I just wanted to thank you, on behalf of myself and my 2 year old little girl, for finding the unbelievable courage to share Glenna’s story. While I know you are inundated with letters just like these, I still feel compelled to reach out and share my little story.
I’m an almost 30 year-old wife, mom and full time attorney. I have very little time for myself, and even less time to check out my skin on a regular basis. I have a family history of melanoma, and I have a lot of moles/birthmarks, so I know I should be more careful, but I just wasn’t. No excuse. Last month, my husband and I were on vacation in Arizona celebrating our 5 year anniversary. I had already finished the latest Dan Brown novel, so I had nothing else to read out by the pool. When you’re used to having a 2 year old to chase around, it’s too boring to sit out in the sun and just relax, so I stopped at the hotel gift shop to pick up the latest Cosmopolitan magazine. I haven’t bought Cosmo in probably 10 years, but for some reason it just felt like the right thing to do.
As I flipped through the magazine, it was truly the “perfect storm” of circumstances… had I stumbled across Glenna’s story while at home, I probably would have skipped over it, or glanced through it, chasing my daughter around while bundled up in a sweater. Had I just been laying out by the pool in Arizona without the Cosmo magazine, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to my body. Fortuitously, though, I happened to be reading Glenna’s story while laying out by the pool in a bikini – the magazine balanced on my knees, and my eyes glancing over my own skin as I read about what Glenna endured. When I finished the story, I started checking myself out, out of sheer paranoia, and I noticed a tiny little mole, no more than 2-3cm, nothing I would ever have noticed on its own. I compared the mole to the pictures at the end of Glenna’s story, and realized that it looked a bit darker and less “perfectly round” than it should have. Inspired by Glenna’s story, I made an appointment to have it checked out.
I just got the call yesterday that the mole was, in fact, abnormal, and well on its way to becoming cancerous. I just scheduled an appointment to have the entire area excised, the margins removed, etc. I am hoping that the follow-up biopsy will come back clear, and I will have learned from this small scare to get checked out every 6 months. The doctor made it clear, however, that if I hadn’t come in and gotten this mole removed when I did, it would have turned very dangerous very quickly. But for Glenna’s story, I never would have gotten the mole checked out.
One last thing. In trying to figure out how to contact your family, I stumbled across Glenna’s blog and was shocked to learn that October 2nd was Glenna’s birthday. As I mentioned, my husband and I were in Arizona celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. The date I read the article and found the mole happened to be on the date of our actual anniversary… Friday, October 2, 2009.
My mom died of cancer when I was 24. I wanted to have kids young (relatively, I suppose), because I never wanted my children to have to know what it was like not to have a mom, at least not until she was much older. It never crossed my mind that there could be a time when I wasn’t there for her. But there could have been. And now, hopefully, there won’t be. Because of Glenna’s story.
So, thank you.