1. Please introduce yourself — Tell us who you are, what you do & where you come from.
My Name is Josh Murrell, I’m an ex Stockmen now in sales. I grew up in Canberra and followed my love for the Bush to far North Queensland and then to Far West New South Wales working on Cattle Stations. Then after a couple of trips to Mt Isa with the RFDS and some injuries I still carry, I settled just North of Brisbane.
2. What was your attitude to sun protection when you were younger?
When I was younger I absolutely thought being sun safe was a chore, I’d never known anybody to have skin cancer and I thought it was something that happened to old people. I guess I fell in to that category of young men that think they’re bulletproof!
3. How did you discover your skin cancer/melanoma and how long ago?
Back in early 2020 I noticed a small blue spot on the back of my leg, which I actually mentioned to a GP and he nonchalantly said I had nothing to worry about. It was a bit of nagging from my mum and very firm but fair warning from my bosses wife that made me go get it checked again. After the biopsy I found that I’d had a stage 3 Melanoma that then required surgery to have to margins widened.
4. How did you feel when you were diagnosed?
To tell the honest truth I just thought I was really unlucky, it didn’t really change my perspective from beforehand which is the scariest part! It wasn’t really till I had 4cm removed from my cheek from my second diagnosis of a stage 2 melanoma that my outlook changed. An 8 inch scar on your face is a fair wake up call!
5. What were your treatment options? What did you decide on and why?
I was lucky that my melanoma never progressed to the point they needed specialist cancer treatment, they just required big clear margins and surgery. So I guess that choice was made for me! It then just became about regular skin checks after that, to get on top of anything early when surgery is much less invasive.
6. What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
Now after multiple diagnosis’s in 2 years I’m very diligent with sun protection, I’m always wearing sunscreen and I cover myself up as much as possible! It’s become a necessary part of my day and second nature before I step out in the sun.
7. What would you tell your 16 year-old self about sun protection?
I’d say that we’re bloody lucky to live where we do, where it’s great weather most of the time. But don’t take the sun for granted, nothing is too important to wait a minute to put some sunscreen on.
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