In May, I was told to start my fourth round of topical chemotherapy in a little over three years. Folks, chances are really good I could have avoided this altogether, but I was a tanner. (I wasn't even good at it by the 90s standards of tanning.) I got red. Really red. Over time, my skin got used to the UV rays of the sun and tanning beds, and I started to get brown. It was never worth it.
These topical chemo treatments are not "just creams" anymore than skin cancer is "just skin cancer." Efudex, the cream I use, is the one medication I can say you will actually feel working. By feel I mean it burns all day every day for as long as I'm applying it and for several days after. There is never a time it is not throbbing and burning. The best description I can give you is that if feels like a scab if that scab were alive and proceeding to pierce your skin with hundreds of tiny stingers. But it is working to rid my skin of the ungodly number of precancerous cells that continually pop up on my chest and face. Never-ending, I'm telling you.
If you skipped the top two paragraphs and are only reading this one, listen up.
DON'T GIVE YOUR KIDS MIXED MESSAGES ABOUT THE SUN AND TANNING BEDS.
DON'T LET YOUR CHILDREN GO WITHOUT SUNSCREEN.
IF YOU TAN NOW, STOP.
IF YOU HAVEN'T STARTED, DON'T.
SEE A DERMATOLOGIST YEARLY.
ANYONE CAN DEVELOP SKIN CANCER. ANYONE.
Above is the video two good friends made to help me spread the message about tanning. Share it with someone you love. Everyone knows someone who needs to hear it. Thanks Jodi and Brandy.