Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Confused and Hurt

In exactly 4 weeks I will once again be a cancer patient having a brain MRI and my PET scans to make sure Melanoma hasn't popped up as tumors in my organs. Scanxiety is a real condition that grows as you get closer to scan time. Different people react different ways for different reasons. This scan time it will be one year since being diagnosed, and I know the odds of recurrence are high during the first two years, so my anxiety is a little higher this time. I'll still have to wait a week to get the results of my scans, and I'm sure it will be hard to keep it out of my mind during that time. I don't feel like I have tumors anywhere, my glands don't feel swollen, but when you have Melanoma you always have to be prepared for anything.

There's been a lot of talk on the news lately regarding the growing numbers of people with Melanoma, and in the Melanoma community there has been talk of how we can bring even more awareness to the dangers of skin cancer. Now, I'm not a saint or anything, I just want to help prevent others from going through what I've gone through and what I'm still going through. I also see friends and acquaintances online fighting for their lives every single day. I see the pain, the heartache, the people left grieving after a loved one dies from Melanoma. I want to tell others how to avoid this pain. But, and I guess I have to learn to accept this, there are people that want me to shut up, regardless of my good intentions.

I was in a fed-up mood last night and posted something on my Facebook page about deleting anyone that boasts or brags about their sunburns, or about using a tanning salon. I think I have the right to not want to hear about it, just like they have the right to ignore me and my story. But I don't have to listen to it. It hurts me when someone I care about says they're going to go lay out or go tanning. Why should I have to shut my mouth?

I asked my sister today if she thought I was being too heavy-handed by saying I would delete people. She said yes. She said I was turning into a "Melanoma Nazi".

I love my sister more than anyone in the world, and she's my best friend, but right now I'm hurting, and I feel like I've been slapped. Why is it when other people get Melanoma, and they start being an advocate for it, their families are PROUD of them, and many even JOIN them in trying to bring awareness about Melanoma, but some families or family members just want you to drop it?

My sister said she even mentioned how bad tanning is to two different people online today, so she supports me, but she thinks I had no right to say I was going to delete people off my Facebook, that I was trying to force my views on others. She said people don't like being told what to do, and if someone tried to tell me how to eat so I could lose weight that it would piss me off.

I admit, yes, I'm sick of the "campaign against obesity" that's been going on because I am overweight and it's genetic. I could eat better, I could exercise, but I don't. I truly see a time in the future when being overweight will be illegal. But as far as I know, no one has determined a chicken sandwich to be a class 1 carcinogen. I know there are people that can eat themselves to death, but come on.... we're talking about stepping into a machine that gives you cancer. We're talking about radiation from the sun that gives you cancer. You wouldn't go sunbathe next to Chernobyl, would you?

Is my sister right? Should I shut up and let people live their lives without me threatening to delete them from my Facebook? I'm really confused and hurt. I could use some feedback.

What do you think?


  1. I think your only mistake was asking her what she thought.

  2. My family has been deeply touched by melanoma, and just today I was debating on what to say to a young fb friend, who announced that she bought tanning sessions.I haven't said anything yet, but I might.
    I live in Jacksonville (orange park area), I'm wondering how near me you live. I could possibly help with rides, if you decide to do treatment in Gainesville, etc.