Lynn and I have been married for 37 years, and been together for 40 years. We were rarely apart during all this time. To say we were close would be understating our relationship. Best friend, trusted partner, lover and confidant would be terms we use to describe each other. Lynn retired a few years ago and I was very close. We had places to go. We had grandchildren to spoil. We had gardens to tend and books to read.
We each grew up in different places, but our childhoods were similar to others in our generation. We played outside as children. We went to the lakes or the pools and got deep tans. Nobody used sunscreen. Put put oils on our skin to hasten the tanning process. You didn’t look healthy without a good tan. There were many things our society thought was safe back then, but came to realize later on they were not good for us. Extended exposure to the sun was one of them.
Lynn’s complexion was not a good fit for a youth filled with summers in the sun. Beginning about age 40, she began having small squamous cell spots removed and other precancerous spots frozen off. She went to the dermatologist annually for checkups and these small procedures. About 6 years ago a melanoma was removed from her shoulder. The doctors were confident in the margins they took. No radiation was recommended. From that point, Lynn went to the dermatologist every 4 months and at 5 years was considered to be past the dangerous period for cancer. Turns out, there is no safe time period from melanoma.