Friday, June 14, 2013

Knowing What to Change and When to Change

Last year June 14 fell on a Thursday.   I know this, not because that day was particularly memorable ,but because the day after was the scariest day of my life (And then there was Melanoma)

I imagine that Thursday, June 14th, 2012 was like most Thursdays:

  • I was tired (because I was up late grading the night before AND because, even though my kids start out sleeping in their own beds, they always end up sleeping next to or on top of me.)
  •  I had coffee (at least 2 cups, but most likely 3).
  • I was stressed because of all the work I had to do (summer is busiest for my job).
  • I was angry several times during the day because of how hot it gets in June.
  • I was feeling guilty because I wasn’t spending as much time as I would like with my kids.
  • I was feeling guilty because I hadn’t weeks most likely.
  • I was going to start eating healthier and exercising more come Monday.
  • I was looking forward to the weekend and rushing the day away.
  • The only time I had spoken to God that day was to yell “Oh Lord!” or  ask “Lord help me,” when I was surprised or stressed. 

I know all of this happened, not because I have the highly superior auto-biographical memory of Marilu Henner, but because that is pretty much how most of my days were spent.  The one thing I am MOST certain of is that:

 I was not worried about death or cancer. I was not thinking about death or cancer. And I had very little idea what melanoma was...just that it didn't sound like a good thing to have.

Ah. The difference a day makes. 

So I looked back at my personal Facebook page to see what I was whining posting about to compare. These are some other things that occurred that day, but I didn’t remember.

FB Post
Love seeing my little girl shake her little tush to the Bubble Guppies theme song.  Now if I could just get her to stop standing on the couch while she does it.

FB Post 
 ALWAYS thinking about my daddy.
(That one makes sense, just a few days before Father's Day and missing him.)

My next post this pic of my son at his first hip- hop class - A day I had been waiting for before I even had him!!!

Last FB Post
Had a great time at cooking class making ravioli and eating happy gummy bears.

I did have a lot of fun that night!! I went to a cooking class held by Mr. LSM's company for team building. A friend of ours brought in some alcohol soaked gummy bears as a snack while we were cooking. I also wore a pair of shoes that I had been saving for some time. Within 30 minutes of them getting wet from the Central Florida afternoon showers, the heels fell entirely off. Yes, while I was at the class. I ended up wearing just the tops around. They were barely slippers. I laughed a lot that night. I was glad to be reminded.

What bothers me is not so much that I didn't remember all these things happened on that  date. I mean, I had the memories of them, so who cares what the date is. I am not even bothered by the fact that I think more about death and cancer than the average person.  What bothered me are the things I was so SURE that did happen,  because they were all too common in my life. The joy, the love, the things that make me happy.

Since then, I have made many changes. I am more careful about being out in the sun. I apply sunscreen to all exposed parts of my body even if I am just going to be in the sun while walking to and from my car. I am more aware of changes in my skin and in the skin of others.  I am more vocal about sun safety.  All of these happened because of my diagnosis. The reason I am doing them? So I can live longer, but am I living? Did I make ALL the right changes?

In my last post I spoke about the fear and worry all of us warriors face on a daily basis, and how we need to fight past it and live. That message was to my fellow warriors. This message is to everyone. Those with melanoma and those without.  After all, melanoma isn't the only thing that can kill us. So why not live life more purposefully?

Today, just one day before it will be a year since I was diagnosed with melanoma, I am challenging myself and challenging you. I know I won't remember every detail or be able to submerge myself into every minute of every day, but I can live better than I have been.

When I look back a year from now or tomorrow or a week from now, I want to be SURE these things happened above everything else:

  • I was thankful for waking up and expressed that.
  • I exercised and stayed as active as possible because I wanted to enjoy all that my body is capable of doing.
  • My kids saw in my eyes and knew from my actions, how much I loved them and how happy I am to be with them.
  • I danced at least once that day.
  • I laughed every chance I got…and made people laugh just as often.
  • Everyone I love KNOWS that I love him/her.
  • I did my best to smile at everyone I saw that day, even if I didn’t feel like it.
  • I treated my body like the temple it is and not a garbage receptacle. I used food for my for fuel and to keep my body beautiful. 
  • I didn’t stress about my looks.  I just smiled if I wasn't feeling pretty. 

So from now until July 13th, I am going to read this list to myself every morning and do my best to follow it. I expect you to hold me accountable. :)

What do you want to change? When do you want to change? I encourage you to make a list and share it with me.   

As always, thank you for reading and practice safe sun.


  1. I am just blown away by how much you've accomplished in the past year, and how far you've come in terms of living each day to the fullest. You are such a wonderful role model (even on the days that you don't feel like you are). I'll be thinking of you today and tomorrow. Lots of Love xoxo