Yesterday was my annual all-over body check up for any nasty growths. My Dermatologist is a woman with pale, porcelain skin – I don't think she has been in the sun since deciding to study Dermatology.
She starts at my scalp and works her way down each side to the soles of my feet and in-between my toes. Then she does the torso and lastly the face. "Oh, your face is pretty good this year" – she sounds disappointed but then she spies something on the left temple and zaps it with her little nitrogen spray gun and then sounds even more contented to discover a whole cluster waiting to be destroyed on my right temple.
I started having yearly checks from my middle 20's after some nasty things were found on the side of my nose and in my hairline. I'm really of very inappropriate colouring for a farm upbringing in Australia. About 10 years ago, for a few years, I started having to go every 6 months because Basal Cell Carcinomas kept popping up – that's when I met this pale lady. She meticulously notes down the location of everything she burns or cuts and notes things to "watch". She did a great job at removing a Squamous cell cancer she found about 3 years ago and yesterday stopped to admire her handiwork which is now barely noticeable.
Each year since going back to yearly checks there has been less for her to find. Perhaps I am finally catching up to the damage that was done earlier in my life. She is very fond of saying that it is never too late to halt further damage and in summer I don't leave the house without 30+ sunscreen on my face – even though it is creamy white and hard to rub in!
And, now I seek the shade – though shade can be hard to find sometimes:
(Hawks Nest Australia)