Sun Damage, Skin Cancer and Small Calamities of Time

By on March 13, 2017

It’s not an upbeat selfie. It’s not a dueling scar incurred in the Cordillera de Talamanca highlands, as one friend suggested.


It’s the removal of precancerous skin cells via Mohs outpatient surgery. The removal itself was the size of a nickel and 2mm deep. When I agreed to see the site after removal, tears came to my eyes. With vast hesitation, I agreed to the long stitchery as it’s a type reconstructive surgery. It was performed by a highly competent dermatological surgeon (at Zitelli & Brodland). Six weeks earlier, what I thought was a skin tag on my eyelid was a precancerous growth. That one was ‘burned’ off with liquid nitrogen. Same treatment on my nose, ten years earlier.


My sun arrogance, is now and finally, humbled forever.

Part of me is a long-sleeve wearing, shade dwelling, blue-eyed, freckled Celt; the other me is kinda hell bent on having a good time under El Sol–swimming, bodysurfing, rock climbing, boating, meandering and traveling; landscaping and gardening–mostly without adequate (or any) sun protection for decades.

What Now?

I really like Skin Active products, they contain a lot of natural ingredients blended by a woman named Dr. Sivak. You’ll learn as much as you care to absorb about skin at Skin Actives FAQ site. (Scroll down to the good stuff).

Due diligence, read up on what sun really does. (This is a good refresher).

And Shopping !  Wide brimmed hats, sunscreens, lotions to soften, potions to repair. More long-sleeved shirts and pants…..

C’mon, a girl has to get pumped about fairly radical change, right? So getting a really cool hat or 12 is key.  Here are a few under consideration:


Brixton Strider Hat.  Great daily wear for about 6 months, And, when it comes to the shooting arts, a wool hat with a full brim is ideal–wool doesn’t burn (should a hot casing land on it) at the gun range, and the full brim fully protects the face from sun and airborne ejected casings. Besides, didn’t I see this in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ?


Queork Bucket Hat. I already have this cork hat. To say that it looks like a (kinda cute) bucket sitting on my head is not an exaggeration. (Cork is also non-flammable). I bought in New Orleans at the Queork store. It was funky chic then, useful now. This, and zinc oxide on my exposed chin…a new signature look perhaps?

Lily Packable Squishee® Fedora. Fun and flourish. Squishable and packable.

Old Faces Reuniting…..

I have two reunions this year: 40th Mt. Lebanon High School, and 36th Penn State Landscape Architecture class. I’m going with the dueling scar story. Yes, it’s healing nicely, thank you.

Suzy Meyer, Author
Pittsburgh, PA

I'm a landscape architect, gardener, and of late, a certified NRA instructor. I enjoy practicing T’ai Chi, playing bocce, and walking through watersheds.. This blog is my journey full of learning curves to calm the chaos.


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