The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Don't Fry Day 2015

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated this Friday Don't Fry Day to encourage sun safety awareness. But with all of the soggy weather we’ve been having in my neck of the Colorado woods I’m afraid it’s going to be another “No Sky Day”. Like, I was fool enough to try to play some golf the other day with my Extremely Senior Men’s League and several of my tee shots splashed on landing even when I managed to hit the fairway. Even the sand traps had been transformed into water hazards. And after successfully hitting one rescue shot out of swampy and deep rough I found my ball embedded in the fairway and barely visible to the naked eye. Oy.

So if this Friday turns out to be a dry and sunny day I just may risk an indecent exposure charge (as well as the opprobrium of my unfortunate playing partners) and play naked sans sunscreen just to soak up some excessive UV radiation, which at this altitude is 35% more intense than at sea level. Take THAT dear National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.

Hoping that Friday brings ‘fryable’ playing conditions, I’ll sign off with The Hotel Melanoma take on The Beatles’ “Good Day Sunshine”…

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.
I need to golf, and when the sun is out
I've got some swings I can laugh about,
I play woods, in a ‘special’ way.
I'm golf gloved and it's a sunny day.

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.
We ruin good walk, the sun is shining down,
Always cheat when I play a round.

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.
And when ball lies, behind a shady tree,
I move it so I’m swinging free.
Par’d be good, although I’m on in five.
I'm allowed two strokes, that green is mine.

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Eye Patch Day 2015

My melahomies of the ocular persuasion receive way too little attention from the media and general public during this Melanoma Awareness Month of May, and almost none during the rest of the year. According to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, ocular melanoma (a/k/a uveal melanoma) is diagnosed in about 2,500 adults in the United States every year and it fatally metastasizes (most often to the liver) in about half of all cases. OM is the second most common type of melanoma after cutaneous melanoma and represents about 5% of all melanomas.

The Ocular Melanoma Foundation, in collaboration with A Cure In Sight , have designated this Wednesday, May 20 as Eye Patch Day 2015, when OM warriors around the globe will wear eye patches to raise ocular melanoma awareness. I hope everyone living at The Hotel Melanoma will join together in showing some love and support for our OM mates by recognizing Eye Patch Day 2015.

Just in case I’m unable to find a couple of eye patches for the pup and me, plus a selfie stick to take a photo of us, here’s an unaltered song for my OM friends from The Flamingos-- because on Eye Patch Day 2015 “I Only Have Eyes For You”…

My love must be a kind of blind love
I can't see anyone but you

Are the stars out tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy or bright
I only have eyes for you, dear

The moon may be high
But I can't see a thing in the sky
I only have eyes for you

I don't know if we're in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue

You are here and so am I
Maybe millions of people go by
But they all disappear from view
And I only have eyes for you

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I Can't Help Myself

I was fortunate enough to spend several days in Arizona last week and, although I didn’t much like it, managed to practice what I preach and spend a sun-safe holiday in the desert. My walking and lap swimming took place before 9 a.m. I booked a 7 a.m. tee time (on a snazzy course that was way too expensive for a guy whose USGA handicap index comes with a parking sticker) and still played in a UPF-50 long-sleeved golf shirt and slacks ensemble. My poolside time was spent under an umbrella. (Picture a white whale lounging on a deck chair.) I did take a midday mountain bike ride in shorts and a t-shirt (and no squirrelly bike helmet, thank you very much) but I was dutifully well-coated in sunscreen. But, truth be told, I was longing all the while to bask in the sun and lose my phosphorescent white sheen. Oy.

Until next time, I’ll sign off with a love song to my lost love the Sun, to the tune of The Four Tops' “I Can’t Help Myself”…

Sugar pie honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can't help myself
I love you and nobody else
In and out my life
You come and you go
Leaving just your cancer behind
And I kicked it a thousand times

When you snap your fingers
Or wink your eye
I come a running to you
I'm tied to you, baby
And there's nothing I can do
Ooh, cant' help myself, no I can't help myself, come

Sugar pie honey bunch
I'm weaker than a man should be
I can't help myself
I'm a fool in love you see
Want to tell you I don't love you
Tell you that we're through
And I've tried
But every time I see your face
I get up all choked up inside

When I call your name, Sol
It starts the flame burning in my heart
Tearin' it all apart
No matter how I try
My love I cannot hide

Sugar pie honey bunch
You now that I'm weak for you
I can't help myself
I love you and nobody else

Sugar pie honey bunch
I'll do anything you ask me to
I can't help myself
I want you and nobody else

Sugar pie honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can't help myself
No I can help myself
Sugar pie honey bunch

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Melanoma Monday 2015

Despite the past efforts of a few misguided souls to get us to dress like giant Cheetos on Melanoma Monday, most of the melanoma community embraces our true awareness color, BLACK. (I’ve taken to wearing black boxer briefs every day of the year, but I’m guessing you really didn’t want to know that and I most assuredly won’t be posting any selfies to document my dedication to black.) Please stand together with your chic and well-informed melahomies on Melanoma Monday, May 4, and “Paint it Black”.

Every awareness event needs an anthem, and I couldn’t think of one more fitting for a united Melanoma Monday 2015 than Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”…

When sun fright has come
And the scan is stark
And the moon is the only light I'll see
No, I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

So darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand, stand by me
Stand by me

If sun fry, that I took chance on
Makes frontal assault
And this old man should crumble to Black C
I won't cry, I won't cry
No, I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now, stand by me
Stand by me

So darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now, stand by me, stand by me
Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me
Oh stand by me, oh won't you stand now, stand
Stand by me
Stand by me

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Night Moves

Attention all Colorado melahomies! Please join me and make your best ‘night moves’ at this upcoming Melanoma Awareness Month event, which benefits Colorado Melanoma Foundation, Inc. The Melanoma Night Walk is in memory of Justin Vicory, a 35-year-old husband and father who was taken by melanoma last fall. It’s an event that Justin had started to plan prior to his death, and his widow DeeDee is now carrying on with his wishes to raise funds for melanoma education, prevention, early detection, and treatment research.

Still wishing I’d done a lot more of my outdoor work and recreation at night rather than in the mid-day sun sans sunscreen, I’ll sign off with The Hotel Melanoma rendition of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves”…

I was a little too ‘Sol’d’
Could've losed a few browns
Write rant posts, hardly renowned
C was my back bared booty with big dark fries
Tanned joints all my own getting way up fried
Way up burned and fried

Out past the sun’s yield when the night gets heady
Outin’ the Black Beast with my nifty bevy
Workin' on mysteries without any clues
Workin' on our night moves
Trying' to make some front page Night Walk news
Workin' on our night moves in the summertime
In the sweet summertime

We aren’t rid of, oh no far from it
We aren’t searching for some pie in the sky summit
He was just young and precious and soared
Living by the Lord
And we'll heal this craze, there’s a chance we could
Fill the vacuum, let’s rally, do justly good
We need cure, C bruised we
Cuz everyone cares
We want mela be rare

Workin' on our night moves
Trying to lose the awkward teenage hues
Workin' on out night moves
In the summertime
And oh the wonder
Felt the fright thing
And we waited on the wonder
Waited on the wonder

I hoped last night for a round of funders
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain't it funny how the night moves
When you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in

Night moves!