Four years ago, Hornis Ronald, 45, discovered he had a malignant melanoma. Metastases to the lymph nodes and the head caused many moments of concern. Last year NH Nieuws spoke to a sober West Frisian about his Illness, family, and chances of survival And exactly one year later we spoke to him again. He has just returned from vacation to sunny Spain; But how do you actually do that if you have skin cancer?
The story of Ronald in the bathroom began four years ago. Scratching an itchy mole, which is beginning to bleed. The next day he went to the doctor and was soon diagnosed with “skin cancer”. Then came one hit after another. The metastases were in the lymph nodes in the armpit and chest, and an epileptic seizure revealed two tumors in his head.
Cancer is now stable and Ronald can – despite the constant fatigue and unexplained pain – enjoy life again. This summer he went with his family to Benidorm in Spain.
“You can do this if you have skin cancer,” Ronald says cheerfully. “We knew the place, so I knew there were a lot of shady spots. I can also go in the sun, but not during peak hours, and I always do myself well. Shade is the magic word. We take it easy, so in terms of energy I can conserve it.” Well “.
“My skin hurts after ten minutes in the sun. This is a helpful reminder”
However, the sun holiday for Ronald is different from others. He avoids the sun as much as possible and is always smudging: “Because my treatments are like immunotherapy, it seems my skin can’t stand the sun anymore. After ten minutes in the sun, my skin is starting to really hurt. In this case it’s a helpful reminder that I have to go back to the shade.”
Ronald with his children at the swimming pool in Benidorm. The text continues after the image
But this reminder also ensures that Ronald cannot play with his children undisturbed. “A football-crazy midfielder. Kicking the ball on a pitch under the hot sun is not possible for me. It’s very unfortunate.”
Going home without color
Where Ronald used to lie in the backyard with his bare bark at the first rays of sun, now he comes home from a much lesser vacation. “People ask me if I really go on vacation. It’s part of it. Despite all the precautions, I do have a tan, but much less than before. It stings sometimes. People associate vacation with how thick you are when I come back, though I know better” Ronald explains.
When he sees in the holiday how easy it is to burn people, and how little it is for some people, he touches: “I’d like to talk to people about it, but then I might address the whole of Benidorm.”
“When I see these bright red Brits in the bright sun, my fingers itch”
However, he tries to get people to rub themselves: “It keeps annoying. When I see these bright red Brits in the bright sun, my fingers are eager to say something. Sometimes I have a conversation with them in the pool, for example. Then I tell them My story. They are all ears and I have an idea my story is coming.”
Ronald and his family are now home again. Soon he has to go to the hospital for a scan; An exciting moment for the whole family. “Initially, I had a checkup every three months, which would be once every six months. A checkup of my brain and chest was scheduled for December, but was offered due to the constant pain in my back. Fortunately, VUmc takes my complaint seriously and does not take any risks.”
In addition to addressing people on vacation, he’s participating in the Melanoma Foundation’s “Shade Is Cool” campaign to point out the dangers of the sun, and is part of a think-tank to bring better attention to skin cancer. For example, Ronald would like to see employers in the construction sector obligated to provide employees with sunscreen gear.”
“In addition, we advise people to check your skin well themselves. There are a a tool It has been developed to allow you to upload an image of your birth nevus. The tool will then indicate whether the stain is harmless or whether you should check it.”
More and more young people
Ronald hopes to be able to continue contributing to the foundation, as he notices that more and more young people are getting skin cancer.
“And increasingly more serious forms. I find this shocking and am committed to doing something about it. I will also soon be raising money again for KWF Kankerbestrijding. You can now donate via QR code, so we hope to get more donations. It’s a good cause, And I get distracted. So that’s a double win for me,” concluded Ronald.
Regularly checking (birth) spots on your skin can help detect skin cancer early. The ABCDE method will help you with that. Do you recognize any of the signs below? Then go to the doctor:
– Asymmetry: the birthmark (birth) is not symmetrical in color or shape
Boundary: the spot (birth) has an irregular eccentric border
Color: The spot (birth) changes color or has different colours
Diameter: the (birth) mark is more than 6 mm in diameter
Evolution/change: a sign (birth) that itch, bleeds, or changes
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