Thinking about the title for this post I was considering a cowboy & western inspired theme.
You see I have joined a family of 'pale skins' and for an olive complexioned girl it has opened my eyes to a whole range of interesting new insights around the topic of freckles.
Fortunately we live in times where sun safety and skin protection are becoming more acceptable.
The children must wear hats to play in their lunch breaks at school.
At the beach, it's 'the norm' to see kids in rash shirts and zinc - a rarity in my childhood & teens.
When it comes to skin tones in our home, the Gifts have assorted shades of pale to accompany their variously hued hair - strawberry blonde to auburn. Freckles? Well they each have their share.
Every morning before school Cpt. V has to check, "Have you got your sunscreen on?".
Invariably the Biggest Gift says "Aw Dad!" and is reminded that one minute spent applying sunblock [within her 45 min morning hair routine] is us actually 'doing her a favour' rather than us trying to punish her!
Recently, we all had a salient reminder of the true dangers that sun damage to our skin can cause.
Captain V has very pale skin and although he is vigilant with sun protection, I am forever scouring him for signs of changing spots. I'm very happy that I do.
Recently he has had two very nasty ones cut off his back.
The specialist who removed them was concerned that they might be melanomas and had a second, then a third opinion to ensure that he was correct in deciding that they weren't.
Of course, Cpt. V didn't tell me any of this until he had the 'all clear' which kind of peeved me but I understand that he did this out of love, not wanting to worry me needlessly.
This Thursday he returned to his specialist to have another cut out of his arm.
They had to cut a big chunk out of the muscle and he will be wearing a sling for the next couple of days. If this small inconvenience is the worst that we have to deal with, then I'll be very happy.
Maxabella's to share our lists, I am immensely grateful for the following:
1. That we live within a culture that is starting to accept the need for smart sun protection
2. That our family has a terrific GP with all the modcon equipment to check our skin for changes
3. That our GP referred Cpt. V to a
4. That the offending 'freckles' were removed in time
5. That the Cancer Council Australia website has brilliant information for everyone to access, to ensure
that we can all be sun smart.
And two bonus gratefuls...
1. I am also immensely grateful to all of the wonderful Blogeristas who jumped on board with
Maxabella and I to share their love stories and bling for Valentine's Day.
At my last count, there were 25 gorgeous stories, so if you haven't already done so, please take some time to read at least two, each one is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Thank you Bella for getting this ball rolling, I've enjoyed it immensely!
2. I was overwhelmed by your lovely comments about my story with Captain V.
I'm so pleased that some of you listened to 'Our Song, it has special meaning for our journey together.
As I type this I realise that it has a poignant connection to today's post.
The person who introduced me to the singer of 'Our Song' Christie Moore, was a young policeman in the small town that I was teaching in.
His wife was my closest friend [we created 'Word Of The Week' together] and they had just got married before their country posting.
A couple of years after they arrived, I was transferred almost a thousand kilometres away.
I still recall leaving them in a bubble of joy, waiting out the final months before their first child was to be born.
Eighteen months later my friends' husband had passed away.
He had a melanoma smaller than the head of a pin on his skin which snatched him away from his young family.
I know that this isn't a very upbeat way to end this post but I've included this story as a salient reminder of the ferocity of this disease and the need for vigilant skin care.
If you haven't had your skin checked recently, I hope that this is the gentle nudge you needed to do so.
It would be another on my list of gratefuls to know that you were loving the skin that you're in.
Enjoy your weekend and the biggest of hugs!
Postscript - One Week Later
Just in case you were wondering how Captain V. has faired, he returned to the specialist on Thursday for the prognosis and to have his stitches removed.
The happy news is he got the all clear = Yeah!!!
However with these two scares he has been told that six monthly skin checks are on the cards for the forseeable future. Of course I'm VERY happy about this and little do they know that I'll be scouring him like a hawk too!
I hope that everyone who mentioned that they had been prompted to get their own skin checked has made their appointments - X & O your friend Fizz the worry wart.