I was told I had melanoma last year after my very first appointment to the dermatologist. Two weeks after being diagnosed, they removed the mole in question and left me with a 7 inch scar across my abdomen. Being a 19 year old girl, that was a hard thing for me to accept. I was told I would have to meet with my dermatologist every three months for a year or so to monitor my skin for new growths, which I soon found out would mean acquiring more tiny scars every time a biopsy was taken. My dermatologist advised against getting a tattoo to cover my scar, as new growths could pop up around it. She told me to be sure to wear at least spf 30 every day and sun protective clothing whenever possible. No more bikinis on my sunny Florida beaches. Even though it's been a year, I'm still having a really hard time accepting this new lifestyle. As a kid, I grew up sportfishing with my parents, visiting the beach whenever possible. I love the sun. But I'm having such a hard time accepting that the sun 'hates me'. I love the beach and the hot Florida sun and swimming in the pool and even sunbathing! I still can't fathom my world without sun drenched days. I spend so much time indoors now away from the sun that my bright orange red hair is darkening to brown. Has anyone else experienced these feelings? Is there a way to make this transition easier? Less shameful? Not so discouraging?