Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If I knew then what I know now.....

I am fairly certain that most people my age, 43, look back and think about how they could have done things different. I would have NOT eaten so many chicken wings in my 20s.  I would have not said those hurtful words in anger.

I would NOT have spent SO much time laying out in the sun, trying to keep my fair skin tan. Even though I grew up where everyone was tan...I would have done it different.

How does a teenager even comprehend how their actions will affect their adult life?  Anyone over 25 is OLD. How do we inform teenagers that it is SO very dangerous to engage in certain activities such drinking and driving, having unprotected sex, and TANNING? How does tanning even fit into this category?  Well, it does!  The facts are overwhelming.

AS I read in one of the melanoma awareness blogs I keep track at :

I realize how important it is to continue to share with people howdangerous skin cancer is! Melanoma is SO extremely dangerous! 

As stated on the webpage for the Skin Cancer Foundation:


 A new study has revealed an alarming rise in melanoma among people aged 18 to 39: over the past 40 years, rates of this potentially deadly skin cancer grew by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men. Researchers examined data on the 256 young adults in Olmstead County, MN, who were diagnosed with melanoma between 1970 and 2009."

If I knew now what I know now...... I would not tan with baby oil for hours on the beach until I was baked and burned!  I would not have used that tanning bed to accelerate my "tan"!  I would want to know how I would be fighting for my life in 2011 and that all my efforts to tan would end me up like this:

to eventually this:

to my last round of bio chemo:

to having this after the surgery to remove the dead tumor:

So, please do not tell me that skin cancer is only skin cancer.... and let us all protect people from the dangers of tanning...because I am 1 out of 5 stage IV survivors....who is alive to talk.

peace out!


  1. Aunt Stephanie you are one of the strongest people I know! I can not believe all that you went through and I love you soooooo much! You are truly a warrior!

  2. thank you Brandee! I keep sharing because young people keep tanning and getting sick and dying. It breaks my heart to contact mothers who have lost their daughters to stage IV melanoma. Tell all your friends, DO NOT Tan! love ya!