Wednesday, September 14, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Sixty -- 6 Months.

Copyright 2011.  Me and Connor on a paddle boat ride :)
All rights reserved.

*There are millions of people in this world, but in the end it all comes down to one.  I still panic some times, forget to breathe, but I know there's something beautiful in all my imperfections.*
-- Crazy Beautiful --

6 months.

Wow.  It's hard to believe that it's been 6 months today since I heard those life changing words.  "It's malignant melanoma."  -- Cancer.

I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that I've been through some incredibly difficult, life altering, painful experience, because truth be told, I haven't.  I know it could be so much worse... SO much worse.  But that's why it's important and that's why the experience is life changing.

It's not lost on me that there are men and women diagnosed with melanoma who do not even LIVE to see the six month mark.  And you may say what??  Skin cancer?  Kill someone in six months.  Yes. 

Melanoma is the deadliest of all the skin cancers. 
It is the most common type of cancer in young adults (aged 25-29).
Melanoma kills more young women every year then breast cancer.
Exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75%.

But there is one advantage of melanoma over other cancers and that is this;
Melanoma shows itself on TOP of our skin.  Paying attention to your moles, getting yearly exams and being cautious of the sun can save your life.

There are many things I cannot do because I had melanoma...
- I cannot donate blood
- I cannot be on the bone marrow donor registry
- I cannot donate organs (even if a family member were to need a kidney... I can't donate one.)
- I cannot get health insurance (I've tried... and been denied multiple times by multiple companies)

There are many things I CAN do.
- I can get up in the mornings and go to work
- I can spend time with my family and friends
- I can be more cautious about the sun in the future
- I can feel the sun and breathe in the air and feel good

And all of this is because of early detection.

Be aware.
It can save your life.

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