Saturday, June 4, 2011

GOODBYE TO A "friend"

I had an female "friend" of mine approach me privately on facebook in a chat, asking me how I was doing.  I told her briefly that I was hanging in there and that the worst part was the recent swelling I have had. She then goes on to say that she was concerned about me.  I thought she meant that she was concerned about my health due to the melanoma and surgery.  She went on to explain that she basically thought maybe I had gone off the deep end or something because all I do is post stuff about melanoma and skin cancer, sunscreen and tanning. Uh, yeah, I do actually because I want people, friends and family to know what it can do to them.  I was a little offended, but gave her the benefit of the doubt and kept chatting with her.  She went on to say that the pictures were too graphic and that I shouldn't share that.  I basically should battle this in private.  I became more offended at that point.  I told her that I would be posting pictures and facts and links and videos and blogs, etc. I want people to SEE what melanoma does! I want you to be grossed out!  I am not doing it because I think they are beautiful pictures of my leg.  I also told her that I have freedom of speech and that melanoma kills people, young people because they want a tan.   She said she was wondering how many friends I have lost and will lose if I keep doing this.  WTF?! Excuse me?!  I told her that I DON'T CARE!!  I was worried in the beginning, but at that moment I realized I didn't care.   I didn't ask for melanoma to come into my life!  No one does!  Do people ask for any type of cancer?!  No!  I was not educated on skin cancer or melanoma until it happened to ME!  I have found out how deadly and deforming melanoma is.  I have found out that tanning in tanning beds increases your risk by 75%.  I have also found out that people do what they want no matter how hard you try to convince them otherwise, you can't make them stop doing something if they want to do it.  I was very upset, scared and depressed when I had my surgery.  I knew my leg would never, ever be the same and I would have a nasty scar with an indentation.  What I didn't know was how much this would affect me mentally.  I have changed so much.  I was a hard working, busy person.  I did my job the best I could, I took care of my family and I was selfish at times.  I was a bitter person in a way  because I didn't have certain things and I have had a difficult life.  Now  I am more patient, calm, loving, easy-going.  I take time to enjoy my life, instead of complaining about things and not doing anything to change it. I realize that I have a great life and I don't need to be jealous of anyone else.  I am not going to just go through life, I am going to live it!!  So I am sorry that I have offended you with my reality, and I hope you never have to go through it yourself, but I more than anything hope that YOU think about my leg pictures when YOU are baking your ass off in the sun like an idiot!  Because now YOU know what tanning can do to YOU and if you choose to ignore it because it is too graphic for YOU, then I hope you can handle seeing your body get mutilated to save your life!  I basically just told her that I could not live my life without telling people about the dangers because I didn't know it could happen to me and it did.  She still didn't see my point and basically said quietly fighting it was more dignified.  I told her that I was not going to apologize for her being offended and if she didn't want to see anything further she should delete me. I also said that at least I know I have touched some people. Especially my daughter, who is very fair-skinned, who I was weeks away from getting her a tanning membership. At least now I know she will NEVER lay her butt in a tanning bed, or out in the sun for a tan. She is 16 and she is telling her friends about the dangers because of me.  I wanted to say so much more to her, but I just felt her ignorance has such a grip on her that nothing I would say would change her mind.  (yes she is a tanner).  I know a lot of people , family even, that are avid indoor/outdoor tanners that have not said anything to me since I was diagnosed.  I have hidden nothing.  I documented everything that I could so people know what HELL you go through with melanoma. Some people listen, most are don't.  I love it when someone tells me that they have decided to stop tanning.  It lifts my heart!  She has since deleted me.  I had a glass of wine to celebrate.  I don't need people like that in my life.  I hope I can make a difference somehow, but I don't have time for people who claim to be my friend, obviously read my posts and ignore, don't comment on them because they are offended, and then lecture me on how I should fight this battle.  Being quiet is something that I have done ALL MY LIFE!!  I am not going to be quiet about this, so if you don't like it then BUB BYE!!!

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