Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Julia Sims: The big cover up

Posted August 5, 2013

WRAL-TV reporter Julia Sims with son Will

It seems it wasn't that long ago that Will and I would do the mad morning run around. I had to chase him - literally - around the house to try and put on sunscreen. It was exhausting. I would eventually give up or he would give in. He'd stand there with his hands on his hips and defiantly say " I DON'T LIKE IT."

Thankfully, those days are behind us. How did it happen? Well, when he was old enough to understand, I explained to him in the simplest of terms that too much sun can burn you and give you ouchy skin. He got it and wanted no part of ouchy skin.

Earlier this summer, I had a mole removed from my shoulder. Not a big deal, right? Well, the next week the doctor called me at work and said it was (very) early stage melanoma. Whoa. So, I had more removed and now have to go in for check ups every three months. Luckily, it was caught early, but it was definitely a wake up call to be even more vigilant.

Growing up, I basked in the sun. I was a lifeguard throughout high school and college and probably rarely used sunscreen. In the last decade or so, I've wised up. I don't care if I have what some of my friends call pasty white skin all summer long. If you see me at the pool these days, I'm the one with a towel draped over my shoulders. I lather on the sunscreen constantly and wear a hat.

I carry a tube of sunscreen in my purse; Mike carries one in his car. We coat our fair-haired, fair-skinned boy with the stuff constantly. It's called common sense.

Now, on the mornings when Will and I are scrambling to get out the door, I often hear a little boy pipe up and say "Mama, you forgot the sunscreen!" (Yay!!)

Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a preschooler. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.



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  • hsiflee Aug 6, 2013

    Petty sure dr's have been telling us that for a long time.

  • babbleon1 Aug 6, 2013

    Good for you! We wear hats and swim shirts all the time. We get funny looks and questions at the pool, but my son and I have only had one slight burn in two years, after 8hrs at the beach.

  • carolctaylor Aug 6, 2013

    Prayers are with you, Julia. I'm glad yours was caught early and that you're being vigilant. There's a tremendous online melanoma community on Facebook. Many of us, like CasuAl (Black is the New Pink), and myself (Melanoma Prayer Center) are in NC. We're here for you and for others. Blessings!...Rev. Carol Taylor, Warren Plains UMC

  • marandablomqvist Aug 6, 2013

    Thanks Julia for sharing your story. A very dear friend of mine lost her daughter in 2010 to melanoma. she was 28 years old. She battled melanoma for 4 years and put up a heck of a fight!!. We joined forces with another couple, who lost their daughter at 26 year old to melanoma, and started a memorial walk 3 years ago in their honor. Please join us on Oct 12 in Apex for the Amanda Wall-Corey Haddon Memorial Walk at the Apex United Methodist Church. You can also learn more if you visit Melanoma should be taken very seriously. The best defense is early dectection and I am so glad that you had this checked otu early.

  • jpittard2 Aug 6, 2013

    People just do not understand the risks! I lost my brother and then my father to melanoma. I lather up everyday and get yearly skin checks. I had 2 spots removed with "evidence of slight cell changes" but nothing of interest for 30 years. Take care and lather well.

  • Casu-Al Aug 5, 2013

    Thoughts are with you Julia...and thank you so much for sharing. So many think that melanoma is "no big deal" when in fact it can be a VERY big deal. The best defense is early detection...thank goodness you had it checked early!

    Keep lathering on the sunscreen to you and Will!

    Hang in there!

    Al @ "Black is the New Pink - Fight Melanoma"