Ronald, 45, survived metastatic melanoma: 'Shadow is the magic word'

Ronald, 45, survived metastatic melanoma: ‘Shadow is the magic word’

Hornis Ronald, 45, discovered four years ago that he had skin cancer. 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 a holiday in sunny Spain; But how do you actually do that if you have skin cancer?

Ronald and his family – private photo

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 keep up with that.” Fine “.

“My skin hurts after ten minutes in the sun. This is a helpful reminder”

Ronald

However, the sun holiday for Ronald is different from others. He avoids the sun as much as possible and he always smudges: “Since my treatments are like immunotherapy, it seems my skin can’t stand the sun anymore. After ten minutes in the sun my skin really started to hurt. This is a helpful reminder that I have to go back to the shade.”

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Ronald with his children at the swimming pool in Benidorm. The text continues after the image

A private picture

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”

Ronald

However, he tries to get people to rub themselves: “It remains a nuisance. 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. 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 due in December, but was offered because of the constant pain in my back. VUmc monitors my complaints. Fortunately very seriously and does not take any risks.”

Campaign

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. Ronald would like to see employers in the construction sector obligated to provide employees with sunscreen.

“In addition, we advise people to check their 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 working for 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 for KWF Kankerbestrijding again. You can now donate via QR code, so hopefully more donations. It’s a good cause, and a distraction.” So this is a profit double for me,” concludes Ronald.

check yourself

Regularly checking (birth) spots on your skin helps 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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