I have been putting off the start of this blog for many reasons, all of which you will read in my next post- the one I intended to be my opening post. But tonight, things changed. As I scrolled through my personal Facebook page, waiting for my kids to fall asleep, I clicked on one of many articles about melanoma on my newsfeed. This one particularly interested me because I, too, have been planning to write about my experience with melanoma. As I read, everything that I have been holding inside of me came flowing out like a dam being burst.
Out came the tears I have been unable to cry for months, the unnerving fear of this awful disease coming back to threaten the time I have with my beautiful children, and the fact that it has the power to cheat me out of the life I so badly want to live. I lost it. I went into my bathroom where I could hide. Then I nearly cried my eyes out. I cried ugly, fearful, lonely, chest wrenching tears. When I finally stopped, I decided I would share the article on my personal Facebook page and promise my friends that I would not bombard them with any more melanoma information until I started the blog.
On the short walk from the bathroom to my computer, I wondered, what if someone had scared the hell out of me with terrifying melanoma stories. Maybe I would have been more careful. Maybe I would have cared more about my life than the way I looked. Maybe I would have finally learned to love myself the way I am, rather than try to be what I thought everybody else would prefer. That is what made me decide there would be no more talking about starting this blog. I was going to do it tonight.
The article I am sharing below is by a blogger who I just discovered. She shares her history, or in her words, her “Herstory” of Melanoma. This actually isn’t one of the scariest stories I’ve read, by any means. This amazing, beautiful woman has continued to survive as a melanoma warrior and is using her experiences to help others. I think that is definitely something to be celebrated. However, the article describes the fear that now lives with me. The uncertainty of what is going to happen. Yes, none of us live with certainty about our life, but once you have had cancer, that “it will never happen to me” naivety is gone forever. You no longer are able to live clouded by the fairy tale that you will live happily ever after and that awful, scary things can happen to you, but they probably won’t.
Don’t ignore the warnings. Don’t be ignorant to what you are doing to yourself or what you are putting in or on your body. Be scared. Be afraid. Be smart. Protect yourself and know the signs. And for God’s sake, know what you can do to lessen your chances of ever having to deal with Melanoma.
Please read her story. Soon, I will be sharing mine.