Barrie and I met in the school lunch line in the fall of 1975, two third-graders united by a mutual aversion to Tuna Surprise. When she scrunched up her nose and pretended to gag, I knew we were kindred spirits. For the next three decades, Barrie and I would share Barbies (Malibu), magazines (Tiger Beat with Shaun Cassidy centerfolds) and music (Madonna). We'd meander through malls and endure disastrous double dates.
And every summer we'd lie by the pool, sprawled out on beach blankets, greased up with baby oil, soaking in the warmth of carefree youth and endless sunshine.
In 2001, after a spot on Barrie's back was diagnosed as melanoma, we chided ourselves for our lack of foresight and reckless teenage sun worshipping. "What were we thinking?!" Barrie said.
Learn 10 things you didn't know about sun protection.
"We weren't," I reminded her.
The doctors were certain the cancer hadn't spread, that the surrounding lymph nodes were healthyRead More »from Real Life: Coping with Loss