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.


8 responses to “Facing Fear in the Sunscreen Aisle

  1. The only place to fight fear and find life. I know but need reminders especially when I am seeking solice of some sort at the store with the red bullseye! Blessings to you for today’s slice!

  2. Very touching. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for sharing that brave story.

  4. I meant solace not solice. 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You were able to take the usually mundane task of walking down a store aisle, to draw us in to your personal struggle to find the solution to a much bigger problem. Thank you for the reminder that we already have the solution.

  6. I had to go back and read all your previous postings. Your words are so powerful. The images you leave in my mind are on the continuous loop. It makes me wonder about the lives of those around me that I don’t know. What loop is threading through their life?
    My husband had melanoma removed from his arm five years ago. He has been back to the dermatologist every six months. This year he said, “Don’t come back for a year.” Those were wonderful words, but we are ever vigilant of applying sunscreen.

  7. Hope doesn’t always come in a tube, jar, or bottle, right? I think you’re searching for strength in a much more meaningful place. I wish you well on your journey. May Comfortable aging and holding grandchildren be in your future.

  8. That was wonderful. You brought us right along with you in that store aisle … and then into your heart as you confronted your fear. I wish you a full head of grey hair, too (and you make me rethink my decision to hide mine under henna), and wedding dress selections and the joy of grandchildren.

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