A year ago last night, I wrote my first blog post and officially began to share my life as Light Skinned Mother with the rest of the world.
It took a little while for me to get the courage to do it. That's surprising since at the time, I would have stood on my rooftoop and shouted my story to the world. The only reason I didn't, was because on my one-street subdivision, I am the only non-spanish speaking Latina and we are the only family that does not pop out to the neighbor's driveway to celebrate every holiday, including Fridays.(That is totally Mr. LSM's fault. With a sitter, I would SO be out there dancing and drinking it up with the best of them. ) So, the neighbors already think I'm weird enough.
I reached out to Chelsea from Adventures with my Enemy Melanoma a few times before starting,and she encouraged me to share my story, even if I never inteded for anyone to read it. Then one night, I read a post from Timna at Respect the Rays. I sat in my bathroom crying and feeling angry because I identified SO much with her story. That's when I went to my computer, tears still in my eyes, and wrote my first post.
Within a month, I had made so many new friends through Facebook and my blog. These new friends understood me. They "got" me. So I became more confident in sharing my experiences and my honest feelings, no matter how ugly they may have seemed.
I've ben all over the place emotionally since my diagnosis in June of 2012. Life, as good as it is, continues to put me wherever it wants, and I am learning to appreciate that.
- At times, I am terrified of being in the sun. Other times, I dare to expose my SPF-covered arms and legs, refusing to let melanoma be in control.
- At times I love how beautiful my pale face is. Other times I hate how white and shiny my legs are, and I am tempted to reach out for some self-tanner.
- At times I try to keep my kids inside as much as possible to protect them. Other times, I do my best not to obsess and allow them to be the children they deserve to be.
- At times I feel guilty for being a big, whiny baby when SO many of my new friends have been to Hell and back while fighting this disease, and I only had to experience a surgery. Other times, I am pissed that I even know what mlanoma is and I cry at the most random moments and places when I am reminded that this beast will always be my enemy, and I am no more special than any of the angels who were taken by this monster.
These crazy, mixed up feelings remind me that I am still alive. That I am still here to feel, to love, to hate, to be happy, to be sad, to be angry. I am learning to appreciate them and every opportunity I am given to learn more.
My original goals of changing the world and erasing melanoma as LSM are still there. I just haven't been able to do as much as I would like, because life can get in the way. And I am SO happy for that. So right now, I am still trying to educate. Still trying to spread the word whenever I can. Though a day doesn't go by when I don't look at my fellow melanoma fighters and am TRULY AMAZED at their efforts to raise money, raise awareness, and make CHANGES in laws and behavior. Sometimes, it can make me feel like what I am doing is not much of anything. But I've realized, we all do what we are good at and what we can. Maybe right now, my constant talking and harping is making a difference. I know for a fact in the last year I have heard from many friends who went to the dermatologist for the first time EVER and from friends who had suspicious moles checked out on their children's skin as well. That, my friends, makes me truly happy.
I thank you all for being a part of my journey. I thank you for your love, your encouragement, your prayers, and your understanding. I couldn't have made it this far without you. I plan on sticking around for a long, long time, and keeping you all right here with me.
As always, thank you for reading and practice safe sun!