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.

Tutu Brothers

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Not "Just For Men"

The fundraising partner of my favorite cancer center is planning a charity event for “women’s cancer”, with a broader scope than breast cancer. I’d argue that melanoma IS a “women’s cancer”, but I don’t know whether these good people yet see it as such.

Through blogs and other social media I’ve 'met' an astounding number of young women (a category which includes all women younger than me) battling Stage III and IV melanoma. And according to The Skin Cancer Foundation, women age 39 and under (REALLY young in my frame of reference) have a higher probability of contracting melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer. Plus, a recent study published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science indicates that if a woman has had either breast cancer or melanoma she has higher odds of developing the other. Yikes, so how do we spread the ugly truth that melanoma doesn’t “just” strike old boomer white guys like me?

I’ll end today’s rant with a new version of The Kinks’ “Lola”…

I met it through a doc up near old LoDo
Where you drink scan juice and it tastes not like cherry-cola
C-O-L-A cola
He walked up to me and he showed me my scan
I asked him its name and in a concerned voice he said Mela
M-E-L-A mela me-me-melanoma

Well I'm not the world's most physical guy
But when it hit my nodes it nearly took my life
Oh my Mela me-me-me-lanoma
Well I'm not dumb so I do understand
That it strikes younger women and not “just” old men
Oh my Mela me-me-me-lanoma me-me-me-lanoma

Well she banned sunscreen and tanned all night
Under electric UV light
I picked her up and sat her on my knee
And said little girl won't you listen to me
Well I'm not the world's most passionate guy
But when I looked in her eyes well I almost yelled ‘bout my Mela
Me-me-me-lanoma me-me-me-lanoma
Mela me-me-me-lanoma me-me-me-lanoma

She pushed me away
I walked to the door
I fell to the floor
I got down on my knees
Well I looked at her and she at me

Well this is the day that I’ll have my say
And I'll always want it to be that way ‘bout my Mela
Girls will be girls and boys will be boys
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Mela

Well I wasn’t born just a week before
And I’ll never ever diss this cancer no more
’Cause Mela smiled and took me by the hand
And said boomer boy I'm gonna make you hate tan

Well I'm not the world's most masculine man
But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm not tan
But not is Mela
Me-me-me-lanoma me-me-me-lanoma
Mela me-me-me-lanoma me-me-me-lanoma

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