I am a drama T.V. junkie. My husband thinks that I am a glutton for punishment. You see, I watch these dramas, and then I become filled with a fear that I will:
A. Be one of forty-eight survivors of a near-fatal plane crash and must learn to fend for myself and fight unusual occurrences on a deserted island.
B. Be forced to become an investigator for marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena.
C. Be cursed with the ability to listen in on people’s thoughts, only to become open-minded about the integration of vampires among the human race.
I especially love medical dramas, and Grey’s Anatomy is my all-time favorite. That being said, it comes as no surprise that when I was diagnosed with melanoma, I immediately panicked. After all, Izzie Stevens, a ridiculously beautiful doctor on my beloved series was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma and flat-lined on the surgical table!
I ended up fighting my melanoma, and I won. I certainly do not want to pass off my diagnosis and my fight as “no big deal,” but I must admit that it is my sense of humor that seems to empower me in life making trials like this seem a bit easier to cope with. I will share with you an example of the “lighter side” of melanoma.
A girlfriend of mine had bought me a gift certificate to a local tanning salon for three spray tan sessions! What a FABULOUS idea, right? She knows that I feel better about myself when I am tan, and she also knows that having had skin cancer several times and having battled melanoma, I am under strict orders to stay away from tanning beds.
I called the tanning salon to set up my first spray tan session. I was given instructions to shower beforehand, shave away all the unwanted hair, and exfoliate my body. I was to not apply any lotions or sprays. I was to wear old clothing and bring something to pull my hair back away from my face.
I had never been to this particular tanning salon, so all of this was very new to me. I was already feeling a bit uncomfortable about having to stand in the nude while the tanning technician “spray painted” my body, so I felt really uneasy when I walked into the booth and the technician asked me to undress saying, “If you would like to wear panties, you may do so.” Duh, of course I would like to wear panties. I just did not realize she meant my own.
Allow me to explain…
The tanning technician wears a surgical mask while she sprays on the tanning solution; said mask was lying on a chair inside the booth. (Do you see where this is going?)
I began to undress, taking off ALL my clothing and neatly folding it over the chair. I picked up the mask… (Okay, I guess I am going to have to spell this out for you. I thought the mask was the “panties” that the technician was referring to when she said, “If you would like to wear panties you may do so”). So, I put the mask on. “Down there.” And then the tanning technician walked in. It was right about that time that I suddenly realized that the mask was not for me (you should have seen the look on the technician’s face)!
To make a long story short, I excused myself with the pretext of a sudden illness and quickly redressed. I was too humiliated to stay. No spray tan for me. And no offense to my dear friend who gave me the gift certificate, but I totally re-gifted it to another friend. I would not be going to that tanning salon. Ever. Again.
As a side note, it took me a good ten minutes to figure out how in the world to put on that mask. Think about it…the “leg holes” were on the sides. It felt incredibly uncomfortable, and I kept whispering to myself,“Stupid, skinny girls!”
I constantly try to focus on the wise adage that “beauty is only skin deep,” but what I know for sure is that being “tan and terrific” is only temporary – humiliation can last a long, long time.