Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heliophobe...

Right after my initial surgery to remove the melanoma my nephew was turning 3yrs old.  he happens to share his birthday with our country... at first, my sis in law was going to throw either a beach or park party.  i explained i wouldnt make it, but would send the kids with nana and paw paw.  she wasnt sure why i wasnt going to go.  i explained i am afraid of the sun right now.  she knew what was happening as far as my treatment and diagnosis... but she still started to poke fun.  she said "what? are you going to become agoraphobic now?" to which i replied "no.  i am not afraid to go outside." (now i know wikipedia says agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder defined as a morbid fear of having a panic attack or panic-like symptoms in a situation that is perceived to be difficult (or embarrassing) from which to escape).

but that short conversation got me thinking... what am i? that's when i discovered i am a heliphobe.  according to wikipedia-
Heliophobia has two meanings:
i definetly fit the psychological meaning... and really hadn't looked into the medical portion yet to determine if thats accurate as well.  i do know that everytime i go out now during peak sun hours (10am-4pm) i get a itchy red rash.  i know some of you are probably thinking "get over it! wear sunscreen!"  i wish it were that simple... i know its an irrational fear, but i can't make it go away.  i try to wear sunscreen now, and it makes me break out like a tweeker or a tween- neither of which i am.  i even went to original dr once because the surgical area was breaking out and i had convinced myself it was a staph infection.  long story short, the physicians assistant treated me like a crazy lady because it was just acne.  i am 32yrs old, never used to break out like this... might get A pimple once a month during my cycle.  but now, i am a mess...

trying to focus on the silver lining... i have learned some valuable lessons about being so judgemental.  you never know what someone else is going through.  people now look at me like i used to look at others, like no good drug addicts in the midst of their addictions.  i suppose i was always so judgemental because of my past... i used to try almost anything... and if i liked it i was doing it until i didnt like it anymore... but in 2005 i changed that.  i sobered up... and when i did i became very judgemental and intolerant.  i had gone down the path towards destroying and alienating everything i cared about.  and i had no patience for others still on that path.  i would judge people on their surfaces, never taking the time to hear their stories...  i have since vowed to work on that... its no fun being judged for something that is happening to you, that you have little control over.  and to look at me, you wont see anything wrong.  you might see my scar... but will probably have no idea what caused it. 

you might see some signs of heliophobia if you know what it is... people a few shades paler because of so much sunblock, large brimmed hats, long sleeve shirts on sunny days, etc... again, i know i used to look at those people and assume they were tourists (because i live in gorgeous sunny san diego ca).  but now i am one of them...  again getting those disapproving looks i used to give...  please- before judging like i did, think about it... not everything is so black & white.  you never know what is going on in that gray area...

a couple of weeks ago i was finally getting past that fear.  i had actually gone out twice forgetting a long sleeve shirt or sunscreen.  when i realized i didn't panic, i was just cautious about sun exposure.  then the call came from the new surgeon.  and the fear came back with a vengeance when he mentioned "satellite" growth.  i have an appointment for friday sept. 9th to perform the resection (wle) and snlb.  they told me to be there for 9am, and be prepared to be there until 6pm.  i am not looking to forward to it.  plus, as i got out of the shower, i noticed one mole that was taken off for biopsy is now coming in very DARK...  but i am doing everything i can to fight this, and get over my fears.  i am hoping that after i pass through the treatment phase i will be able to relax again, but only time will tell...

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