Dateline: July 6, 2019
skins game you don’t want to lose
Jeff Ditmars passed away six years ago. We did everything together, including playing beach volleyball for eleven years. We didn’t see the need for sunscreen or tee shirts.
Jeff had a tiny mole on his chest. It was hardly visible. But death came from 93 million miles away. The sun corrupted the mole and it became cancerous. By the time the damage was discovered, it was too late. Cancer cells had invaded his interior and killed him at the age of 53. Jeff’s final days were absolutely horrible to watch. I was determined not to go out the same way.
For six years I have rigorously examined my body for things that look odd. Things that pop up and just don’t go away. If anything suspicious arises I jump in my car and visit good buddy Dr. A.E. Haas in Venice. He is a plastic surgeon who specializes in wound care. He is also a fanatic about pre-emptive action. He hates all moles, viewing them as portals for The Grim Reaper. In six years I have had two actual skin cancers and three pre-cancers excised. But these were squamous cell cancers. They occupy the lightweight division of threats to humans.
About a month ago a tiny white dot showed up just under my right eye. Boy, it looked so insignificant. A pencil dot, really. But I drove to Dr. Haas’s office. He clipped it off and sent the excised skin to the lab.
Thank God. The lab told Dr. Haas the skin was corrupted with Melanoma, the deadliest cancer known to man. It had happened that quickly. In one month. That dot was sitting on my face like a hand grenade, ready to explode and invade. On 3 July 2019 I was back under the knife. Dr. Haas wanted to be absolutely certain he had cut all of the murderous cells out. With Melanoma, there is no room for error.
I am dedicating this newsletter to a grim subject because the PDGA is comprised of men who have spent their lives in the sun. I have heard the majority of you tell stories about skin cancer. It is an epidemic. But modern medicine is fighting back. The trick is not to let the bad cells get a foothold. If you think that going to see a doctor for ‘every little thing’ is a hassle, contemplate the possibility that little thing is a timebomb.
I won’t be going to Sarasota National tomorrow. Nor will I be going to Howey-In-The-Hills in two weeks. It will take that long for the stitches in my face to heal. But what a small price to pay. - JON
PAIRINGS FOR sarasota national g.C.
$39 + TAX
SATURDAY 6 july 2019 9:11 A.M.
Dennis, Martinez, Settlemyre, Beaudoin
Ethridge, Roberts, Roberts
Hartsuck, Roeger, Wackowski, Williamson
Nutter, Rose, Wheeler, Curtis