Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Funday

Today was a fun day...We headed over to see my baby sister and her boyfriend. We thought we would just go for a visit; however, it turned into a full day event. We had the Kiddo today who definitely needed to burn off some energy so we decided to play tennis. Without thinking it through, I played as well. Note to folks who have recently had full lymph node dissections: DO NOT PLAY TENNIS! arm is still throbbing.

The kiddo made me an extremely proud lady today. He reminded me to put sunscreen on him! Apparently his Step Daddy always puts sunscreen on him. Woo hoo! Beginning sun safety at an early age is the way to go. I told Mr. Spots today that the kiddo won't be likely to get melanoma under my watch. He is a blonde haired, blue eyed baby...he needs to be careful anyway.

After tennis we decided to cook out.

Or I should say, the guys cooked the majority of the food. Baby sister did the rest. I watched. (It is safer for all of us....)

I am becoming pretty whiny about leaving on Thursday. My flight leaves around 10:30 and I know I will be a sad lady. I am going to force myself to stop stressing it. Dad told me yesterday that God has a plan for all of us...I suppose I will see what he has planned for me next soon enough.

I have had the pleasure of talking to another young melanoma warrior lately. She was just diagnosed in March, and is just beginning her journey. She asked me an interesting question today: How did I decide to let everyone in on my fight against melanoma? Have I found the support helpful or overwhelming? 

"Talking" about my experience has been the best type of therapy for me. I put talking in quotation marks because I normally type about it either on the blog or on Facebook. Actually having a conversation about it with people makes me jittery. Of course it all depends on the situation. If you come up to me in a restaurant and want to discuss it, beware....I will quickly change the subject because I never know exactly what to say. I feel like it is so much easier to tell people I am OK and move on. Do they really want to hear the truth? I like to look positive and cheerful instead. They said on Scrubs once, "It's all about hiding the crazy, and acting like the most confident girl in the room." Ha! I know all about that lately! 

So, "talking" online has helped me unleash the scary thoughts. I decided to share my experience because I never thought it could happen to me. So many of my friends use the tanning beds, pour the tanning oil on their legs, and ignore the sunblock, I used to be one of them, so I felt like they needed to see that it could happen to someone their own age. It is happening to me. Melanoma is something we have the opportunity to prevent...Shouldn't we try? As I have said from the start of this blog, if my story stops someone from putting themselves in danger, I know it has been worth it. I have done my job. When I hear stories about how someone called and canceled their tanning membership, when I hear about appointments with dermatologists, and spray tan salons, I see what a difference sharing my story is making. Some may question why I put my personal thoughts and experiences for the world to see, but that is why. You can see that it is so much more than "just" skin cancer...It affects every little part of my life. It causes me to take my life not day by day, but moment by moment.

Melanoma is REAL. 

Ugly. Painful. And terrifying....very, very terrifying. has taught me a lot about myself. I found an inner strength I did not know I had. I can say I have a more general idea of what I want out of life (more on that later.) It has opened my eyes to an amazing support system. For that, I am grateful.

I hope everyone else enjoyed their Sunday...and my goodness! Wear your sunscreen!!

XOXO, friends.

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