A quick recap; I was an idiot. An idiot who loved the sun too much. An idiot that thought a tan meant you were healthy. An idiot that believed a tan made you “honey bronzed and very very desirable”. This of course will make little sense to you if are a first time reader. Read my earlier posts, it will click.
I am a run of the mill ordinary guy. A husband, a father, a friend. I mow the lawn on Saturday, help my daughters with homework and love my wife more than anything in the world. I appear nightly on your television, work tirelessly for local charities and I am driven to help make our little corner of the world a little better than we found it. I am a run of the mill guy, with skin cancer.
Squamous cell cancer grew undetected inside my lower lip. 7 MOHS surgeries in one day was followed by plastic surgery and 42 stitches. I lost a third of my lower lip. Not great for a guy on TV. Most days it feels like I just left the dentist. Numb lips, mispronouncing the letter “s”; guilty. By the way, I am not drooling over your new sports car, I just drool.
My cancer was caused by exposure to the sun. The burning celestial orb that can overtake you at any moment and make you feel more alive, more energized than almost anything in the world. Resistance is futile. It is like trying to jump in a pool without getting wet. The sun is everywhere, even on a cloudy day. Avoiding the sun is impossible. I considered living in a cave but the damp, musty conditions would play havoc with my stylish hair. To go outside I have to protect myself. I now wear hats and use sunblock, everyday.
It is the end of April. The snow has long ago melted and the sun grows more powerful everyday. Cancer surgery was 8 months ago. Chemotherapy was 3 months ago. On ward to Spring and the marvelous month of May! Breaking news; May is skin cancer awareness month. More breaking news; Cancer sucks. Cancer is gross. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I have decided to share some of my surgery and chemotherapy pictures with you. My friends at http://www.coolibar.com will share them online. I will warn you now, the surgery pictures are gross. That is the message; Cancer IS gross.
Before you ask…I am not being compensated for my message with Coolibar. They are a local Minnesota company, I love their sun safety products and I love their message. Together our skin cancer message is louder. If my cancer journey can empower one person or inspire one family to practice better sun safety then my cancer journey can have a positive side.
As for me, I am not finished…next week I will be back at the doctor for another cancer checkup. I pray that I am clear. This journey is not one I would have chosen but it is one I must take. Thanks for taking it with me.
Thanks for stopping by.
Here I am with my marvelous wife…at US Bank Stadium where I emceed the Interfaith Outreach Gala last week.