Thursday, August 30, 2012


 I didn't know what melanoma was all about, until the dreaded day I was diagnosed.  It wasn't supposed to happen to ME.  I am brunette, brown eyed with no family history.  Not the usual skin type to get melanoma.  I tanned fairly easy, sometimes burned, but if I was careful, I didn't always.  I thought I was invincible.  We usually do when we are doing something we want to do, even though we know we shouldn't be doing it! Like eating junk food, smoking, drinking, etc.  In hindsight, I had enough warning.  Warnings I chose to ignore, because I didn't think they applied to ME.

I ignored my family.  I ignored my fiance.  I ignored my patients.  I ignored the warning on the form I signed when I first signed up to tan indoors.  I ignored the itchy mole on my tummy as I layed out.  

Then, one day, I noticed a large mole I had always had on the back of my leg had changed quite drastically.

"How long has THAT been there?"  I wondered, as I put on the tanning lotion to do 12 minutes in the tanning bad.  It kind of startled me but, I still thought I was invincible and I proceeded to tan.   Singing and dancing in the stand up bed.  That day kind of haunts me now.  I had melanoma and I was singing and dancing in a death bed, making it much worse, and totally oblivious to that fact.

I never went tanning again after that day.  I went home and I looked at the mole a little closer.  Then, I Googled skin cancer, and that lead me to melanoma.  My mole looked just like the picture I was looking at of melanoma that Google provided me.  (My mole is pictured below). And, just like that....

I wasn't invincible anymore.

I would give anything to go back and undo all the damage I have caused to my skin.  I would never tan and destroy my skin for vanity.  I love this video.  It is a must watch and a must share. I wish I could have told my 16 year old self, NOT to do some of the stupid things that I have done, but mostly I wish I could tell myself not to tan.  It has changed my life FOREVER.

So, before YOU tan, ask yourself this question. "Am I invincible?"  And think about what you would tell your 16 year old self.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Brother's Love

I am friends with a lot of awesome people.

This particular friend doesn't have melanoma himself, but he has been greatly affected by it. His brother, Jeff, passed away from melanoma and ever since, has been a great educator of melanoma awareness.   Al from Black is the New Pink, is a very special guy.  He started his blog to educate and put a stop to melanoma and to help him with the great loss of his brother.  Al was interviewed for UV Skinz recently and spoke about his brother.

Check out the interview here.

Great things ARE happening, Al, and I am very proud to stand with you.  Thanks for recognizing me as a voice for melanoma.  I am in great company :)  Here are a few of my fellow bloggers and melanoma butt kickers!

Susan @ Jillian Journey with Melanoma- A Mother's Story

Chelsea @ My Adventures with My Enemy Melanoma

Reverend Carol Taylor @ Attitude of Gratitude

Carolyn @ Dodged a Bullet-Fight Against Melanoma

Becca @ It's Only Melanoma

Erin @ Melanoma and the City

Rich @ Hotel Melanoma

Jessica @ 2 Battles with Melanoma in 28 Years

Just to name a few!  For a complete and up to date list, my friend Carol (from Attitude of Gratitude), has compiled a list that seems to be the most complete list I have come across.  She will gladly update it if you know of anyone not on there.  Please take the time to add these great educators to your list.

I will continue to educate about the dangers of melanoma, as will my friends.  We are not going to back down, until the day we can celebrate our victory against it!

Stay safe and don't forget to protect the skin you are in!