As the title says this blog is one man’s effort to make sense out of his journey fighting melanoma. I have enjoyed reading some of my fellow melanoma warriors’ blogs and thought it might be an interesting way to share what this journey has been like for me. If you find this interesting great, if not that’s great also. Selfishly this is more about me getting this out and moving on from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor.

Let’s clear up a few things. Yes, I know how to use spell check and no I don’t always use it. I majored in accounting, not english. I have always been a below average writer, which is why I find the therapeutic value of doing this surprising. I think for this blog to make any sense you pretty much have to go to the archive and start from the beginning which is titled “Life Is Good”

I am not a doctor or medial professional of any type. My blog is not endorsed by any medical professional or facility mentioned in it. Every decision I have made about my care was done after careful consultation with my medical team. Decisions I have made were right for me but should not in any instance be considered right for anybody else. I don't recommend taking medical advice from an accountant.

Key West

Key West

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Melanoma Black Monday


Getting ready for a new work week can be stressful.  The weekend comes to and end and work starts to creep back in to your mind.   It can be stressful.  I understand and want to help you alleviate some stress.  I want to help you get dressed on Monday morning.  Open your closet, find something black, put it on.  Its that simple.  Black matches everything as I understand it.   Seriously, here are some reasons why you should wear black on Monday and help raise awareness about melanoma. 

1.       Melanoma kills more young women below the age of 29 that any other form of cancer and is second to only to breast cancer in women up to the age of 39

2.       Melanoma rates among teens and people in their early 20’s are increasing at what some dermatologist are calling epidemic rates. 

3.       There is no cure for melanoma.    Prevention is the only way to beat this disease.  

4.       Melanoma is not just skin cancer.   You cannot just cut it out and move on.  This is a common misconception about skin cancer.   Melanoma is not skin cancer.  It spreads to your internal organs and is very aggressive. 

5.       The 5 year survival rate for stage 4 melanoma patients is about 10%.  Please see point 4 above. 

6.       Black is slimming and lets me honest, most of us can use this help
 Use common sense while outdoors.   We sun protective clothing, wear sunscreen, and please stay out of the tanning beds.  Using tanning beds even just a handful to times can greatly increase your risk of being diagnosed with melanoma. 

I have been battling this disease since August of 2010 and have endured 10 surgeries, 5 months of chemo therapy, and next week get the joy of starting radiation therapy.   To see that over 6,000 people have accepted the Melanoma Black Monday invite on Facebook gives me hope that we are making progress on the awareness front.   Raising awareness about this disease has been so important to me and my friends who are also battling it.   Finally it feels like we are making some progress. 
If you are wearing black on Monday thank you so much.  It doesn’t matter if you go full Johnny Cash like me or just wear a small black ribbon.  It’s the thought that counts and it means so much to me and others battling melanoma    I am heading out to hike Dog Mountain today.  Gotta get my fun in before starting radiation next week.   I don't really know what to expect.  I have heard everything from I wont have any side effect to I wont have the energy to get out of bed after three weeks.  Also there still is time to support me in my efforts to raise money for AIM at Melanoma by clicking the link below.

My AIM Portland walk page.