Facing Fear in the Sunscreen Aisle
Pushing my red plastic shopping cart through the cosmetic aisle I was overwhelmed with the selection of face creams. I could choose to be naturally radiant or have a youthful appearance with smooth skin. Reading the fine print with my progressive lenses, I tried to find a promise that I would get to help my daughter pick out a wedding dress – a promise that if I used this face cream, skin cancer would not find me again and I would live long enough to hold grandchildren.
If The Mayo Clinic website said a broad spectrum suntan lotion of SPF 15 was adequate, then Neutrogena Sunblock SPF 110 would be like the sun trying to get through a cement brick. I wanted to buy their product not just because it had sunburn protection but because it had an “Age Shield” which would help me “combat sun-induced free-radical damage that can accelerate the signs of aging.” What is wrong with aging? I want to be old. I want to live long enough to have a full head of grey hair. I want to smell the open palm of a newborn baby’s hand.
Where was the shield to protect me from fear? What could I use to combat the fear that the cancer was not contained. The fear that the nurse would tell me on the phone next week, “There were no good margins in your last biopsy — the cancer has spread.”
I was looking in the wrong place. The store with the red bullseye did not have the answer.
The answer was in the book I read every morning. My daily reading the day I first found out I had malignant melanoma was Psalm 23.
I don’t have to fear evil. God is with me. I am comforted.
About Pamela Hodges
My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.