Edward's personal story


My Melanoma Story

It kind of surprised me to know there were places on my body that even after 62 years I had never actually seen. At my doctor’s recommendation I scheduled a routine screening. Doctor Kaminska asked if I had noticed anything unusual, and I had not. It was then that my wife jumped in, pointing to something on my shoulder that could only have be seen by me with a hand-held mirror. I never knew, but was hardly surprised. I vividly recall my first sunburn at age 7, and had been an unprotected sun-worshiper ever since. I have a sun roof in my car, a deck on my garage, an above ground pool, and dozens of vacations to sunny and hot destinations…all of them fabulous! And potentially fatal. It was after the biopsy I heard the words that changed everything: “You will be a patient for life. “

As a man of faith I was not shaken to my core about the potential of death; death will come eventually anyway. What bothered me was all the lifestyle changes I had to make in the interim: Apply the sunscreen – close the sun roof – stop basking in the sun – wear a hat, etc.

I am grateful for a chance at life, an observant wife, and Dr. Kaminska. Adding a little sunscreen isn’t going to kill me, but failing to might!

- Ed Leighton