“You need to stay out of the sun,” the consultant said, a very serious look on his face.
His last word reverberated around the room…
Suddenly the metal blinds dropped down with a clatter that made me jump. At the same time the overhead strip light snapped off, plunging the small room into total darkness.
I gasped and as my eyes adjusted I noticed the consultant’s face was now lit by an eery red light.
His face…It was…different.
Now deadly pale, his eyes seemed to glow and his teeth? Where before he had the perfect smile, now there were two long, pointy fangs. And wait, was that…blood dripping from them?
“Welcome to the darkness,” he whispered before scraping back his chair and diving across the desk to initiate me into his vampire world.
“Eventually you will need to see you GP for a blood test to check you vitamin D levels and you will most likely need to go on a supplement,” he continued now.
I shook my head.
Back in the bright room.
Test for vitamin D. Got it.
He was looking at me with a slight frown.
“Right, so we’ll get you booked in to have that one removed. You’ll be hearing from us,” he said. “Any other questions before you go?”
I guess my biggest question was how on earth do you stay out of the sun? But by the time my vampire fantasy had played out, I figured he didn’t mean it quite so literally. I had no need to become a creature of the night, sleep in a coffin (thank goodness because claustrophobia!) and feast on blood (I’d be a bit rubbish at that as a vegetarian anyway). He just meant take precautions which is good because we love being out in the (daylight) fresh air.
“No, that’s great, thanks,” I replied and left.
It seems I might have another basal cell carcinoma, which wasn’t unexpected. At least it’s on the back of my neck and not on my face this time, although he did a fab job removing the one next to my eye.
There was less panic when he diagnosed this second one. Maybe because I knew, as I’d had one, I was likely to get more or maybe because I’ve been through it and found it less daunting this time? As he stressed, again: “If you’re going to get cancer this is absolutely the best one to get.” That’s how the sun talk had happened. Apparently the only way to prevent them is to stay out of it.
The trouble is, I thought I was already doing all I could. I chase the shade, cover up and wear suncream almost as if it was a religion.
Or at least I thought I did.
When I look back I can remember several occasions in the last couple of years where we’ve gone to the park and, while Freya is smothered in cream, wearing a hat and covered up where possible, I’ll have forgotten to do the same for myself. You know how it is? I just thought I’d be ok. It wouldn’t matter if we weren’t out for long.
And before I had her there are many examples – including (rather embarrassingly) taking factor 10 to Sri Lanka in the height of summer and burning. Even forgetting to reapply it in this country and going a bit red.
I guess it all adds up.
Anyway, as we’ve had a few more sunny days recently, in Norfolk anyway, I did a bit of research for staying safe and there are some great tips here – unless you’re a vampire and then maybe you don’t have to worry.
Do you ever get carried away at doctor’s appointments? No? Just me? I think it’s probably my way of dealing with stress but if the blinds even so much as rattle the next time I see the consultant I’m out of there.