Thursday, September 2, 2010

Melanoma

Seems like the question comes up every now and again would you love to be in your 20’s again?  My 20’s were punctuated by three traumatic events, melanoma, cervical cancer and the loss of my wonderful father. These 30+ years later I am really happy to still be here.

The mole that turned out to be melanoma was removed from the back of my thigh when I was 22 years old. My doctor told me it was a good thing I came to see him when I did or I may not have had a leg to put the scar on. Since the scar is on the back of my thigh I never see it and once the wound healed it seemed like it never happened.

Approximately 10 years after the scar found a home on the back of my thigh I became an avid scuba diver which exposed me to all sorts of sea creatures including sharks which always left an amazing impression on me.

One day after diving I was standing in line wearing shorts when a child poked me on the scar and asked how I got that, I bent down so I could look him right in the eye and said in a very calm voice, “A shark grabbed me.” His eyes got really big, his poor mother was horrified, but I laughed and laughed.

That was the first time I told that story but it was so much fun I told it over and over for many years, a shark bite is a much better story than cancer.

Even during those dark days I was determined not to feel sorry for myself and looked for and found something to be thankful for. I hope I always have optimism.

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