I spent some time with my sister and her boyfriend last weekend at a cute little farm in North Scottsdale. They had a petting zoo with a pumpkin patch, not fields of pumpkins like we're used to, but it was still fun and festive for sure. Cute sister pics. I need to have a Fall day with my other sis now, we're thinking of painting on pumpkins and decorating. What have you been up to to welcome the new season?
I can't sign off without mentioning something these photos symbolize for me. A couple years ago we went to the pumpkin patch with my mom and she was wearing this same hat.
I want to carry on something from her into mine and my sisters lives today. It also might apply to you too. I've been getting much better at my sun protection! I have been wearing sun protection gear; the hat pictured here is from Coolibar, really great wear that contains spf to help block you from harmful UV rays. I'm also wearing my daily sunscreen, 50 spf on my face by Kiss My Face, and a generic sports sunscreen on the rest of me. I have mentioned it before, but it's really important to be sun conscious especially for those of us who have skin cancer in our family history. You still get your vitamin D if you wear sunscreen, and all you really need is ten minutes a day of sun exposed skin, which could be a spot on the back of your neck that you missed for example, or your toes, or in between your fingers.. ever think of what is still exposed even after you apply sunscreen? Or if you apply sunscreen, it takes 10-15 minutes anyways before it will actually be protecting you. If you are a daily sunscreen wearer like me, it might behoove you to check out your sunscreen's ingredients, and research what is best for you. I am at high risk for skin cancer, so I also visit my dermatologist every six months to follow up on moles, freckles, etc. If you haven't gotten your spots documented please do!
A big thing I learned from my dermatologist is in regards to pregnancy and hormones, so this applies to most of my friends right now so read this!!! Your moles react like crazy to your hormones during and after pregnancy. Get your moles checked before you even plan on getting pregnant, once during, and after you have the baby. This is huge for me to mention because as most of you know, my mom had skin cancer and ended up passing away in her early fifties from it, but there was a history intrinsically linked to hormones. Her moles reacted to pregnancy hormones in her early thirties. She had a mole removed that was cancerous, and later on because of menopausal hormones, and other factors such as stress; cancer came back in a huge and dark way. During times of hormonal changes please, please, please, CHECK YOUR MOLES. Don't be lazy about it. Go get your skin checked out, and find out if you might be more susceptible to skin cancer according to the Fitzpatrick Scale. Also be sun smart. If you don't like sunscreen: wear darker colored clothes; use a dark umbrella, even better one with spf; use baby car shades; wear lots of hats; and an odd last thing to throw at you, eat organic dark leafy greens, and one raw carrot a day (not baby carrots or cooked) especially if you are needing to be outside more.
So I love you all, and hope today's rant is an encouragement to be better at your skin care protection. I don't mean to scare anyone, I just know that prevention is much easier to tackle than cancer is to tackle. My mom loved life and didn't want to give up the things she loved, which was mostly outdoor activities. She was an avid hiker, walker, and beach lover. Anytime she was off work she always made time for the outdoors. I had many years with her and observed these things in regards to sun protection: she would apply a minimum spf (15-30) sunscreen if she planned on being outside for an hour or more; she would only wear hats if we were outside for more than a couple hours; she always sought the shade, no matter what. In the reverse, I know things she did before mid-thirties, she tanned like crazy, which beautiful lady in the 80s didn't? When she was a little older, I think she wore a daily spf in her foundation like 15 spf, but not over her whole body, and not really a high enough spf when she did wear it. Internally, I know she also struggled with some dark things.
Trying to absorb this I know she would want me and my sisters to live a long healthy life (so trying to the best of our abilities, within common grace of course!). So let me break it down (if you have any tips, please comment below!!) It's sunscreen everyday for me if I face the sun at all. It's wearing hats anytime I'm on a walk or hike. It's wearing sun protective clothes. Even if I'm in the shade, I have to double check that I'm wearing adequate sunscreen. Besides the stuff we can do on the outside, keep an eye on your stress levels! Stress linked with hormones is a deadly combination. My mom's oncologist pegged this as the main cause of her reoccurring cancer. Even though she did the following things I'm about to mention, I saw into her heart, and knew she carried heavy burdens. I don't know what to say about it in retrospect because we are all human and I'm not saying she didn't do the following, but I guess it gives it more importance to us today now, that it is serious to let your worries go. So seek peace, seek God and his grace, exercise, talk with friends about problems, don't bottle it up inside, do creative things, dance, do art, sing along with music. Remember to smile. It's a weird thing to practice, but it really does help to lift the spirit. Who knows what and if anything could've changed for my mom's external/internal circumstances to make it different, but trying to proceed with grace is all I want to do, in the here and now.
Again I love you all and wish you the best in facing this weird and yet beautiful life. We're in it together, and that's what helps me to be grateful everyday, with joy in my heart. So thank you!:)
Cheers to a great October!
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