Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I had a patient ask me today about the black ribbon bracelet I wear everyday. She wanted to know what the "black one was for". I said, "Melanoma." She asked, "Did you have melanoma?" I replied, "Yes." She asked I if was "OK now." I simply said, "Yes". I wish it was that easy. I bite my tongue A LOT in the medical field. I wanted to say, once you have it, you are never "OK". I wanted to say a lot to her. But I didn't. She seemed too content that I was "OK". I have seen people come into the office with tans and one particular tan lady is even being treated for skin cancer, not melanoma, but still! If you have skin cancer and are being treated by a dermatologist and still are tanning there is a problem!!!! And shame on the dermatologist if he hasn't scared her enough with melanoma to make her stop. If I was a dermatologist, I would! I had a co-worker, who I worked with when I had my surgery, say the other day that she didn't know that melanoma was "that bad." I had been talking about a fellow warrior that is undergoing brain radiation because she had tumors in her brain. She had no idea it was "that bad". Oh yeah, it's bad. It is amazing the people who I am associated with, have no idea what melanoma really is! It is not just skin cancer! I hope that they never find out first hand. If I ever win the darn lottery,(it could happen!) the first thing I am going to do is take out ads everywhere about the dangers of tanning and melanoma! Then I am going to get a bunch of melanoma survivors, warriors and family members to make a documentary for kids to see. I believe that if kids see this stuff, they won't do it. Am I dreaming? Maybe. If we can actually promote that pale skin is healthy skin and a tan is damaging in so many ways, not to mention DEADLY, maybe someday no one will want to tan? Ok, maybe I AM dreaming, but it is worth a try! If you don't try how can you succeed? I know there are many people getting the word out and it does seem to fall on deaf ears a lot. But please don't stop. It is reaching someone. I have had people tell me that they quit tanning, or that they went to a dermatologist because of my story. Keep telling yours. It could just save someone's life!