When I first began writing this blog, I decided that I wanted to learn all I could about melanoma and how to prevent it (mostly to understand why it took away my brother). Since that time, I’ve shared dozens of articles on my Facebook page about new advances and treatments, and I’ve attempted to convey startling and somber facts in order to shock a few tanners and “non-believers” (those who think melanoma is “just skin cancer”). I’ll continue to do what I can to educate, inform, and sometimes entertain with regards to melanoma. That’s one reason I’m excited about attending the Patient Day Symposium in Chapel Hill, NC on Wednesday, February 15. This will be a chance to listen to and talk with real people and perhaps gain a more personal perspective on what I try to share. But there’s one thing that I hope I can never ever share with you. What it’s like to have melanoma.
Unlike many bloggers in the melanoma community, I do not have melanoma. I may be allowed to roam the lobby and commons area of the Hotel Melanoma, but there’s no way I’m allowed into the resident area. And, no offense intended, that’s the way I like it. But at the same time, I sometimes feel frustrated when writing because I truly do not know what it’s like to have melanoma. I feel the emotion and pain in so many blogs, but there’s no way I can even come close to expressing that experience without having had it.
But someone has.
You probably read “Attitude of Gratitude” by the Rev. Carol. She has Stage 3 and shares quite a bit in her blog and her Melanoma Prayer Center on Facebook. She recently wrote a post called “Come Over To The Dark Side…Of Melanoma.” In it, she expresses very well what it’s like to have melanoma. She expresses the anxiety, the fear, and the effects on family members. Carol tells it all. And it’s quite effective.
So consider this posting of mine more of a hand-off. Read the good Reverend’s blog and pass it on. Share it with people who have no earthly idea what it’s like. Share it with someone who doesn’t have melanoma.