Monday, April 25, 2011

Going Postal!

*thanks, Rich, author of, for the title of this post!

My granny wearing her shirt around the Island

Apparently today was unofficially the day to wear the "Someone I love has melanoma" t-shirt. You would think the shirt would promote awareness, questions, concerns. Not giggles.

Someone laughed at a "Someone I love has melanoma" t-shirt?

She sure did.

Mom went into the post office this morning, nothing unusual about that, and walks up to the counter. The overly tan woman reads Mom's shirt out loud..."Someone I love has melanoma!" And begins to laugh.

Mom: "Yeah, my daughter."

The woman stops laughing. "Oh.... Oh. I'm sorry. I knew you hadn't been yourself lately."

Usually I can find a sarcastic way to interpret things. Normally I can try to see the other side of the situation. As hard as I have tried, I cannot understand why she would laugh at the t-shirt. What about "Someone I love has melanoma" is funny? How can that statement even induce a chuckle? Does she, Mrs. Super-Tan-Postal-Worker, think melanoma is a myth? Does she even know what melanoma is? I am not trying to call the woman stupid, but c'mon!

Luckily I did not have to bail Mom out of jail for attacking her. I mean, like I have said 100 times, you can't fight stupid.

Mom went back into the post office later this afternoon, the laughing woman was still working, and proceeded to explain to Mom that she knows people who have had multiple melanoma's removed off of their bodies and they are just fine. Mom said she did not say a word. I know that not everyone understands the seriousness of melanoma...I used to be one of them. God knows I wish I could have just had a dermatologist use his knife and remove something off of me. Instead, 2 major surgeries, lots of radiation and contrast later, and I am just now beginning on my NED (No Evidence of Disease) road. How long that road will last, I do not know. I am doing every thing in my power to make it last for many, many years.

One of my sorority sisters made a good point. She said, "if something isn't pink or doesn't say "save the tatas" people dont seem to take it seriously. I think people need a wake up call as to how many millions of people are battling cancer every day and just how many types there are... and none of them are a laughing matter. ignorance/stupidity is a shame."

I could not have said it better myself, Kristen!

Seriously....I do not know how many times I have to say it. (And don't worry, I am not going to stop anytime soon!)

 It is so much more than "just" skin cancer.


Rich McDonald said...

Well done. I'm flattered you used my title suggestion. You inspired me to write a post titled "Talking About Cancer" on the Hotel Melanoma blog. Don't know if I got it right, but it's my perspective on why well meaning people sometimes say stupid things: cancer scares the living daylights out of them and they're in denial. Take care.

Jenny said...

We have a little pamphlet at work promoting "Don't Fry Day" (the Friday before Memorial Day) and it includes some Skin Cancer Facts that I think would really surprise people. I think it's awesome that you are continuing to share your story and put the facts out there for people who either 1) think it just won't happen to them or 2) really don't know and NEED to be educated. As my little girl says, Keep Rocking it Out!!! :)

Al said...

I couldn't agree more with your friend's comment about pink and saving tatas...thus my "Black is the New Pink" campaign. It seems people just don't understand that skin cancer IS cancer. What you're sharing in your blog is invaluable and hopefully will increase awareness in a few folks. Keep up the great work and the good fight!