Guest Blog: What Cancer Taught Me: Melanoma and Mothers
Do you know Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer? I do. And not because I work at Beebe. I know because I was diagnosed with it when I was 30.
Ahhh, growing up at the beach and the days of using baby oil are coming back to haunt me! I remember I had two moles removed and when I went back to see the doctor he said one had been sent to Massachusetts General for further testing. I remember thinking…What? Ironically, the one that had to be tested further was the one I had noticed and brought to the attention of my doctor.
Lesson number one: You need to know and be familiar with your skin. It’s your largest organ, so you need to protect it and keep it healthy!
After I received the diagnosis, I called my mother on the East Coast. I was living in Southern California at the time. It was like the network of caregivers went into action!
My mother called her two sisters who, in turn, called all the experts they knew up and down the East Coast. My family has a lot of history dealing with cancer. We don’t take its diagnosis lightly.
I remember thinking, wow – these three could conquer world peace if they put their minds to it!
I think as a mother or a caregiver, it’s what you do. You don’t even think twice. As one of her caregivers during her breast cancer journey, I didn’t think twice about what I had to do, even though I was only 20. Mothers and daughters especially have that caregiver bond that often is unspoken. And to this day, she still questions me to make sure I am using my sunscreen and an umbrella every time I go to the beach. Lesson number two: as a mother you always continue to care for your children. It’s what you do.