Wear SunscreenPosted: June 14, 2012
You may have noticed that lately my little feisty Granny has not been pulling off her end of the bargain as my wingman and partner in online dating crime. She’s got a good excuse. A few weeks ago she was chatting with a man on the phone who she was planning on going out with when she found out she had to begin radiation therapy on her face for skin cancer.
“My nose is gonna be redder than Rudolph’s,” she told me. “There’s no way I’m going out with him until it’s healed.” Some things change with age but vanity is not one of them.
Although cancer is a terrifying word and illness, I keep reminding Granny that it could be worse. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. Facts: One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime. Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once. – This is Granny’s fourth time and luckily this time there is no melanoma.
I know cancer talk is heavy, but it’s real and that’s what Granny is about. As a teenager/young adult you never think about the consequences of things like smoking, tanning, partying, whatever vice you indulge in… and how it can affect you later in life.
Suddenly I get why Granny threw a shit fit on a trip to Orlando when I was 15 and refused to put on sunblock at the Holiday Inn pool. I instead chose to slather myself in baby oil. I am a white Jew; clearly I should have taken her advice. When she saw the beet-red burn on my chest she refused to talk to me the next day as I sulked around the Magic Kingdom applying aloe every thirty minutes. When she finally spoke she shook her little finger in my face and said, “Trust me, when you’re older you’ll wish you took my advice.” Ugh, she is always right.
“Why don’t you be honest with him?” I asked. It seems to me that old people like to kvetch with each other about their illnesses.
She refused, arguing that it would be smarter to make up a different excuse until her face has healed. “That would chase him away. There is no man that wants to be dating a woman with cancer,” she insisted.
I respect her decision and know skin cancer is scary but judging by the statistics and considering he lives in South Florida, odds are there’s a very good chance he’d be able to relate with her on the issue in some way.
She assured me that this was only a hiccup in her dating life, she’s eager to get back on the field after she finishes her four weeks of radiation. “Every Monday I see the doctor and the scientist, ya know the guy that takes care of the machines? He told me ‘You’ll get more tired as it’s over then you’ll be little by little fine.’”
We were both relieved to hear the news. Granny told the doctor, “I have things to do, places to go and people to see. I’m not your typical 76 year-old, I’m very busy. Right now there are things I want to be doing that I’m not doing but I gotta deal with this first.” Go Granny go!