Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Professional MelanomaHolic

This Friday marks 10 weeks since surgery.  This Thursday it’s been 16 weeks since diagnosis and 17 weeks since I had the original biopsy.  I’m sure all of us Club Melanoma members can relate with very similar feelings: being preoccupied with damn near everything Melanoma related.  Will it ever go away?  I have no freaking clue…but I highly doubt it.  I stare at people’s skin.  I want to lecture people that are uber tan.  I want to high five people putting on sun block.  I want to bear hug then high five parents slathering sun block on their children.  This is just who I am now. 

Recently I’ve had to physically hold myself back from going up to not one, but TWO chicks that had large moles.  The first one I saw a younger girl, probably 16 years old, she had a fairly large mole on the back of her thigh – definitely larger than the eraser tip on a pencil.  The second one was a woman in Trader Joe's and she had one on the back of her left calve, also pretty big.  I really don’t want to be the weirdo that walks up saying “Can I take a closer look at that?”  I know they would look at me like I am the crazy person that I am and I’d have to go into a spiel of why I acted on the urge to ask them about their mole.  Then I’d say, “Don’t worry, I’m a professional Melanomaholic, I am here to help.”  Again, I’d get the crazy look.  I can see it now.  Have I mentioned I’m sorta psychic?  Maybe I should spell it: psorta psychic or more often than not: psorta psycho. 

My friends used to joke around that if someone would pass by with a general “Hi, how are ya?” I would fill that random person in with my life story within about 5 minutes, complete with my zodiac sign.  Other times I am a little timid and would rather stick to whatever I came to do – whether it be pick out the apples I planned on buying or renting that movie at Blockbuster (yes, I’m one of the 10 people in America that still go there).  I can absolutely be an overly outgoing person and I don’t mind striking up a conversation with someone I’ve never met.  If I have a question, I typically want to have to it answered and I would rather ask than be curious about it for the rest of the day (or until I see a shiny penny and get distracted). 

I’m curious about a couple of things:

1) What would you do if someone approached you basically saying that something looked wrong and you should seriously think about getting it checked out by a physician?  Would you be upset with the fact that someone actually came up to you and pointed out something that you haven’t even noticed yourself about your own body, or maybe you have noticed it but have just thought of it as a flaw – a flaw that someone you don’t know just bluntly asked you about?  Or would you be grateful because you’re obviously unaware of something that other people are noticing?

2) Have you ever approached a complete stranger yourself about a health concern?  How did that person react?

Any thoughts would be nice because I am pulled in two directions - leave them be or educate them.


  1. Tough one Amber....I think it would all depend on how open & friendly the person looked. Don't want you getting slapped down! You are a great educator & many people are ill informed about skin cancers in general.

  2. I don't want to get slapped down, either! But, maybe if I come across as more of a "hey, you should pay attention to this" than "how the hell haven't you noticed this before" <- which I would never do.