The summer of 68 I took on a terrible sunburn. I was still a couple of years away from being a decade old, my skin still tender. Up until then, I had never blistered from the sun. I had been born with a complexion slightly tanned, so sunburns were never a worry. I don’t think we knew about sunscreen.

My family had journeyed to St. Augustine in early June, for our yearly family vacation. On the first day of the trip, I spent all morning and early afternoon on the beach. After lunch, I went to the pool. I remember playing Marco Polo with some other kids; reluctant to leave when my mom said it was time for dinner.

I remember waking during the night. My skin hot and raw, the crisp cotton sheets felt like sandpaper on my arms. I was miserable. And I remained miserable all week.

Last month I visited a dermatologist for the first time in my life. I had what I thought was a stubborn clogged pore on my face. Rodan + Fields has a fantastic mask that works wonders on such things. So I used the RF mask, but the pore was still clogged. After applying the mask three days in a row without a hint of success, I knew I needed to see a physician. Because the RF product works.

The dermatologist performed a biopsy and a few days later he called with the results: Basal Cell Carcinoma. Non-malignant skin cancer. He said it was probably from a sunburn I had as a kid. Next month I will have surgery to remove the cancer. And depending on how deep and wide the roots have spread, there could be follow-up, reconstructive surgery. I’m praying this isn’t the case.

So…moms, dads, grandparents….apply the sunscreen to the kiddos. Rodan + Fields has a great, waterproof, sweat-proof sunscreen that doesn’t have to be reapplied every ten minutes. Insist on hats and caps. The children may fuss now, but they’ll thank you when they’re in their fifties.

The photo here was taken the day of the biopsy…after the biopsy. I didn’t want to show the blood and gore, but I wanted you to have an idea of where the spot is located. Prior to the cutting away of skin, the spot really looked like a bug bite or small pimple. Nothing to worry about. But it was. If you have a recurring pimple or red spot that never completely goes away, don’t ignore it. See a physician.

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