It is May! Melanoma Awareness Month! I have been loving all the posts from all my fellow warriors! So much awareness going on! Last year was the first year I knew that there was a month designated for Melanoma awareness. I was recovering from my wide excision biopsy and sentinel node biopsy at the time. I was waiting for results to find out what stage I was. I was fearing the worst. It was the darkest time of my whole life. I was diagnosed as stage 2a and finally after over 2 weeks of waiting, I found out I remained stage 2a. Thank God!
I was not able to participate in any of the melanoma or cancer walks until October last year. 6 months after my surgery and it wasn't easy since my surgery was on my leg. But, it was amazing to be a part of it. I got really emotional seeing all the people supporting us. Ours is one of the least talked about cancers, and unfortunately, one of the least funded too.
But, that is about to change! It HAS changed in the last year! We are a community that shares information, supports research, helps others, write blogs, write books, have facebook pages dedicated to melanoma, pass out flyers with melanoma info on them, and even talk at schools, do interviews, show pictures of their journeys and even confront people who tan. We are strong warriors. A group of people that I am so proud of and so happy to be a part of.
I myself have taken pictures of my entire journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. It is not always pleasant, but I felt that it needed to be done. The first 6 months after my surgery, I was really offended by people not listening to me about tanning. I would take it so personally. I have learned that I can't make people change, but I can and will give them the info to do so. I recently celebrated my 1 year cancerversary and what a great feeling that is. I feel so blessed. I know that I have been given more than melanoma. I have been given the opportunity to share my story and spread awareness doing so. I have been given the opportunity to possibly change lives because of what I have been through. Knowing that, makes what I went through easier to accept. I still have a purpose here and I will continue to spread awareness until the day I am not here anymore.
So in honor of all the melanoma warriors that are fighting, who have fought, the families, friends and caregivers and the newly diagnosed and re-diagnosed. I will continue to fight the misconceptions of tanning, and keep sharing and spreading awareness of melanoma. Until the day that there is no longer melanoma,(wouldn't that be great?!), I promise to share my story and share yours too, in the hopes of preventing it from happening to others.
Happy Melanoma Awareness Month! Love your skin! XOXO