From the moment he was diagnosed to the day he died six years later, I had my heart in my mouth. I was in a quiet panic -- sometimes not so quiet. I did everything I could for him, researching doctors and hospitals and treatments and calling anyone I knew who had experience with skin cancer for advice. I was even careful that we didn't socialize with people who had a cold, which could have compromised his immune system.
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But he died. And for what? Skin cancer -- a disease that can be prevented and, if not prevented, can be arrested if caught early.
I hope you check yourself once a month after reading this. I hope that, if you see a mole or something that doesn't look quite right, you'll make an appointment with your dermatologist and not let it wait. I hope you take the opportunity my husband didn't take -- to use sunscreen, reapplying it every two hours if you swim or sweat, and to wear a wide-brimmed hat. I hope you don't bake in the sun or at a tanning salon (he never saw the inside of a tanning salon but 3 million people a year do).
In short, I hope you choose to save yourself. Only you can do it.
Since her husband's death, Rosenberg, a resident of Los Angeles, has begun manufacturing and producing UV-protective hats and umbrellas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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