HEALTH AND GRATITUDE
This spring i was shocked to learn I had skin cancer. This week I had surgery – it was a success! 100% removed – zero complications. It was extremely scary because it was about an inch under my left eye and they didn’t know how deep until they started trying to remove it – there was fear that it could have fanned out and potentially spread too close to my eye. I’ve never gone under anesthesia before, and although I am still a bit blurry, I really want to thank all my friends & family & team for support, and also Dr. Calvert & Dr. Fincher.
I have been extremely lucky in this life, avoided any real health complications, and basically have kind of a Peter Pan syndrome: still feel like I’m 20 years old. I’m also kind of a hypochondriac and spend a ton of time and energy trying to maintain optimum health through diet, sleep, exercise, and just generally being kind of a wuss… I’m not into partying much, and I’m not a thrill-seeker or risk taker, but one of my *FAVORITE* feelings in life is laying in the sun and feeling the warm rays soak my body. I’ve always smothered myself in sunscreen, and although my sweet momma is blonde & fair skinned, my dad is Italian, and I never worried too much about getting skin cancer. I probably only hang out and sunbathe in the sunshine like 10 days a year….most of my sun exposure is just casual/daily like anyone else. I’m busy AF, I travel full time, I’m usually locked inside a dark studio. I go hiking a lot, and I go for lots of walks, but it never seemed like anything which would lead to skin cancer.
I wanted to pass on a note giving thanks, and expressing my deep joy to be able to continue enjoying life on Earth as an enthusiastic participant. But I also wanted just to pass it on that, apparently Sun Damage is a thing – and maybe if you are reading this, it can help you avoid this for yourself or a loved one. What I have learned through this crash course of shock, panic & pandemonium is that our skin can be damaged by the sun over a long period of time, and years later an issue can arise. So if you are “young & free” and just living life to the fullest that’s great and all, but wear sunscreen. They say having “zinc” in the sunscreen is ideal, and while 30 SPF is ok, they recommend 45-50. This isn’t just for when you lay out in the sun, its for basically every day. I had what is called “Basal Cell Carcinoma” which thankfully is “easier” to remove than some other types. Although it was in a very dangerous spot right next to my eye, it simply had to be removed, and sooner than later. I am obviously not a doctor, but if you know me, you know that Health & Safety is a huge priority for me, as well as for the whole Bassnectar Crew. I strive to help my friends live as happily and healthily as possible, so this is something I just felt called to share. Make sure you go see your doc regularly, at least once a year for a physical, and just keep on top of your health: these amazing bodies are ABSOLUTELY the most magical things we have, and I hope you treasure yours carefully, as well as encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Yesterday I read this:
The odds of you existing:
1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
The odds of you dying:
1 in 1
You dying is no miracle.
YOU BEING ALIVE AT ALL IS.
Life is just so precious, it’s such a mysterious gift. And in the wake of such tragedy like the Orlando Shooting: my heart goes out to the victims & their families, and at the same time all who are alive right now have an opportunity to treasure their bodies and their nervous systems, and inspire others to do so as well.
I’m all over the place here, but one other thing: last weekend at Mysteryland I threw a little disguise on, and went running around out in the festival just to people watch, and have an adventure. I noticed a guy walking around alone with burn scars on his face, and I felt an over-riding desire to say hello, make friends, give him a hug. His name is Sean Canepa and he is extremely kind – we got into a cool conversation about his life. When he was 5 years old he was nearly burned alive in a car accident, and although he suffered burns across much of his face and body, he is literally one of the most kind, positive, thoughtful people I have met. He said “I’ve been a burn survivor now for almost 17 years and have learned to not only accept the cards I’ve been dealt but also to truly love and own up to it. It makes me who I am and I would never give up anything in the world to change it.” He wants to be a motivational speaker for other burn victims, and that talk was an amazing inspiration to me. It put things into perspective since no matter how bad things may be, they can always be worse: we humans are resilient and innately strong: we have the power to survive and flourish, and this raw energy which drives us to “rage against the dying of the light” is so magnetic and precious. After my talk with Sean I thought again about how ‘Comparison is the thief of happiness’ and how easy it is to be happy and grateful when you take stock of your basic blessings, and view yourself as ONE IN A ZILLION lucky to be alive. When you start comparing yourself to others, and what they have or what you lack, you start to focus on your deficiencies, and become ungrateful. So this is a renewed resolution to spend my time being grateful for what I have, as opposed to being ungrateful for what I don’t have.
And also to wear a ton of sun screen. So if you see me around and i have tons of white stuff smeared all over my face, you’ll know I’m just doin me : )
Thanks for reading, much love.