2017 was quite a year for the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation!! To hit the highlights we successfully launched our free skin-screening program, refurbished the Shade Shuttle into a mobile screening unit and funded melanoma research for two medical students. We even sold out the 2018 Taste For a Cure Gala in early December!! Thank you to all those who helped make all of these dreams a reality. We are truly grateful!
2017 was also met with a few bumps in the road. I am no stranger to melanoma but this fourth one caught me off guard. It reminded me that life changes quickly. It also reminded me how lucky I am to be under the watchful eye of such an amazing Doctor and how lucky I am that my melanoma was once again caught early. I am incredibly grateful for the never-ending love and support of family and friends near and far for their much needed support.
As 2017 comes to a close I have had some time to reflect upon this last year and what I have learned. It is usually during some of the toughest times that we learn the most. While I try to live in the moment and enjoy life I realized that in the last month or so I was holding my breath while life was happening around me.
Prior to the most recent melanoma diagnosis our family had been planning a trip to Hawaii. Our knee jerk reaction was to tell the kids that it wasn’t the best idea and that we would instead travel somewhere less tropical and sunny. After much reflection we decided that this was the wrong decision. Instead we have decided that we need to live and not let melanoma take over. We need to show our kids that we can live and enjoy life and do it safely. In seven weeks we will travel to Hawaii with suitcases full of sunscreen, UPF gear and the promise that we will have a sun safe vacation.
I am no longer holding my breath but instead remembering to breathe not only during the good times but also during the tough times. Nobody knows what the future holds but we do have a choice in how we navigate our lives.
For some 2017 has been the pits. For those I wish much improvement. For others the year was good. For them I wish a greater year. For others it was both the pits & good. Regardless of how the last year has unfolded for you, may you have nothing but great things, much health and realized dreams in the coming year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!