Another Word About Melanoma

October 1, 2018 – Today I completed an online course through the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) to become a Certified Melanoma Educator. Completion of this course allows me to counsel melanoma patients and educate the public about this deadly disease. The Melanoma Research Foundation is the organization that I raise money for each year in August for the Miles For Melanoma 5K here in Memphis. (See I Am Not Alone.)

The MRF is one of three (3) organizations that I am involved with – along with online support groups on Facebook. The other two organizations are: AIM at Melanoma and The Skin Cancer Foundation. While each group has a different mission, they all share the same ultimate goal – finding a cure for melanoma and all skin cancers.

As I reviewed the online material for my certification course, I came upon a piece of information that completely “hit home” in terms of my melanoma journey and the confusion my condition sometimes causes. Here’s a section from the MRF website:

It is important to note that regardless of where melanoma spreads, or metastasizes, it is still considered melanoma. For example, if melanoma spreads to the lung, it is not considered lung cancer. Instead, it should be referred to as metastatic melanoma or melanoma that has spread to the lung.

Just last month I ran into a former teaching colleague whom I had not seen in ten (10) years. When I said I have cancer, I swear I think her reaction was not simply disbelief but skepticism. It makes me think I should carry cards with my oncologist’s phone number and/or email address. Oh, well.

Thanks for listening, as always.

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