May You Be Ready for June, July…

“May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel alive” -Fennel Hudson

May is also melanoma and skin cancer awareness month, a great time of year to build awareness and to change lifelong habits of sun worship.  I’ve focused my writing this past month on inspiration, courage, and hope.  I’ve shared tips for cancer patients, caregivers, and interested by-standers. And whoa, the month is gone like that, my favorite!

May Day, May Day

A month for renewal, lovely lilacs, and those darn four-o’clock in the morning birds, May brings us a splendor of sensory delight in New England.  While May is the month that targets melanoma education, every month needs to be about sun safety.  If it’s January and you are out for a ski, be prepared.  April and a seemingly overcast day, the sun’s rays are burrowing through the clouds (and potentially your skin).  November, with the sun distancing itself, still offering powerful cancer causing light.


May You Be Open to Change

Summer we are more habitual with our sun screen and shade seeking; make #sunsmarts a year round routine.  As a librarian, passionate about early literacy, I always encourage families to make reading at least a twice daily habit, “kinda like brushing your teeth”.  Make skin care rote year round, too; get your groove on, keep sun safety simple, and enjoy!

Okay, I am a word nerd and you’ll recognize my fervency for language, books, and expression throughout my blog. The online dictionary,, defines the word may as “having the ability to” and  also means having possibility. Think MAY as we jump to June! Give yourself the upturn of May year round!

#melanoma #melanomatheskinwerein #melanomamonth

We can-cer vive!


Don’t Fry Day

Here’s come summer! Memorial Day weekend, a time to honor U.S. military people who died in service to the country, has also become the gateway to summer fun!  Our first camping trip usually took place Memorial Day weekend and for others, it may mean getting the boat in the water, planting the garden in the northeast, or heading to the beach.  Did you know that the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend is now recognized as Don’t Fry Day by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.



With all the warm weather fun to come, Don’t Fry Day is the perfect time to remember how important sun safety is for all of us.  Listed on the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention site are some easy #sunsmarts that we all can practice:

  • Do Not Burn or Tan
  • Seek Shade
  • Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand
  • Get Vitamin D Safely

As someone who always sought the sun and loves to be outdoors, I feel I have a choice.  I can  be sensible with sun safety or I can hide away inside.  Well, I need to be outside so I plan on doing what I need to do to be enjoying life and living with melanoma.


After being checked for ocular melanoma recently, I’d add polarized sun glasses to the above list for visual sun safety. And yes, I have protective clothing, and have you considered a face mask?  Fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts wear them and again, I don’t want to live my life indoors.  Some days my face mask makes great sense  so I can boat, walk the beach, or garden while protecting my face (where tumors were removed and radiation added).  Wide brim hats offer some protection, depending on the fabric. Keep an eye on the UV Index, avoiding mid-day sun when possible.

A Change Would Do You Good (Cheryl Crow)

As someone who always sought the sun and loves to be outdoors, I feel I have a choice.  I can  be sensible with sun safety or I can hide away inside. I need to be outside on these beautiful, warm days, so I plan on doing what I need to do to be enjoying life and living with melanoma.  My brother in-law says “nothing changes until something changes”.  Sun attitudes need to change in our society and I am proof that it can and should be a life saving change for all of us.  New outdoor habits take a bit of will power and common sense.  Be pro-active and incorporate sun safety into your life.

May is melanoma awareness month and comes at the perfect time as we all gear up for the sunshine months we love.  I wrote about Melanoma Monday earlier this month and Don’t Fry Day is another opportunity to promote skin cancer prevention. Things happen in life that change us, and I’d be the first to admit I have worshiped the sun…a lot. With two melanoma diagnoses in the rear view mirror, it’s time for a change in my life and also time to change the culture of sun worship.

backlit beach dawn dusk
Summer Fun!

I still plan to enjoy all the fun that summer brings…I will just have a bit more gear for cruising!  It’s not the end, it’s the beginning of a new way to love the summer months, to love life.

Happy Don’t Fry Day!  And Memorial Day – thank you to all the people in United States service who lost their lives so that we might be free.

#Don’t Fry Day  #melanoma  #melanomatheskinwerein

We can-cer vive!


In An Instance

via Daily Prompt: Complication

Word to the Wise

Words, whether written, read, heard, or said, are powerful.  The power brings emotion; joy, sorrow, concern, abandon, love, hate are a few of the plethora of feeling that comes from the word.  Words can also bring complication.

talk to yourself

If old enough, we remember where we were when we heard of J.F. Kennedy’s assassination, the words stunning the adults around us.  Or perhaps it was learning of the 9-1-1 tragedy that brings us to a time of grief and sorrow.  Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream”, or hearing your baby cry out to you for the first time brings tears of joy.


Tilt-A-Whirl…or Was That Tilt-A-World?

We’ve all had personal conversations, bringing joy or sorrow, into our own lives.  Do you remember learning that you had cancer, or perhaps that a loved one did?  The c-word is a tough one in my family as cancer is a prolific taker of lives for us. We have waited for information, finding out about cancer diagnosis, and learning how to readjust to the complication cancer brings to family and friends.

For me, after a routine checkup with my doctor in 2015 and my questioning a worrisome spot I noticed on my face, it was on to a dermatologist.  Always healthy, I was good with all of this, no worries and no fear, and then…a friend…said “Oh, a biopsy?  Well, that is a terrifying word that none of us want to deal with.”  YIKES!  Now I was nervous. Amazing how the power of words can skew our thoughts “in an instance”.

astronomy cosmic cosmos dark
Photo by Pixabay on

The dermatologist visit went well and biopsy done, no worries, right?  Until the phone call. “In an instance”, my world tilted in a different way. “Your biopsy showed melanoma.  This is very serious and I can suggest an oncologist, a surgeon, and some other medical professionals you will need to help you.  Janis, this is very serious.  You could die if left untreated”.  I’m not sure I even heard another word, the loud crashing of cancer and life’s complications roared through my head.  Wait!  This isn’t how I planned my life to go.

It’s Really What You Do With It

Hope, that is what we cancer patients have. That and a lot of medical genius to navigate the challenges of such disease.  Processing a cancer diagnosis is a network of emotions, challenges, obstacles, and re-envisioning of life.  Those words, “you have cancer”, open the floodgates to so much; fear, anger, sorrow, to name just a few, come pouring over us.  Processing our new life, the complications of not-the-life you wished for, is probably the greatest challenge for many of us.

words have power

Those words, change you forever, bring you to a new place.  Life is tricky enough, right?  It’s processing and learning how to incorporate this c-word complication that is crucial to our changing lives.  Finding the beauty in your modified life may just be around the next corner.  Bring your hope to the forefront and allow the happy energy to guide you because “in an instance”, you will help yourself and those you love.

#melanomatheskinwerein  #sunsmarts  #melanoma

We can-cer vive!