Let’s talk about awareness….

….or lack thereof I should say. I realized I was dealing with something pretty serious when I saw my ENT specialist’s face when I casually mentioned having a melanoma removed from my forehead a few years ago. I realized the lack of awareness seeing the reactions to my diagnosis from people in the medical community vs. us normal people. Melanoma has about zero awareness of the later stages, and truthfully I am also guilty of spreading the myth that it’s “just” skin cancer. When I had my first melanoma removed two years ago, the one that is now causing all my problems, I totally blew it off. We even joked about being able to take a survivor’s lap at a cancer walk. Yikes. My opinion was that it shouldn’t even be called cancer. That word should be reserved for the brave people that are fighting for their lives and undergoing chemo and radiation etc. Well, now I’m facing these things along with a pretty involved surgery that will involve removing my affected lymph nodes and probably any others in the area. I never thought I would be facing this at 29 years old with a one year old and a two year old. I thought it was only something people in their 80s dealt with and they were fine once the spot got lopped off. WRONG AGAIN!

So enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Have you ever tried to tan? Of course you have; we all have! Did you ever think it could kill you? Of course not. Because if you’re anything like me, you were just sure that was some freak accident that could only happen to other people. Please understand my heart here, I just want people to understand that skin cancer is on the rise. And luckily, removing it is a complete cure in 95% of cases. Yay!! But this is where our lack of awareness comes from. And why so many people have tried to comfort me with “at least it’s just skin cancer”. I appreciate their heart in this, we just need to know that once it spreads, it is one of the deadliest and hardest to treat cancers. It spreads to lymph nodes and organs quickly and indiscriminately.

So, that spot you’ve been meaning to get checked? Call today! Been trying to remember sunscreen every day? Do it! Today is the day! 🙂


3 thoughts on “Let’s talk about awareness….

  1. Just want you to know that you’ve been added to my list of people to pray for! You have and always will be a rock – and I can’t even explain how happy it makes to me see someone talking about such a hard thing with such a positive outlook. Thanks for sharing your story. ❤

  2. Dear Kim,

    You don’t know me but our church, Crossroads Community Fellowship, is holding you up in prayer. I think Josh and Kyle Buckwalter know your husband through softball and Josh asked us to pray for you. Beth Coblentz, whom I do know, also asked us to pray for you. Remember, our God is a God of healing and miracles!

    Don’t ever give up and don’t be afraid to get other opinions for treatment. Maybe you already know this, but at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, there is a place called The Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Group that specializes in treatments of skin cancer. They may be a really good resource for you. Don’t limit yourself to only what our local doctors say. Sometimes more hope and better treatments can be found outside of Lancaster County. Praying for you and your family.

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