About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view MyAdventures's profile
    Posted May 11, 2014 by
    Edwardsville, Illinois

    More from MyAdventures

    May is Skin Cancer Awareness month. Join the “THUNDERCLAP”

    I was in the doctor’s office getting my annual checkup when my doctor said, “Major, I noticed your lab results are back from dermatology. I already talked with your dermatologist and he is waiting to talk to you.” I was led down a long hall and sat in a room. It was only a 10 min wait but all I can remember was hearing the clock ticking off its minutes taunting me.
    Two weeks earlier I had a few skin tags and moles removed. They didn’t seem like much but wanted them looked at and removed as they were increasingly irritating. Now here I was, sitting in the office listening to that clock.
    My doc walked in carrying a large chart. He started talking, but I could not hear him. All I heard was that noisy clock. This time it seemed to be ticking out “You have cancer. You have cancer”. I could see his lips moving as he pointed to the basal cell on the chart. Ok, not too bad. Then he pointed to melanoma. Crap, I know this one is bad. You have cancer. You have cancer, kept getting louder and louder from that damn clock. What was he saying? I still could not hear him. I could not speak.
    I was then led to the desk to schedule an appointment. I was coming back to have more areas cut out. I was handed a card with the appointment time. Part of me was thinking, just skin cancer, people don’t die from skin cancer, but I was wrong. You can die from skin cancer.
    Now my past flashed before me. I grew up in Southern California. We would lie out on the beach soaking our skin in oil to get a tan. My first of the season was always a bad burn, and then I would tan pretty well the rest of the season. I also lived in Okinawa and travelled to Hawaii. I enjoy being out in the sun. How vain I was. All for a tan, I damaged my skin.
    Since that date, I had the melanoma removed. I was lucky. They caught it early. Oh did I mention, my melanoma spot was smaller than ¼ of the top of a pencil eraser, only ¼. The basal cell was removed as well. There is still more to be done. I have my next appointment in a couple of weeks to have another thorough skin check. Did you know melanoma is the fastest growing cancer?
    This has all happened within the past couple of months. My life has changed. I realize how precious my skin is, how precious my life is. I have more life to live and grandchildren to enjoy. Now when I work in my garden, I will be that lady with the large floppy hat, long sleeves and pants or at least have a good sunscreen.
    On May 20th, there will be a “THUNDERCLAP”. Join me and others in the Thunderclap and lend your voice to Stop Melanoma.
    Add your Story Add your Story