Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Dreaded C-Word: Cancer

The title is a little ominous for the content of this post - but apparently this is the week of topics are stuck in my head - which means it's the week you get to read about them.

I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline earlier in the week and stumbled upon the "If Only For A Second" project by the Mimi Foundation.

That sentence is what inspired the "If Only for a Second" project by the Mimi Foundation. 20 cancer patients were invited to participate in a unique makeover experience. This film shows the adventure...

The foundation also created a book of these reveal moments. Here's a little something about the book:
"This 60 page book contains the photographs, by Vincent Dixon, of the 20 participants of "if only for a second." Every photo is followed by a caption, the date and the time that the photo was taken and most importantly, the exact second when the person forgot about their disease. Going through this book, the reader is carried away by laughter, giggles and carefree faces. Readers will even be surprised to have on their own faces… a smile."

After watching the video, I did have a smile on my face, but there were also tears in my eyes. For the first time, I realized something that the dreaded "C" word had stolen from me -- my ability to be carefree.

Every mole that looks a little bit darker than it did yesterday; Every accidental sunburn that leads to anxiety-ridden tears; Every headache that leads to that little voice in my head whispering, you know melanoma metastasizes to the brain; Every doctor's appointment where I pray that I won't have to have any spots biopsied; Every hour that passes after a doctor's appointment while I wait for the results phone call; Every painful numbing injection and stitch during an excision procedure -- Every one of these moments steals a little bit of my ability to be carefree.

Modern medicine kills the cancer, but laughter helps ease the pain and heartache that comes with it.

I'll never forget my first melanoma surgery, I asked the doctor if I could see the incision before he bandaged it up. (BIG mistake!) I walked into the waiting room, saw my parents and immediately cried out, "It looks like I have two small boobies on either side of my incision!" I was devastated.

Now, I laugh (to the point of tears) when I think back to the reaction of that silly, scared girl. The best part is that this first melanoma scar is the one that is the least noticeable on my body now. Obviously, the back boobies went away!

I make jokes to survive the fear because we know that fear can only control us if we let it.

The scar on my arm is from a knife fight during a bar brawl -- the scar on my tummy is the only thing keeping me from being a swimsuit model -- the scars on my chest will be the perfect cover story if I ever get a boob job.

The ability to laugh... it's something to cling to!

Now, back to where this all started, I love the "if only for a second" project by the Mimi Foundation. I hope we can all find a moment or two in our day today to laugh at a situation that seems a little less than funny!

If you need it today, I'm sending lots of love, wiggle hugs and laughter your way!


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