Introduction

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Community, Collaboration, Caring

Thanks to the many thousands of mostly accidental Google search drive-by pageviews of this blog, I was invited to attend GlaxoSmithKlines’s 2014 Melanoma Summit this past Monday. In on-site or virtual attendance were a good number of my fellow melanoma bloggers and representatives of some of the leading melanoma nonprofit organizations. Our gracious hosts from GSK’s Oncology group brought this community together to talk about how we can all collaborate to better spread the message that melanoma can be deadly if not detected early--or better yet prevented--and to listen and learn how GSK might be able to support the efforts of this community.

Not to say that the presentations from GSK’s oncology team weren’t quite interesting and informative, but for me the highlight of the Summit was the opportunity to meet members of the GSK team and melanoma community in person and the informal one-on-one and group discussions and relationship building that took place during the course of the day. I was struck by what a rich and deep well of melanoma information and caring support resources exists for the benefit of both newly-diagnosed and ‘veteran’ melanoma patients and caregivers, a well that is continually fed not only by the bloggers and nonprofits in attendance but also by those who weren’t. And I came away with the strengthened conviction that we all— patient and caregiver melanoma bloggers and social media advocates, the healthcare industry, melanoma medical professionals, and nonprofit melanoma advocacy organizations—need to do more, much more, to work together to lead patients to that well. We can’t make them ‘drink’ from it, but no one who checks into The Hotel Melanoma needs to go it alone and thirsty.

Many thanks to my hosts at GSK Oncology for inviting me to the Summit. For the record, GSK reimbursed my travel and expenses to attend the GSK Melanoma Summit, but I was not asked to promote GSK or its medicines. This post is entirely voluntary, represents my own views and I was not paid to write it. (Then again I’ve never been paid to write any of my posts, which I’m certain will come as no revelation to any of my regular readers.)

And I certainly couldn’t sign off without a fractured song, one of hope that more melahomies will be led to the well mentioned above. To the tune of John Mellencamp’s “Check It Out”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qxDBiiVjlQ


A thousand-some poets
Streamin' out their words
’Bout a world full of Black C
And yearnin' to be heard
Future generations
Ridin' on ‘net highways that we built
I hope they have a better understanding

Check it out
Goin' to doc on Monday
Check it out
Got yourself a biopsy
Check it out
All the medical bills can’t be paid
You can't tell your best buddy that you love him
So check it out
How to make time slow
Check it out
Got a brand new mole to docs show
Check it out
Keepin' C’s attacks from your loved ones
Sharin’ all that we've learned about happiness

Check it out
A spot to say hello to my molemates
Check it out
Sometimes I question my own behavior
Check it out
Talkin' about C’s cures that we dream will draw nigh
Just to tell our souls there’s still lots of time
So check it out
Gettin' too drunk on Saturdays
Check it out
Playin’ football with the kids on Sundays
Check it out
Soarin' with the warriors all week long
And sharin’ all that we've learned about living
Sharin’ all that we've learned about living

A thousand-some poets
Streamin' out their words
Maybe someday
Those words will be heard
By future generations
Ridin' on ‘net highways that we built
Maybe they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Hope they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Maybe they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Maybe they'll have a better understanding
Check it out
Hope they have a better understanding
Check it out.....

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