Tag Archives: melanoma

4 Tips for Safe, Effective Sunscreen Use

Every August since 1993, my small family has shared a house on the beach in North Carolina.  It’s only for 1 week but it is a wonderful week of boogey boarding, books and board games.

It is also one of the hotter months of the year, a time when the sun beats down on hot sand and warm ocean water, a time when sunburns and skin damage can really take their toll.

I have always loved my time in the sun; I was a beach bunny as a 20 something.  Today, I still ride the waves with my grandchildren and walk the beach with my daughter and husband.  I garden.  I ride horses.  I play Kan Jam.

But all that time in the sun came with a price which I am paying right now.  I was diagnosed with skin cancer – melanoma – in January of this year. I spent Valentine’s Day under a surgeon’s knife having a large portion of my left hip removed due to melanoma.

I’ll admit that this experience has made me a bit crazy about sunscreen, finding the right one, finding one I can afford and using it properly.

I’m not the only one who is confused by manufacturers’ claims about the sunscreens they sell.  But Earth Easy has cut through all the noise to share a short, clearly written article about what products work best and why.  4 Tips for Safe, Effective Sunscreen Use | Eartheasy Blog.

I found two products on Amazon that work for me – Elta MD Skincare makes both; both are broad spectrum and both are free of the chemicals Earth Easy warns against. The general sunscreen is a “sport” sunscreen meaning it doesn’t sweat off into your eyes or mouth.

Enjoy the dog days of August, play in the surf and loll on the sand but make sure you read up and buy the right sunscreen for you and for your family.

 

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Death & Dying, Healthcare, Life & Death

Cancer Coming To Your Backyard! Soon!

Please read and if you agree, sign the petition to ban the large scale use of 2-4-D and it’s cousin, Agent Orange in the production of corn and soy beans!  This use is being considered, despite scientific evidence that 2-4-D and cancer and reproductive problems go hand-in-hand.

As a child, my 4 siblings and I were regularly exposed to 2-4-D and 2-4-5-T – two ingredients in Agent Orange.  All of us were charged with killing weeds, every week during the summer – bare feet and bare hands.

Both of my brothers died of brain tumors in their 67th year.  My older sister almost died 2 years ago of complications brought on by a massive ovarian tumor and she is still fighting kidney cancer.  She was 65.  At the age of 65, I have just been diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma on my hip.

Poisoning weeds means poisoning the soil, the water and, ultimately, the people exposed to the chemicals.  Increasing the sheer volume of poison simply means increasing the numbers of people who will die from the slow, sure and silent intrusion of 2-4-D into their food, into their lives and into their backyards, their families, their children. 

And there is absolutely no way to describe the vast and long-term devastation that the use of this substance will do to the life of all other inhabitants (animals, birds, fish, insects) and the overall ecology of this earth – our home.

Has everyone forgotten Silent Spring ? Rachel Carson?

STOP big business; STOP the use of 2-4-D. START using common sense, common courtesy and some of the inordinate amounts of money currently being poured into chemical and genetic modification of foods to understand how to live and work WITH our fellow inhabitants and WITH the environment, not in spite of them.

Visit the Food Revolution Network blog; click on the link and register your thoughts and feelings with the Federal Government.

Please.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gardening, Healthcare, Life & Death, Politics, Uncategorized, World Changing Ideas

What’s So Special About A Horse?

I went for a ride on my horse, today.   It was my first ride since shoulder surgery on February 7th.

In the scheme of all the things that have happened in my life in the last few years, few months and few weeks, taking a spin on your horse doesn’t seem to be all that important especially when you consider that:

  1. I’ve been unemployed since January of 2010.
  2. My husband is waging an ongoing battle with infections arising from his cancer surgery that have landed him in the hospital 37 times in 10 years.
  3. I lost my younger brother and my best friend to a brain tumor in May of 2010 and still, I miss him.
  4. In February of this year, my husband had malignant melanoma misdiagnosed by a dermatologist (who will remain nameless) as “…an age spot.”  Three surgeries down and three to go – that’s the status of this battle.
  5. Last week, he has learned he is being laid off, too.

The weight of all of these blows has seemed almost insurmountable.  I try hard not to feel stressed, anxious and sometimes angry but I failed my Mahatma Ghandi test a long time ago.  So life, our lives, have been hard to handle.

But today, I took a ride on my horse, Buzz.  Grooming him, talking to him as I tacked him up, slipping into the saddle and taking the first walk around the riding ring filled me with so much joy and love that I sit here, 6 hours later and I’m still filled with both.

Buzz and I don’t do anything special in the ring, no cantering, no jumps.  But we do so enjoy the early morning sun, the soft breeze across the fields of the farms that surround our barn and those moments when the rest of the world narrows to just the two of us and the feeling of knowing each other, understanding each other, enjoying each other.

Buzz is 20 years old.  He was an $850 rescue who I brought home 7 years ago, sad, lonely, neglected.  Some people might look at him and say, “What’s so special?”   But people who know horses, my farrier, the equine dentist, the nutritionist I work with at Stoltzfus, other riders in the barn know.  To a person they have said, “What a kind eye he has.”

And a kind and gentle heart that reminds me of just how wonderful this world is no matter what else is happening, no matter what is breaking, moving, changing, leaving.  As long is Buzz is along for the ride, I know I will be able to face anything.

Thank you, Buzz.

6 Comments

Filed under Life & Death, Love and Marriage