From the moment he was diagnosed to the day he died six years later, I had my heart in my mouth. I was in a quiet panic -- sometimes not so quiet. I did everything I could for him, researching doctors and hospitals and treatments and calling anyone I knew who had experience with skin cancer for advice. I was even careful that we didn't socialize with people who had a cold, which could have compromised his immune system.
But he died. And for what? Skin cancer -- a disease that can be prevented and, if not prevented, can be arrested if caught early.
I hope you check yourself once a month after reading this. I hope that, if you see a mole or something that doesn't look quite right, you'll make an appointment with your dermatologist and not let it wait. I hope you take the opportunity my husband didn't take -- to use sunscreen, reapplying it every two hours if you swim or sweat, and to wear a wide-brimmed hat. I hope you don't bake in the sun or at a tanning salon (he never saw the inside of a tanning salon but 3 million people a year do).
In short, I hope you choose to save yourself. Only you can do it.
Since her husband's death, Rosenberg, a resident of Los Angeles, has begun manufacturing and producing UV-protective hats and umbrellas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Turn is a forum for readers to recount an experience related to health or fitness. Submissions should be no more than 500 words. They are subject to editing and condensation and become the property of The Times. Please e-mail email@example.com. Although we read every essay, we can't respond to every writer.