Sun and Bumps

Just another sunny Sunday on Oahu. I took these from the car because there was not a parking space to be had for love or money anywhere on the North Shore.

There were 15+ swells today in some places, perfect for the Xcel competition going on. I forgot to mention earlier that I won a $50 gift certificate in a giveaway from Loblee Photography for a camera or lens rental. So for the big Pipeline surf competition in February, I am picking up this badass monkey and getting myself some sweet action shots.

That said, I’ll be shooting from under an umbrella and the Teflon-like protective shield of 70+ sunscreen. I finally went to an internal medicine doctor to establish a primary caregiver for things like ear and sinus infections and remembered to ask about a freckle I thought looked sketchy. Normally when I see those freckles I completely overreact to what is actually a benign birthmark, so you can imagine my dismay when the doctor said “Yep, you’re going to the dermatologist for that one. I don’t like the border or color.” I promptly went home, scheduled an appointment, and googled “Melanoma Photo Gallery” to see if I could make comparisons and “Prepare Your Will At Home” forms.

Crap. I always knew with my fair skin that getting yearly screenings would have to start early, but I didn’t imagine that at my age it would turn up a hit. I’ll be 26 at the end of the month, which I guess is old enough for sun damage to become apparent. So two days after my birthday I get to have the mole looked at and hopefully removed. Happy birthday to me.

It weighs on me heavily, this suspicious spot. I know it probably is just that–suspicious, and nothing more. But I am pale and was stupid about sunscreen, so there will be more and more suspicious spots. That, and I have a lapsed former Baptist-turned-agnostic’s phobia of death coupled with a natural tendency toward melodrama, and those things in conjunction are why I should really be back on the anti-anxiety meds. But all I can think of is my best friend’s uncle, who died in his 40s with a wife and a little boy not quite out of elementary school from melanoma, and I hit the spiral again because I rank fairly high on all the melanoma risk factors.

Anyway, I’m going to try not to let it bother me and really hit the sunscreen every time I go out. And I’m going to get shots of hot surfers while I’m at it (female surfers too, just for Tom).