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

Friday, March 7, 2014

Melanoma Monday 2014

“Melanoma Monday” in May is an invention (and registered service mark) of the American Academy of Dermatology. Last year AAD made a fine mess of Melanoma Monday with a “Spot Orange” campaign that many in the melanoma community found dumb, counter-productive in building awareness of melanoma as a deadly disease that’s not ‘just skin cancer’, and mildly offensive. And we voiced our opinions to AAD.

Much to my surprise, AAD listened. In a conference call and webinar held last evening, AAD outlined their 2014 campaign plans and the much-derided “Spot Orange” promotion is gone. They won’t be encouraging dermatology clinics to post happy party pictures of staff members clad in orange scrubs and will instead promote the wearing of melanoma’s true awareness color, black. Not that I participated in the orange crush ‘fun’ last year, but I’m nevertheless relieved for the sake of others because dressing like a giant Cheeto in a state where recreational marijuana is now legal could be quite hazardous to one’s health.

This little dust-up has reminded me of a couple of things. One, the melavangelism cause isn’t about a single day in May, or even about the entire month for those of us seizing all of May for melanoma education. As our Hotel Melanoma Chaplain has often said, every day is a “Melanoma Awareness Day”. Two, the cause of melavangelism belongs to we melanistas who actually dwell at The Hotel Melanoma, and not to organizations like AAD which have their own agendas—like branding their member-doctors as the “go to” health care providers who “spot skin cancer”. We should be leaders, not followers, and if we don’t like what some organization is doing in the name of melanoma awareness we should say so, loudly if need be. They just might listen.

Until next time, I’ll sign off with a replay of The Hotel Melanoma version of “Stormy Monday” from The Allman Brothers Band…

They call it Black C Monday
But ... Tuesday it’s as bad
They call it Black C Monday
But Tuesday it’s as bad
Lord ... and Wednesday's worse
And Thursday's also sad

Fool people fry on Friday
Saturday they go out to braise
Fool people fry on Friday
And Saturday they go out to braise
Sunday they go to church, yeah
Where they need now to pray

Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy on we
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy on we
Though we’re tryin' ... tryin' to mend this Black C
Won't somebody please end its bad ass spree

Oh, no

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