One out of four people will get some form of Cancer in their lifetime. That’s bad odds. 25%.
One out of five people will get Melanoma in their lifetime. 20% but I don’t like those odds any better.
If you have Parkinson’s it’s even worse because there is a connection between PD and Melanoma.
It’s pretty simple. One of the issues with Parkinson’s is vitamin deficiencies. It increases your chances of getting Melanoma. Told you it was pretty simple.
And yet until recently, I didn’t know of a single case of a Parkinson’s patient having Melanoma.
Then it got personal.
A few months ago I started researching this topic. I thought it would be interesting to write about. I found a lot of gross photos but not a lot of info. The topic went on the back burner.
On Valentine’s Day, I noticed this mark on the top of my back. It looked exactly like the picture up above. I’m pretty sure my first words were “Oh shit, I’ve got Melanoma”. Maybe it was a little stronger.
I was very lucky. Because of the research, I’d seen enough pictures of this to know what was happening. Yeah, I was scared but the knowledge helped.
I was also lucky to even see it. It’s in a spot where you almost need to be Linda Blair, spinning her head in The Exorcist, to find it.
The next step was to do something about it. I found four people that I knew had dealt with Melanoma and started asking questions. Their answers were pretty much the same.
Find out what stage you’re in. Ask about further tests. Is chemo needed? What about lymph nodes? How will it get removed? What about follow-ups?
It’s a lot to deal with. Your head is spinning but you need to know these things. It helps to have people you can ask about these things. It also helps to have someone go with you to make sure you keep on task and get the answers you need. Thanks to all these folks…very much appreciated!
Like I said earlier, I was very lucky. The Melanoma was microscopic. Less than Stage 1. It’s still Cancer and it still needs to come out. That will happen next week.
My surgeon says it’s a simple surgical procedure. I think a simple procedure is when it happens to someone else. But two hours and I’ll be Cancer-free.
So the question is was there a connection between my Parkinson’s and the Melanoma? I don’t know and the surgeon didn’t know either. He did think it was possible. He also thought it was bizarre I was working on a story about this when it happened.
I do, too. Truth is stranger than fiction. Cue the Twilight Zone music.
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Check out the Michael J. Fox Foundation website for more information.
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