Friday, May 23, 2008


(And yes, that's Jake on the far left....hee hee!)

Oddly enough, my dear friend, Jen P., and I are conquering together this go round. I hope she finds as much strength in me as I find in her. In honor of skin cancer awareness month and start of summer season she sent out this email:

Dear colleagues and friends,

As some of you are aware, I have been battling cancer for almost five years. I was officially diagnosed with melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) in September of 2003… more than two years after the first signs of the brown patch on my cheek. As a result, I had a significant amount of tissue removed from my face and neck and endured 12 months of interferon chemotherapy. In December of 2007, the doctors found a tumor in my neck… the melanoma had metastasized to my lymph node. After another invasive surgery to remove the tumor and other lymph nodes in January, I had 4 weeks of radiation treatments. Three days after my last treatment in March, scans showed the disease had spread to my lung. On May 2nd, I had a section of my lung removed. I am 35 years old and now have stage IV metastatic melanoma (there is no stage V). And unfortunately, there is no cure and no approved treatment plan for the disease at this stage. I am now trying to stay healthy enough to be accepted into a clinical trial to try to prevent the future spread of the disease to my other organs… my liver, bones, and brain. I tell you all of this in hopes you will become more aware of the dangers of skin cancer and to stress the importance of PREVENTION and EARLY DETECTION.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer – basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas – are highly curable. However, melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous, especially among young people. Approximately, 65% - 90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light or sunlight. For more information, please read the attached or go to the CDC website:

Because May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the American Academy of Dermatology is partnering with dermatologists across the United States to offer free skin cancer screenings. If you are interested in finding out where you can go for such screenings, please click: The uses of preventative measures (hats, sun screens, etc.) as well as early detection (regular skin checks) are essential to your survival.

Thank you for reading my story. Please share it with anyone who will listen. I hope it will save you and those you care about from going through the same experience.



Anna said...

What a flashback. It's funny that those pictures were taken so long ago, but looking at them makes me remember like it was yesterday. I remember you guys back then, never thought we'd be related...of course you probably never thought you'd marry a mullett.

I had no idea Jen was still battling cancer. *wishing her the best*

AnnMarie said...

thank god no old photos of me have re-surfaced. you xoxoxo