World Cancer Day

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“You’re test results are back, and it is Cancer.”

My breath froze, my heart stopped, my stomach sank.  Then the second wave of bad news.  Not only did I have this cancer growing, it was the worst of its kind, the most invasive.

 I was 20 years old and had Melanoma.

I was reassured that they had caught it early, that it was very shallow and easily treatable.  The biopsy that was subsequently found to be cancer was done on a small mole on my upper back that had disappeared in the middle.  This biopsy is all they had to go on and to while they assumed it was “shallow” as I had been told numerous times I was scheduled for surgery fairly quickly and told then that they were going to be performing the excision a large area around that initial site “just to be sure”.  Fine by me, take what you need!

I worry though, all the time. I’m fair-skinned, or used to be, now more and more moles take up residence.  I’ve slacked on yearly checkups and I live in Florida now.  Cautious as I am I worry. There is and has been so much cancer in my family my own diagnosis shouldn’t have come as much of a shock.

Most recently I lost my father after his battle with Bladder Cancer having previously fought and survived testicular cancer.  Breast and brain cancers on my paternal side, my mother had cervical cancer, my uncle bone marrow.

I know many of you if not all of you have or know someone who has been affected by cancer, and my heart goes out to all of you as well.  Take a moment to check out http://www.worldcancerday.org and follow their links to help spread the word about how we all can help in the fight to find a cure, to find alternative methods of treatment, to fund genetic testing for early detection, to fund education to get out the importance of self checking and follow-up.

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