Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Life Saved?

So I was out for lunch with an old friend the other day. We hadn't seen each other for over 5 years. I was thrilled to be spending some quality time, just the 2 of us. I hadn't told her about my diagnosis or surgery, but I had planned on it sometime during our outing. So we sat down and the waitress, a young beauty with wonderfully pale skin and long dark hair, says to my friend "Wow! Where have you been? You look so tanned." My friend says "I know. I have to put off my annual check up because I'll be in trouble with my doctor. She's always reminding me about staying out of the sun and taking care of my skin." So, of course, I pipe up "Well, it's a good thing as you don't want what happened to me, happen to you." So in front of both of them, I told them what happened to me. The waitress actually said her mom always tells her to put her sunscreen on and she always does - hense the pale skin. After we ordered my friend told me that she is usually pretty careful because a good friend of hers died of melanoma a few years ago. So we had a good conversation. So the point is, I don't think I'm the one that saved the life that day, it was the young woman's mother. Yay mom!!! Your kid was listening. But she got to meet a melanoma warrior that also instilled some wisdom and life-learned experience. Sometimes that's the best. It's not just retoric. It's so important to take care of your biggest organ, your most precious skin. The other person that's saving lives is my friend's doctor. Yay doc!!!! Your patients are listening.
So being May 1st of Melanoma Awareness Month, we have to start off with our monthly skin check and ensure we've all made our follow up appointments with our derms, our oncs, and our family docs. Please take care of yourself. You are the only you that you will ever have. And you are the only you that your family and friends will ever have. You are important. Save your own life.

Spacer Progression of Melanoma
Loading Image: Progression of Melanoma
90 to 95% chance of no recurrence following surgical excision

33% chance of no recurrence following surgical excision.

Loading Image: Progression of Melanoma

20 to 22% chance of no recurrence following surgical excision.

A picture is worth a thousand words indeed.

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