Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Two Year Anniversary….

The end of October is fast approaching and for me it means something quite a bit more than the fun of donning Halloween masks and trick-or-treating. For me it’s time to reflect and celebrate. Reflect that two years ago I was diagnosed with a deadly form of melanoma (Nodular Melanoma) and that through the skill and patience of doctors and the prayer and support of family and friends – despite my fears and worry I’m here to talk about it and can celebrate the fact that I’m still alive.
Along with the Melanoma diagnosis it’s apparent that I am my mother’s son and we share something in common – we both have atypical mole syndrome, which is a fancy way of saying that we have excessive amounts of moles covering our skin and that – shocker – we’re at higher risk for skin cancer (specifically melanomas) than most.
So today I went to the doctor for my yearly dermatological check up. The examination went without mention. I did ask the doctor to remove one mole on my heel that though not incredibly large was bi-colored, the center and left was a few shades darker than the rest of it. And the doctor did notice a mole on the sole of my left foot that though did not look necessarily suspicious, just because it was on the sole of my foot it was worth taking. This is a common place for melanomas amongst Blacks and Asians. I should find out if there was anything to concern about next week when the moles return from pathology. I share the optimism of my doctor that they're OK.
Right now though I'd like to celebrate, and to do that I’d like all my pastier (and not so pasty) friends to examine their skin. Take a look at your bodies and if you notice anything suspicious or noticeable, go to a doctor. Not sure what you’re looking for or at? Here’s a helpful guide put out by the National Institutes of Health. So that's what everyone can do this year to help me celebrate is ensure that you all are yourselves have healthy cancer free skin.

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