Two of my best bloggin’ buddies, “Red Carpet Chelsea” from Adventures with my Enemy…Melanoma, and “Classic Rockin’ Rich” of the Hotel Melanoma recently shared news of a new website called “Is My Cancer Different?” To quote the site, it “educates people about the benefits of asking for more personalized cancer treatment.” Their goal is to “empower patients, their families, and friends by informing them of the advanced testing options available to them by asking a simple question, “Is My Cancer Different?”
At first, I wasn’t sure if I should become involved with the site…after all, I don’t have cancer. But as many of you know, I hate cancer! My mother died of lung cancer in 2005 and my brother passed away from melanoma in 2010. I had my own scare with prostate cancer, having to undergo two biopsies to finally get the “mostly” green light that all was well. I was told not to be surprised if prostate cancer enters my life in my 50’s. So far, almost a year into the decade, I’m still fine. But I still hate cancer.
So how is my cancer different? Mine is a cancer that I hope never comes, but I still feel it’s around the corner taunting me. The prospect of prostate cancer and more biopsies (ouch) are never far from my thoughts. The fact that melanoma is historically shared by siblings who grew up in the same environment has me checking for spots daily. Having been a sun worshipping lifeguard just allows the prospect of the black beast of melanoma to loom even more. At least I didn’t choose to smoke…but what of the lingering effects of two adults and one sibling that did take up the nasty habit and allowed a constant layer of smoke to linger all around me?
No, I don’t live a paranoid or terrified existence. Instead, I choose to enjoy my life, and fight off any cancer fears. I try to take care of my health so as to resist cancer’s touch. I wear sun screen and I preach the importance of annual visits to the dermatologist. I fight by attempting to elevate others’ awareness. Eventually that awareness will become knowledge. And that knowledge will become a powerful weapon.
My cancer? If it ever shows its face, it has one hell of a fight on its hands!