We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As a 75 YO of Scottish/English heritage I have had three skin cancers removed, had many suspicious spots "burned" off and I'm on a first name basis with my dermatologist. My hair line above my ears and forehead is full of scabby bumps and brown spots. My shoulders mostly along my clavicle is covered with the same array of spots, scale and bumps. My left side of my face seems to randomly grow spots and of course the back of my hand is covered with things I can't pronounce. I wish I had been more careful.
I come from the same heritage plus Irish. When I saw my reconstructive surgeon last year he said "so you inherited the skin cancer gene". It is a constant battle and like you am covered with unsightly things and bumps that most people assume are my skin cancers. They are not, just some other things I can't pronounce. I've had many treatments due to the numerous suspicious spots. I'm sure my battle is not over and won't be until the day I depart this earth. The last one took reconstruction so I hope I don't have more like that. I always wore a hat, sat in the shade, under an umbrella etc. beginning in my 20s. Burned continually as a child. It is the skin I was born with so back then every kid was in the sun constantly. Our grandkids probably get no vitamin D due to their mother spraying them with sun screen.
Grew up in Northern CA where we didn't really wear sunscreen (back then 'suntan lotion') unless we were going to the beach all day. I have a pic of when I was in the 3rd grade. I look Hispanic, I was so tan.
However, as I got older I was not the kind of girl who tanned as a regular thing. Nor did I put baby oil on as some of my friends did (!) thinking it would help them tan. My face was probably the one part that got burned the most.
After 18, I moved out of CA and never really did live there again. My family still does, I think they have more wrinkles than I do (but maybe that is wishful thinking!).
My mother is in her late 70s and has lived in CA since the 60s. She has no skin cancers of any type. Keeping my fingers crossed!
A day or so ago Instapundit linked to a study that seems to indicate the link between the sun and vitamin D has been misinterpreted, and that the actual benefit is not vitamin D but a biochemical reaction which results in lower blood pressure.
NOW you tell us! Where were you fifty years ago when my Mom was plopping me down on the beach to work on my tan. And me coming home at nights lobster red, with sunburnt skin that peeled off in sheets.
That was bearable, but this foolishness of skin cancers popping up three decades later, like some kind of gruesome, demented Polaroid takes the cake. Like Anon, my dermatologists and I have become good buddies, with a long history of excisions, scrapes and burns, biopsies, and even Moh's surgery. Two or three times a year I get that lovely liquid nitrogen touch-up; right now I'm doing my triennial course of efudex, which does have the benefit of leaving my skin smooth and youthful-looking (after the old gnarly face festers and falls off).
Back in the day, was wont to put iodine in baby oil to help the tanning process. And then Mum had a cancerous growth removed from her nose (and such was her confidence that did not slow her down one iota). So calmed down on my quest for the perfect tan.
Mum lived to be 99, though she had another bit chunked off the side of her nose and radiotherapy applied near her eye. In her later years, she and her dermatologist had an understanding: should she feel something not quite right (she had macular degeneration), she was to make an appointment immediately. Otherwise it was a six-month cycle. We'd go over to see a batch of red spots on her face where "suspect" cells had been annihilated but it really worked well for her.