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Melanoma Won't Ruin Florida for Me

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I look better when I’m tan.

A nice glow always makes me feel prettier. More confident. Glamorous. Sexy.

But in 2017, life handed me melanoma. On my face. This not only meant no more glorious sun exposure, but it also meant a big scar on my right cheek.

I’m thrilled that my margins came back clear and that it was only stage 1 melanoma, but a part of me was a little sad when I left for Florida for Christmas vacation and I realized, “Oh dear. I can’t spend my days basking in the sun and getting tan.”

In the past, coming to Florida from Indiana was about three things for me:

1. Visiting mom and dad.

2. Eating at all my favorite restaurants in The Villages.

3. Getting some sun.

Returning to snow-covered Indiana was always so much easier with a natural bronze glow on my face.

Natalie Trout tan

So many people even said to me before I left Indiana, “You’ll probably come back with a nice tan!” I know they don’t think about my melanoma every day like I do, and honestly I should be happy that the scar on my face doesn’t jump out at them and remind them. But when people say that to me, I sometimes want to bark back, “Well, probably not, considering I just had deadly skin cancer removed from my face!”

I could have let my lack of sun exposure ruin my trip to Florida, but I decided against it. Instead, I’ve actually spent more time with family instead of by myself at the pool. I’ve had some time to read, write, and improve my mind instead of improving my physical appearance.

Life isn’t about what we look like. Sure, it matters to me, especially being single and in search of my forever love, but I know God won’t let my pale skin and melanoma scar keep me from someday meeting the man of my dreams.

Natalie Trout today

I’m not letting melanoma and its aftermath ruin how I feel about myself and my appearance. And I certainly won’t let it ruin Florida.

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Getty Images photo via MargaretW

Originally published: January 2, 2018
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