Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quick update

Wanted to just give everyone a quick update on me. After speaking again with all my doctors involved in my treatment we all decided that the best plan for me was to be seen by an oncologist specializing in treating patients with a high risk for melanoma as well as patients in recovery. That said, the best doctor for this happens to be a Duke medical center. The melanoma dermatology clinic is rated top in the U.S. This was the place I originally wanted to go, but it is extremely hard to get an appointment. Dr. Kelly Nelson is the doctor that I wanted to see, but she had no appointments available until December!!! That being said, God worked his magic and a last minute cancellation came up for tomorrow morning! I have been feverishly coming up with a list of questions for her and I am actually really looking forward to this appointment. Tyler was also able to get the day off and we were able to find someone to watch the kids for the day. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive there. Please say some prayers for us. We are hoping this will be a positive appointment and help ease all my fears and anxieties I have been living with. I also wanted to post the melanoma facts. I can't tell you how frustrating it has been for me to find so little resources out there for melanoma patients. I am determined to make this my life goal to make people aware of this cancer.


•Over one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, outnumbering the total number of other cancers combined

•2000% increase in melanoma incidence since 1930 with one in 50 being affected

•Most common cancer killer of young women, more common than breast cancer in ages 30-34


•More than one person dies each hour from melanoma

•Advanced melanoma has no effective treatment


•Cost of treating newly diagnosed skin cancer is 1 billion dollars annually

•Cost to medicare for treatment of melanoma is $495 million and projected to exceed $5 billion by 2010

•The emotional and physical costs are incalculable


•Melanoma/skin cancer is the most underfunded of all cancers by federal and private agencies

•Early detection makes melanoma highly curable, but it is the least screened for cancer

•People find their own melanomas more frequently than doctors do and melanoma detection is not a training requirement for most medical disciplines


•Seek shade and avoid direct sun during the peak hours of 10-4

•Cover up with protective clothing and use sunscreen lotion

•Protect your children and role model sun safe behaviors

•Examine your skin and that of your loved ones each season for any changes that should be checked by a dermatologist

•Avoid tanning salons: 15 minutes is equal to a whole day’s exposure at the beach