Sunday, November 22, 2015

...and in other news... Melanoma Awareness

We have had a busy couple of months around here, all the usual stuff plus kitchen renovation, Cassie's ankle physio/recovery, grade eight homework times two, the girls' play rehearsals for the Kids in the Meaford Hall production of Aladdin in December, kitchen renovation, my antisocial crankiness, trips to Toronto, oh and did I mention kitchen renovation?  Phew it has been a whirlwind!  Overall good though, lots to report.

With my "remission" revelation comes renewed energy and desire to promote awareness of melanoma and it's related issues.  In May I participated in a cool Melanoma Monday event in Toronto on behalf of Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF), the La Roche-Posay Become a Skin Checker campaign.  I had also written a blog as a guest on the SYSF website, and spoke in a webinar on my perspective of survivorship, also with SYSF.  

I am pleased to report I have been asked to participate in another upcoming SYSF event also in Toronto.  I will be among a small number of people presenting to the Ontario Government in early December on the top needs of a melanoma patient going into 2016.  Patient advocacy is a large part of the work SYSF does, and I am happy to share my perspective as a patient on the melanoma experience as it is today.  I have been relatively fortunate in my melanoma treatment and I know I am lucky to still be here to talk about it a year and a half after diagnosis.  I wish to bring awareness to this disease so that other Canadians can also have timely access to treatment of metastatic melanoma. 

This week I am also booked for a conference call with a Toronto-based team managing an upcoming skin cancer awareness project in collaboration with Save Your Skin Foundation. It sounds like it will be a social media campaign bringing awareness to sun safety and some other stuff that I can't share just yet but will discuss if and when it works out.  I am looking forward to hearing more about it! 

More details to come...  In the meantime I will share one of my favourite photos from treatment days at Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook, in Toronto.   It was a random photo I took of my bracelets.  My hospital ID, and my beloved charm bracelet given to me by a friend for Christmas, on which I have charms that I have collected as rewards to myself for milestones in the last couple of years.   I feel this photo shows many facets of the state of my personality at this time.  Juxtaposition of cancer treatment and my real life, if you will:

 PS - Just for the record, for those of you who may wish to ask: no I do not have a "return to work" plan in place as of yet.  I still have quite a way to go in my physical and emotional recovery, and I am still going to need time before returning to my very public-facing employment position.  I have been in shock for a year and a half, it is quite reasonable to expect that it will take some time for myself and my family to recover from that alone.  Just saying.  

Thank you for your continued love and support!

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