Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Molemates

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 in the New Living Translation reads : "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken".

While there is much to be said for "standing out in a crowd" and "being yourself," sometimes it can be better to "follow the crowd," particularly if the crowd understands you and is your support system. Solomon eloquently reminds us that often it really isn't good to be alone and that we need each other. Those words are never truer than when cancer enters your world. Melanoma is a particularly vicious cancer, though none are "nice" by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not crazy about the term "molemates" but that's what we are. Kindred souls bound by moles. Thick and thin bound by skin. For better or worse, blessing and curse.

This being Thanksgiving Week, I'm joining fellow bloggers in saying "thank you for being here."

Thanks to the Internet there's a vast, worldwide melanoma community that connects every day. I'm part of several support groups, I also have several fellow-travelers I message and email privately, I have many who come together on Melanoma Prayer Center. We all have special connections. If for some reason, you're reading this and you aren't connected, we're here waiting for you. Please don't try and do this alone.

There are many who blog and have other melanoma awareness websites. They share their stories and information. There are actually millions of us melanoma warriors worldwide so while it would be impossible for us all to connect with each other, we do make those special connections. There are people I have to thank. Some have gone on and I will hunt each one down and give them big hugs when I finally meet them one glorious day.

Some are very much here and there are far too many to mention by name because like all those who receive Oscars, once you start naming names, someone will be inadvertently left out.

There is one, though, that I do have to let stand out because he's a special answer to a prayer I never thought would be answered. I have a younger brother and it's just the two of us. Growing up we bickered a lot and quite frankly, I often wondered why I couldn't have had a big brother instead of a baby brother. I always secretly thought my life would have been smoother that way. I was cut out to be the little sister, not the big sister. God, obviously, thought differently and since He's always right, my relationship with my baby brother has gotten good over time.

But God, in His infinite provision and with a sense of humor, has given me something of that big brother I've always wanted. He waited 52 years, gave me a Catholic big brother (I'm Protestant), a big brother who isn't southern, and one I've only met in cyberspace. He's a fellow molemate and I'll meet him next year, God willing. See, I'm already brushing up on my Catholicism. He's very much a kindred soul and being that perfect big brother, when I pick on him, which I do often, he takes it nicely...which he kinda has to since he can't reach out and slap me and also because he picks back.

Like my idealized big brother, he makes me laugh and is there when I need a brotherly "tut-tut." He began his melaroad travels way before me, has seen much, and generously shares from his limited fount of knowledge. I had to pick a little!

So, thanks to all who have a room with me in Hotel Melanoma. While we do need to talk to management about better accommodations, we're in good company and

I'm grateful you share your journey with the likes of me.