Friday, May 27, 2011

Protect yourself (part one of two)

In April 2004, a letter I wrote to Self Magazine was published in their July issue.  As Skin Caner Awareness month winds down and the beaches call, I thought I'd share the letter (randomly, you can still find it online), in hopes that it will remind everyone to get checked and protect their skin.

"5 Cancers That Strike Young" (April) literally saved my life. After reading about melanoma, I remembered I had a suspicious mole that needed to get checked. I immediately made an appointment for the next day.
My doctor removed the mole along with two others, and told me not to worry. Then, a week later, I learned that one of the moles was cancerous. Luckily, the melanoma was found early, and my doctor was able to remove all the cancerous tissue. Within one week, I was diagnosed and treated for skin cancer. If I hadn't read the article that day, I probably wouldn't have remembered to make the appointment.
While the stitches are fresh and the fear still lingers, I want to remind Shape readers that they can and will, along with their doctors, save their own lives by making and keeping medical appointments.
--Amy, Chicago

Like most children of the 80s, I was baking in the sun with my Coppertone 4 and Hawaiian Tropic oil.  Now, I do anything and everything to avoid IT.  In 04, we didn't have a lot of the SPF clothing options that we do now.  I ordered my sun protective wear mostly from this Australian company, Coolibar.   And although their stuff is top quality, it may not always top the design charts.  In fact, I was pretty much sporting a bee keeper suit for a few summers.  Sexy?  No.  Smart?  Yes.  Luckily, we now have companies like Athleta and Title Nine who offer a plethora of SPF options.

Here are a few of my favorite sun protective items for you and the little ones.

Athleta Summer Shade Tee $36
Athleta Ruched Gard
Athleta Moorea Sun Stopper

I have all three of the above and live in them at the beach and pool.
Save the Ruched Guard for cooler days...the material is rather thick for the heat of the summer.

These next cuties are from Coolibar.
Yes, my poor kids are forced to wear wet cute bikinis for my girl.

Working on a list of the top sunscreens for the second part of this post...doing the research for you on Environmental Working



About Last Weekend said...

Yes as a teen I baked for hours and days in baby oil, hate to think what it did to my skin but I notice Kiwis are incredibly careful now. Great tips from you!

Torrie said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing this Amy. I didn't write about it, but a few weeks back when I said that it was a "roller-coaster" week, I had a breast cancer scare. I went in for my first [baseline] mammogram, and they called me shortly after to tell me that the "found something." After going back in for an ultrasound, they said it was nothing, but that I need to go back in to do another mammogram in 6 months.

It was and is a huge relief, but like you said, the fear still lingers. Making and keeping our appointments is absolutely crucial.

Dawn said...

I have been in Hawaii for 8 days and I must say that I am the same pasty white gal coming back to New Jersey...I could not agree more with this tan is a safe tan. I used 100 spf the entire time. GREAT READ! Dawn Suitcase Vignettes xoxo Hope all is well.

Bestie said...

I am so glad to hear all is ok!!! What a relief. I do remember your comment about a "roller-coaster" week...again, just so happy all is well. xoxoxo