My Fair-Skinned Hero

by Iris

My light-skinned, blue-eyed father grew up in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s in New Mexico and spent most of his life under the hot New Mexican sun.

He worked on farms as a boy, and played outdoors for hours on end. In the Navy during World War II, he spent many ruddy-faced hours on the deck and in the crow’s nest.

Only in the 1960’s did he begin to wear a cap when he was outdoors, and even then he thought nothing of his yearly sunburns.

It wasn’t until he reached his seventies that he began to see the dermatologist for recurring non-malignant melanomas on his face that had to be removed “just in case”.

He eventually developed an “itchy bug bite” on top of his head, which he didn’t show to the dermatologist until he had been treating it himself with Neosporin for quite some time.

It was Malignant Melanoma.

The Skin Cancer Doctor didn’t get it all the first time he operated, and the malignancy spread.

About 18 months later, after radiation treatments that sapped his strength and his ability to think, holding onto his dignity somehow by a thread, my father died.

I wonder what would have happened if throughout his life people had known about and believed in the dangers of too much sun.

I wonder if I could have had my wonderful Dad a few more years.

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Melanoma

Skin Cancer Moles

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