Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You have GOT to be kidding!

A friend of my friend, who is the Author of Adventures with My Enemy: Melanoma, recently went to her first OB/GYN appointment since becoming pregnant.  The "doctor" gave her this:

Catch the part about tanning?  Are you KIDDING me?  This....from a physician? 
I'm stunned.  This just goes to show how much work there is to be done in educating people...including doctors...about melanoma.  I wish I knew who this physician was.  I'd make an appointment, and then I'd show up armed with a ton of information.  I'd bring brochures and posters and pamphlets; anything I could get my hands on really, that would clue this person in.  His/her patients deserve that.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Here are some sobering statistics and information on melanoma.  Please read and share with everyone who will listen, and be persistent with those who won't.  You might save a life.

  • Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers.  Melanoma accounts for less than 5% of the cases, but almost 80% of skin cancer deaths.
  • Around 76,250 new cases of melanoma have been/will be diagnosed in 2012.  That's a new case every 8 minutes.
  • Around 9,180 people will die from melanoma this year.
  • The incidence of melanoma has been rising since the late 70s/early 80s.
  • Melanoma is not picky about who it strikes.  Young or old, black or white...anyone can get melanoma.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared UV radiation (including tanning beds) to be a human carcinogen.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major risk factor for most melanomas.  Sunlight is the main source of UV rays.  Tanning lamps and beds are also sources of UV rays.  People who get a lot of exposure to light from these sources are at greater risk for skin cancer, including melanoma.
  • There are no safe UV rays.
  • Melanoma is the fastest growing type of cancer...worldwide. 
  • Your chance of developing melanoma increases by 75% if you used a tanning bed before age 35.
  • Your chance of developing melanoma increases by 20% by using a tanning bed just once.

More important information and stats:

From the Melanoma Research Foundation:

From the National Cancer Institute:

From AIM at Melanoma:

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I'm sitting here at my favorite VW dealer waiting for them to open so I can have the pleasure...not...of paying $80 for an oil change. I have lots to do today, not the least of which is to pick up some ribs for a family dinner tomorrow night. My future son-in-law, David, loves my ribs. : )  Then there's the house cleaning, grocery shopping, wrapping gifts, and getting ready to go out with my favorite guy in the world tonight.  For a second, the word "ugh" came to mind, until I remembered just how fortunate I am to be able to do these things. Really fortunate. Many of my molemates are undergoing treatment, are in the hospital for surgery or related problems, or worse...are home with no options left.  So I truly am grateful to be sitting in my car at VW. 

Some of you know that I will be rejoining the "in treatment" crew on Wednesday. Yervoy is next for me.  It is designed to help kick start my own immune system into kicking melanoma's ass, so it's classified as immunotherapy, just as Interferon is.  It is not without side effects, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't be in the small group of people that has a rough time with it. Assuming I'm not in that group, I will get four doses; one every three weeks, and we'll go from there.

And in the meantime, I will be grateful...for everything in my life.  For the fact that I woke up today, for the fact that I am able to clean my house, and wrap gifts, and prepare meals that make those I love happy.  I hope you will take a minute today to consider how fortunate you are too.