing once upon a time. Now, it makes me want to scream.
Becoming a skin cancer victim has definitely put me into advcoacy mode, in an attempt to educate others on the dangers of sun exposure. If only I had known….
However there are ways to advocate and there are ways to not advocate and educate. If someone had continually hammered on me about being out in the sun oh those many years ago, I would not have listened. Maybe I would have with the right approach.
This article sums up what it’s like to be an advocate, and what to do to work works “changing minds and touching hearts”. I have included some excerpts.
Recently, I’ve tried looking at my photos from the perspective of a person who has never been diagnosed with skin cancer. I am beginning to see why so many people continue to tan, hit the beach without sunscreen, and neglect to wear protective clothing while making sure their children are covered head-to-toe. The “my-skin-looks-nothing-like-that” vibe is strong. Truthfully, they aren’t wrong in their thinking-they are only judging from what they see.
Photos like the ones I share show the impact of treatments and the side effects obvious to the eye. They don’t always show the skin prior to the first treatment. I’m willing to bet a vast majority of people who take a long look at photos of Efudex patients believe they are seeing the skin cancer itself. Our raw, blistered and crusted sores are intimidating. At the same time, they might just give observers false confidence. When they do a silent self-assessment, they will always feel relief–”None of my moles or spots look like that; I don’t have skin cancer.”