When I found myself in a position which allowed me to impart coaching wisdom acquired over my forty-five year career, half-jokingly I advised, in no particular order, “Don’t diddle where you ought not diddle, avoid messin’ with money, win over the Mommas while avoiding diddin’ where you ought not diddle, and wear good shoes, your feet will appreciate it.” During my career, I only ran afoul of one…oh, so you want to know which one? My feet hurt…a lot.
Since my last brush with a surgeon’s knife, I realized I should have added a fifth nugget of wisdom, “Big floppy hats and sunscreen are a must.” Might even add long-sleeved tees and long pants. I’ve found out your skin will appreciate it. Unless you like doctors diddling in your calf with a scalpel and suturing you up after.
My fifth surgery to remove skin cancer! Not a good way to lose weight. One on an ear, three on my lower legs, and one I don’t understand at all…the sun ain’t evah seen my lily-white butt…ocks. Well, there was the time a hornet flew up my short britches leg. Shucking them, the sun wasn’t the only thing that saw my lily-white ass. There were several cars and a church bus along with the various plants, animals and insects in my garden. I didn’t get stung…well…nobody whistled or cheered their approval and that stung a bit.
Too many years battling the summer sun on the farm or the athletic fields in minimal attire has come back to bite me. I guess I shouldn’t have diddled in the sun wearing shorts, tees and a baseball cap. When I had a physique, I would bronze myself too. Shirtless, skimpy gym shorts and kicks riding round and round on a tractor, hatless and brainless until I lost most of my hair. A smart person would have put on SPF 50 or at least a hat. I’m not sure sunscreen had even been invented.
My best friend chose the same vocation, is my age, and eat up with the same affliction. Never believing in half measures, he might as well be a vampire. He runs and walks in the dark to stay out of the sun. Does his yard work in the early morning hours much to the chagrin of the people who are sleeping in.
If my friend has to venture out into the midday sun, he puts on so much sunscreen he looks like Bo Derek painted white in Tarzan the Ape Man…no that’s a lie and now I’ve got a mental picture I can’t get out of my head. I think I’ll have to Google a picture of Bo just to replace it. A bad excuse is better than none.
My grandmother worked in the sun all her life. She wore feed sack dresses and a huge floppy straw hat No sunscreen, no skin cancer. A farmer all her life, she worked side by side with her father, then my grandfather and continued to plant and hoe her beans, maters, and taters for forty more years after his death. No skin cancer but a complexion resembling old shoe leather. I guess I should have paid better attention.
It seems like there is more skin cancer these days than say fifty years ago…or am I just aware of it since being afflicted? Are we losing our ozone layer, more pollution, and chemicals in the air? Global Climate change? Marvin the Martian’s Immodium Q-36 Space Modulator? Probably I’m just more aware or they ignored it fifty years ago.
I should have worn floppy straw hats…my legs aren’t good enough to do justice to a feed sack dress.
Oh well. The damage has been done. No sense crying over spilled milk, but I truly hate giving a little piece here and a little there. Now Janis has joined Bo in my head, singing in my head, “Take it! Take another little piece of my heart now, baby! Break it! Break another little bit of my heart now, honey.”
I need to stick another song in my head cause if the surgeon takes a little piece of my heart, I’m in deep do-do. Maybe Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine”…can you get skin cancer listening to a tune in your head? At least I didn’t diddle where I ought not to diddle…maybe.
Okay, ice and elevate.
For those of you who are concerned, don’t be. I see a doctor every three months to keep a handle on it. I’ve done better wearing my big floppy hats, long-sleeved tees, face shields and applying sunscreen. Now if I can do something about my feet.
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Don Miller’s author’s page may be located at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM