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smartie

smartie
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Member since: 25.03.2001

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      15.06.2001 00:46
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      • "You will have to avoid the sun for the rest of your life"

      “I ‘ear you’ve got a mole” is a line from one of Jasper Carrott’s sketches. “There’s only one way to get rid of a mole..….blast it’s bloody ‘ead off!” it continued. I had a mole but, not the small burrowing creature, and it certainly did not need blasting away. I had a mole on my back. I had had it for years. I’d become quite attached to it. It was the size of a 2p piece, and was one of twenty or more dotted over my back, chest and arms. It wasn’t concerned at all, after all I do not have a fair complexion or sunbathe throughout the day in the summer. A visit to the Doctor the day after New Year’s Day changed everything. I went to see her about something else. That was okay, but she asked in passing what was that on my back, how long had I had it, and when did I last have it checked out. “Oh, it’s just my mole, had it years. It’s never given me trouble”. Within 2 weeks I was being examined by the Skin Consultant in the local hospital, and a further week I was under the knife in the Burns & Plastic Surgery Unit. Who says the NHS is slow! The result? Malignant Melanoma. Skin Cancer. The Big C in other words. I had an ice cream scoop-full of skin and tissue gouged from my back, and a skin graft the size of a postcard taken from my thigh to cover it back up. Yes it was painful. But nothing compared to what could have happened if I had not visited the Doc and if she had not acted so quickly. They’ve got it all out, so they say. But I’m “in the system” for regular check ups for the next 6 years. I feel like I’m a time bomb waiting to go off. What a start to the New Year. But it IS a New Year for me. It’s also a new life. In between receiving notification of the operation and afterwards, I have researched as much as possible about Malignant Melanoma. Like most cancers, i
      t is a silent killer. It is one of three types of Skin Cancer. But, and this is a BIG but, if caught early enough it is about 95% curable. I have thought back about how, as a nipper, I would spend the weekends down the bays; how I would compete with schoolmates as to how much skin could be peeled off my back and arms; of how I loved my 2 weeks sunblitz in the Med in July/August; of how I craved a bronzed body. These memories now act as a warning for my kids. I’m not going to stop them enjoying the sun. I’m not going to stop enjoying the sun. But precautions will be taken. For example a minimum of Sun Factor 15 cream; tee shirts to be worn when in the pool. Hats to be worn when the sun is at its highest. Simple, yet effective actions. I have taken the opportunity to be proactive, in my own way, about this terrible form of cancer. I have written an article for my local employer's newsletter which will be circulated to over 12,000 staff, and photos I had taken before and after excision of the mole will be used as a poster by the local Health Promotion Unit. I’ve been lucky, or unlucky as the case may be. What I will suggest to you all is to check out any suspicious moles you may have. One of the best Internet Sites for easy to read information I have found is http://www.skincancerfacts.org.uk, but you should have a word with your Doc or Dermatologist if you are worried or want reassuring. Happy SAFE Sunbathing!!

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        28.03.2001 05:43
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        Swansea Leisure Centre is a fine attraction, even more so during the wetter days! It is situated about 300 yards away from the central bus station, and about 10 minutes walk from the train station, and is a few minutes walk away from Swansea Marina and the seafront The Centre has its own car-park, and vouchers can be purchased from the reception area for 70p a visit. The centre has a large swimming pool with something of a tropical feel, developed in the shape of a beach, where the water gets deeper as you make your way into the pool. The pool is something of a weird shape, and is as suitable for the fun swimmer as the serious swimmer, having an area within it that offers length swimming (c 33-1/3m), although during bad weather it can get very busy. There is a pool suitable for the children, offering a number of small static slides and toys to play with. The pool also houses a large curvy slide that runs outside the building and a large diving, whirlpool. In addition to the swimming, the centre offers Five a Side Football, Bowls, Short Tennis, Squash, Table Tennis and a Health Suite. FOR THE KIDS There is a numebr of facilities suitable for children within the centre, including a Creche,(6 months to pre-school) where you can leave youe children when swimming or enjoying other activities, a Jolly Roger Play facility, a soft supervised play area for the 8 and under. This can be hired out for childrens parties on certain days. There is also a childrens Satuday morning club. The Swimming pool is an ideal place for Children's parties, where for a reasonable charge you can hire out part or all of the swimming pool for a special occasion, you also get the services of the LC lifeguards. There is a restaurant where you order food for afterwards, and enjoy a coffee whilst you watch the kids enjoy themselves in safety, for the more energetic parents, you are welcome to join in. The Leisure c
        entre was opened in 1977 and looks a bit worn and dated in places, but was a showpiece of its time when it opened in 1977, and was the first leisure centre in Wales to have a wave machine, which still operates today. PRICES Pricing to get into the centre varies depending on the activity and the time of year and and also whether you benefit from other discounts, including Student ID, Passport to Leisure, OAP, plus various membership schemes or simply a child, so to include prices for all activities would form an opinion in itself. A guide to swimming prices are: Off peak Standard price - £2.70 Concessionary - £1.90 Passport to Leisure - £1.10 Under 4's free all year round. Peak (see further down in op for details of Peak and Off-Peak) Standard price - £3.20 Concessionary - £2.30 Passport to Leisure - £1.30 For more information on prices visit: http://www.swansea.gov.uk/leisure/LeisCentre/prices.htm There is a shop on site selling a range of sportswear and sports equipment, including swimwear and swimming aids. There are always activities running in the centre to suit ages up to and including the over 60's. These can vary according to the season and local demand. Swansea Leisure Centre was in the top 20 of attractions by visitor numbers in the whole of the UK, and the best in Wales. For further information about this Centre and other Council run facilities, check out their website at www.swansea.gov.uk For the forthcoming season there is a useful link on the Swansea Bay Summer Festival icon. If you want to give compliments or criticism of the facilities there is a Feedback option which is regularly monitored Opening Hours of Leisure Centre: September to May: Weekdays - 6.30am - 9.30pm Weekends - 9.00am - 10.00pm June to August Weekdays Weekdays - 6.30am - 10.00pm Weekends - 9.0
        0am - 09.30pm The swimming pool is not open during all these times, and full details can be found at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/leisure/ LeisCentre/leisurepool.htm DETAILS Swansea Leisure Centre Oystermouth Road, Swansea. SA1 3ST Tel Enquiries : Swansea (01792) 649126 Tel Bookings : Swansea (01792) 649121 Fax: Swansea (01792) 457231

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