Battle stems from blisters in sun
WHEN Gordon Bush was four years old, he fell asleep in the sun.
His tiny body suffered blisters the size of an adult hand and when they burst, would saturate his shirt.
Now 67, Mr Bush has been locked in a battle with skin cancer for the past nine years.
He is now on a mission to educate people to visit a doctor and have regular check-ups.
“We didn’t have the expertise back in those days,” he said.
“Mum rubbed tomato and vinegar over the sunburn.”
But with National Skin Cancer Action Week starting tomorrow, Mr Bush says there is no need for the cancer to keep claiming lives.
He said the past nine years had been a worrying experience, which all started when a red dot appeared on his face.
“It was just as if someone got a red texta and put a dot on my nose,” he said.
He went to the doctor who told him it was nothing.
But Mr Bush persisted until tests were taken.
The cancer grew rapidly and became a hole in Mr Bush’s nose.
Mr Bush applied a cream to his nose to fix the problem but he said it was not a pleasant experience.
The cream makes the nose red and then it scabs over.
“It is very embarrassing,” Mr Bush said.
Mr Bush has also had cancer frozen off from the back of his hands four separate times and they just keep coming back.
The skin cancers continue to pop up without reason, with one on Mr Bush’s head developing quickly to the size of a 50 cent piece.
“I watch my skin like a hawk,” he said.
Mr Bush takes every precaution, including mowing the lawn with a long-sleeve shirt and gloves.
Mr Bush urges everyone to regularly examine their skin.
“If people are worried they should go see their doctor to get it checked,” he said.
He said it was better to catch skin cancer early.
“It never crossed my mind that I would get any skin cancer,” he said.
Check out the News-Mail’s comprehensive guide to sun safety next week.