March 2009

I don’t want my blog to be my soapbox for personal issues, but this one is important.

Like most “crazybusy” women, I was a bit behind in getting my annual exam, pap and mammogram.  Getting than done and getting “all clear” reports was comforting, but I asked my practicioner about a mole on my arm that concerned me.  She assured me it was probably nothing, but since I had never been to a dermatologist, she suggested a “head to toe” since I am fair-skinned.  Of course, getting around to that was a few more months. I met with a dermatologist who I met about 25 years ago when we were both stationed in Bethesda, and he did a scraping without too much concern.

48 hours later, I received the call to inform me that it was indeed melanoma, the “bad” form of skin cancer.  The good thing about melanoma is that, when caught early, simple excision is the only treatment necessary, and I’ll have to get that “head to toe” every six months for a few years.  So this spring, I’m sporting a sizable 3″ scar on my left upper arm, and I almost want to show it off so that when people ask me about it I can share this story.  Procrastination, in this case, could have been much more serious and even deadly.


Okay, I am cheating a bit here – I’m referring you to my colleagues blogs for more on the gown sale.  Kerline, who balanced the gown sale with a large wedding last weekend, had more on her blog:

I went directly from the gown sale to the airport to conduct an ABC Expanding Horizons Seminar in Seattle.  Hence, I have new meaning for “Sleepless in Seattle.”

Thanks to Allan Saltman for capturing the essence of Orlando’s Brides Against Breast Cancer Gown Sale.

 Thanks to our committe and supporting vendors.  I’ll be posting a bit about each of them in the next few weeks.

Final Tally – just over $20,000 in gown sales that should grant at least two, maybe three final wishes.  Yes, that’s down quite a bit from last year, but nothing to be ashamed of.

Sometimes we’re just to busy to take care of ourselves, so indulge me in the little diversion.  About 6 months ago, finally got around to my (overdue) annual check up, and three months ago got around to (also overdue) mammogram. I felt that the Chair of Brides Against Breast Cancer had at least better practice some of what is preached.  Getting an “all clear” from those was reassuring, but I had also made a dermatology appointment to have a mole checked. It didn’t have significant “changes,” but was bordering on the “A-B-C-D” criteria. While my family practicioner didn’t seemed too concerned, and frankly, neither did the dermatologist, I was contacted with the diagnosis of early melanoma – what a shock.  I was surprised to learn that  each year, more than 50,000 people in the U.S. learn that they have melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.  Early detection is the key. Once it spreads, treatment is much more complex, and melanoma can be fatal. So I’m now proudly sporting a 3″ scar on my left upper arm, but no further treatment is necessary. For more information, visit, but if you have that questionable mole, have it checked.  ~ Elise