Would this be an example of irony or no?

Growing up, my mom wasn’t a huge fan of her children tanning. She was okay if we got tan while swimming or playing outside, but she wasn’t too keen on us actively getting our glow on. Maybe it’s because of the Irish in us that causes us to burn easily, pretty much all her children are quite pale, except my brother Chris and I. We inherited the Italian olive toned skin, so we’re not completely white.

Growing up, tanning wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I spent enough time outside and got enough sun, so I never really laid out to achieve the look until I was a senior in high school. I tan easier than my siblings, but that’s when I started taking chances to get there quickly. I stopped wearing sunscreen, and instead just started slathering baby oil on me and laying out in our yard for hours at a time. Only when I was alone however, I’m sure my mom would have gotten on me in a hot minute if she ever saw this. Needless to say, tanning beds weren’t really in my vocabulary.

The first year I ever went in a tanning bed was in 2007 with my sister. We got a membership at the hair salon in our town and would take turns watching children and thinking up excuses to tell our mom where we were. The first time I did it, I fell in love with it immediately. I stopped going that year after I broke up with my then boyfriend (before dating Chris), because he once waited for me outside in the parking lot of the strip mall. When I pulled away without going in, he followed me to the Best Buy where I was working at the time, and waited for me to come out of the employee’s area until some male friends told him he had to leave. But that’s neither here nor there.

In 2008, my mom actually agreed to allow tanning in preparation to the wedding and paid for our monthly service right before. I went every morning before showering and then would come back later in the afternoon. After the wedding, I continued to do this up until I found out I was pregnant with Caitlin, at which point I stopped until I gave birth the following year.

2009 is when my tanning habit became bad. I had monthly memberships to three (yes, three) different places, and would often go to a place that didn’t require monthly memberships or care if you went straight for the super hot beds. I frequented all four of these places in one day, several times a week, sometimes stopping on my way home from work before picking up Caitlin. At the time, it was the only thing that made me feel better. It was the only time I didn’t want to cry, feeling the heat surround me, and the oil melt off my body. I always felt better afterwards, I always felt thinner and prettier, and just better. I was able to take on a lot after those sessions. I loved it. I didn’t want to stop…and then I got pregnant with Kinley.

In the very beginning of this blog I mentioned I was having to irritated moles removed from my back and checked for cancer. In between those posts and receiving my results, I decided that either way it came back, in case it was something serious, I wanted to keep it a family matter. Strictly, myself, my husband and my parents, no one else, so I never reported the results. They both came back clear of any sort of abnomalities, so a sigh of relief was breathed, but I didn’t go tanning since I was pregnant.

A couple of months after my biopsy my dad started complaining about a painful lump on his neck. Since he can be a *bit* of a drama queen and hypochondriac, my mom and I didn’t think anything of it. It couldn’t have been anything, my dad is super strict about his skin care. He doesn’t go out in the sun without sunscreen if he can help it. He didn’t even go out in the sun when we would go swimming, often choosing to stay on the boat and read. But he got it checked, and as it turns out? It wasn’t nothing.

There were two spots on him, one on his neck and the other on his ear I believe (I could be wrong about that) were squamous cell carcinoma, with several other spots on his face being precancerous.

Believe me, the “hilarity” situation is not lost on me.

My father, who takes the utmost care of his skin is the one who ends up having to have two cancerous lumps on his head removed. While I, the skin care risk taker, walks away with a little white mark where my favorite mole used to sit on my shoulder blade.

He had the lumps removed Monday, and save for 15 stitches in his neck, he’s okay. I don’t think they received the results of the biopsy to see if it’s spread any further or deeper, but like I said, I could be wrong and they could have gotten it all with the removal. I’ll find out another day most likely. Of course, he’ll have to have a follow up exam every year, but that’s a small price to pay.

I think I’m going to stop tanning at least, and then I’ll work my way up to using sunscreen again.

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4 Responses

  1. Glad he caught it early. Sometimes hypochondria is a good thing.

  2. While tanning beds do feel really great and give you a nice glow you have to remember that besides the cancer risk they make you look so much older than you are when you begin to age. Tanning beds are bad, bad, bad, and so is the sun. Stick with spray tans.

  3. Yes tanning is definitly dangerous, I’ve never done it and never will. I didn’t realise it could become addicting as well. Glad you and your dad are both okay though!

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