Frivolous question

Hello all. 

I had a 1b melanoma removed, lymph nodes clear, last year and returned to my indoor retail job. My hours have changed from a 6 am start to a 4.30 or 5am start and my sleep is suffering.

I love gardening and I have applied for a retail job in the outdoor plant section of a local garden centre as the hours are more sociable. They are accredited with the skin cancer people so I am sure I would be able to reapply factor 50 every two hours and wear arm gauntlets, a proper hat with a neck cover, a bandana and whatever other adjustments I needed. However, no matter how rainy the UK is there would be days when I will be working under the sun between 11 and 3 and this is unavoidable.

Life is risk, and I am pretty sure that poor sleep is bad for cancer risk, however I do realise I would be replacing one risk with another.

Am I being an idiot even applying, or do any of you work in outdoor roles safely and comfortably?

Thanks so much. Any input appreciated.


  • Go for it! You’re going to protect yourself from the sun, so why not do a job you’ll enjoy? 

  • I agree with Adele B - enjoy your job just take every precaution you can. I'm a keen gardener and cyclist and spend most of the day outdoors. Factor 50 everyday, all day. I have lots of SPF50 clothing and although it's not cheap it means I can enjoy what I do. There are specialist clothing retailers like Solbari,, Rohan do quite a range and Wallaroo do some excellent hats.

  • Thanks Adele B Relaxed

  • Thanks Lyndsey. I feel inspired by your post! I am definitely starting to feel more confident getting back to my previous outdoor activities, and even applying for such a job is a big step forward psychologically.