Lifestyle Choices and a Reality Skin Check

Lifestyle Choices and a Reality Skin Check

It’s amazing how fast life hurdles into high gear and reality sets in. Sunday we got home from our trip up the Oregon coast and Monday found me at the dermatologist getting several “spots” cut and burned off…because they were precancerous. I’d gotten a small burn on my neck while driving last week but these were from years of past damage. I always a wear a high SPF sunscreen, hats or use sun umbrellas. Yet precancerous lesions keep showing up…regularly. These visits are simply part of my regular maintenance now. Like going to the dentist every 6 months. I should have worn a wider brimmed hat while driving 🙁

My skin is fragile. So having things cut or burned off usually leaves permanent scars or depigmented, white spots. So fun. My misspent youth (lack of sunscreen) doesn’t make it more palatable.

I’m a huge fan of Eric Javit’s hats becauase they’re packable. I love this one because it has a large brim and blocks 95% UVA and UVB rays.


Seeing Mt Shasta always signals home to us. We were happy to see lots of snow on it this year.

Seeing Mt Shasta always feels like coming home


Our trip up the Oregon coast last week was glorious! So picturesque. We checked out trailers, 5th wheels and Class A motor home options for “life on the road”. I’d want to live in something that’s roomy enough to hold my stuff and not feel like a sardine can. Our goal is to find a way to test the lifestyle, without a huge commitment. The truth is we didn’t find anything that fit what we needed. I know me, and a trailer with a 6″ closet pole won’t cut it. Storage space is critical, but weight and length matter too.

We’re at the point where a big decision must be taken in small steps. The last thing I want to do is regret our choice. Traveling the country with our little home on our back, like a turtle, is very appealing. Buy we have much more research to do and aren’t ready to pull the trigger yet.

Have you had your skin cancer check this year? Please do it!

Have a great week!

xo Jennifer


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  1. Kim
    May 3, 2016 / 9:36 am

    Yes, I just had my skin checked and all clear which I was very surprised by. Hubby was not so lucky. He had five places taken off and two were basil cell carcinoma which he the had cut out three weeks later. He thought the doctor told him two melanomas over the phone and I had been worried sick for weeks, but it was basil cell. He gets the stitches out tomorrow. Such large cuts made for such small spots
    I love wide brimmed hats. We also want to try the camping thing. We have heard it is best to rent first and try it out. Friends of ours bought a big rig and hated camping so they sold it.

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:30 pm

      I’m glad he caught them when they see basil cell. This is scary stuff!
      What happened with your friends is exactly what we don’t want to do do we are taking our time!

  2. May 3, 2016 / 10:23 am

    I have a standing 6-month dermatologist appointment, and she always finds something to slice off and send for testing. Fortunately, everything has come back negative so far. Fingers crossed! My dad had melanoma twice, and my mom had a basal cell carcinoma (she was the queen of sunbathing). I use a high SPF daily and never sunbathe! Love your hat!

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:28 pm

      I’m glad you’ve been lucky. I had melanoma several years ago so it keeps me vigilant. Good thing I love hats!!

  3. Another brand of hats! I’m still really enjoying the ones you recommended before. With 5 of those that’s enough to meet all sunshine eventualities. Goodness weren’t we ignorant in our teens. Sun, radio, coconut oil. We thought we were living the life.

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:26 pm

      And we’re paying for our silliness now! I have been collecting hats for years!! Thank goodness I love them
      Because they do offer lots of protection.

  4. May 3, 2016 / 10:35 am

    It sounds like your trip was the perfect getaway, Jen! Congrats to you and your husband on his retirement. It sounds like you two are up for an adventure. That is exactly how we are feeling about now. As for the dermatologist, I’m all about having my skin checks regularly. Both my brother and sister had melanoma, so I’m very careful about it all at this point in life. I only wish I hadn’t gone through that ‘baby oil’ phase as a lifelong California girl.
    Love the hat!
    Have a fantastic week!
    xx, Heather

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:24 pm

      I did that crazy baby oil trick too. What were we thinking? It’s an exciting time but we are taking our decisions slowly. Let’s chat soon!

  5. Canuck
    May 3, 2016 / 10:35 am

    Thank you for the very, very important message about our skin. It’s a fact that the earth’s atmosphere isn’t protecting us like it once did. Skin damage happens all year, and the treatments aren’t pleasant.

    Blessings to you and your husband as you start a new phase of life. Don’t rush into anything. Why not try RV rentals for a while to see if the lifestyle works for you? Come on up to the Canadian Rockies where you’ll find RV rentals, a very favorable exchange rate and gorgeous scenery. Heck, stop in the Okanagan for houseboat rentals, too. It’s always nice to have a place to go home to.

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      You’re so right!! I love the Rockies and the exchange rate is great for us. I’d forgotten that!!!
      My daughter lives in Vancouver so she’s not too happy with it when she visits home here.
      We are going to take out time. Rushing would be a mistake.

  6. May 3, 2016 / 11:20 am

    Very good reminder. I’ve had a couple of spots removed from days in the sun as a teen. I’m due another check, though.

  7. Regina L. L. Wells
    May 3, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    So sorry, Jennifer. That’s no fun. At least you are staying on top of it and nothing more detrimental has come of the lesions. My friend has had her second questionable spot. Fortunately, they’ve both been precancerous as well. I, like many of our generation, did not really take care of my skin with sun protection as I should have, but have been very fortunate not to suffer the consequences so far more than a little sun damage around my eyes. Good post and good recommendation on the floppy hat with the extra protection built into it.

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:19 pm

      Staying on top of it is what helps me catch the trouble spots when they’re small. You’re very lucky. I have a lot of damage on my neck and chest so the hat is really helpful for that.

  8. May 3, 2016 / 11:45 pm

    Here in the Netherlands it is not so ,,normal,, to check your skin. I mean, I think we are not that zware of the damage the sun can do. I am sorry to hear you had to be treated. And I hope youre search will go smootly!

  9. May 3, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    Great post and a good reminder for us all. I have my skin checked once a year (all clear this year) but have had several pre-cancerous areas burnt off in the last five years. And this is in the UK where the sun doesn’t shine all the time, but it’s like so many of your other commenters, when I was young I sunbathed until I went bright red!! And being a red-head that was so not a good idea, but we all wanted to that tanned look – hmmm.

    And yes, why not rent first before you buy – whatever you do, enjoy and live in the moment x

    • Jennifer
      May 4, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      I wanted to look tanned in my teen years too! Ridiculous but true I used baby oil and iodine!! Renting is a great idea Penny.

  10. Rhonda
    May 19, 2016 / 3:01 am

    Thank you for your honesty about your skin.
    I notice some bloggers include a save and splurge which is helpful when items such as the hats are so expensive. I realize it is really our responsibility to do the research but sometimes it is nice when a blog includes options. http://www.amazon.com/Scala-Womens-Cotton-Fuchsia-Size/dp/B0029F26AQ?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00
    I bought this recently for a quick trip to the beach when I was on an antibiotic! Is not trendy like yours! LOL BTW yours was very beautiful but not in my range!

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