Most melanoma is curable if caught early
To the editor:
For several years, I had a small spot on my cheek that resembled a freckle, smaller than the surface of a pencil eraser. My wife and daughter wanted me to make an appointment to see a doctor about the mark on my face, but I used my work schedule and the fact that it had been there for years to avoid making an appointment. I started to pay attention to the way the spot looked when I shaved, and I noticed that it had changed shape, size and color. I began to look at photos online of skin cancers and realized it was very possible that the mark on my face could be melanoma.
On Jan. 15, I read a newspaper account of a Maryland state trooper who was diagnosed with melanoma, had several surgeries and was undergoing cancer treatment. After reading about the state trooper’s battle with cancer, I made a doctor’s appointment. The spot was biopsied on Jan. 24. The next day, the doctor called to tell me that it was, in fact, melanoma. I had surgery on Jan. 31 to remove the remaining tissue that had surrounded the cancer. Fortunately, the melanoma had not yet spread and I did not have to undergo additional treatment. I now follow up with lab tests and a doctor’s appointment every six months.
Workers whose daily routines leave them exposed to the sun need to be aware that they have an increased risk of developing melanoma. It is important to see your dermatologist to check for melanoma and learn about ways to protect yourself. Time is of the essence. Ninety-eight percent of melanoma is curable if caught early.
I am incredibly thankful to my wife, daughter, the state trooper who shared his story, and to the doctor and his staff that I am part of this 98 percent. It is my hope that sharing my story will encourage someone else to take the time to take a second look at a spot on their face, listen to their family and make an appointment with their dermatologist to be checked.
Brian G. Malloy
We have become too reliant on technology
To the editor:
It can be easily concluded that the pioneers heading West in Conestoga wagons were more self-reliant than those in society today. We are very dependent on technology. As long as technology operates in a way we expect, we are fine. However, if it does not, many times we can be frozen as to what to do.
I will admit technology has made great strides in medicine, communication and transportation. But all of this for the trade-off of being less self-reliant.
Today’s automobiles are a testament to engineering and science. However, when they fail to operate, most times a trained mechanic is required to repair it. In the past, many times the owner could repair the vehicle.
Do I have any words of wisdom? The only thing I would say is be aware that technology can fail and do not obsess. With time, almost all technology can be repaired. Additionally, don’t believe the world will end if you don’t have the use of your cell phone or car for a time.
VWC thanks businesses that donated to luncheon
To the editor:
Research indicates that the best way to keep a volunteer is to thank a volunteer. Accordingly, Volunteer Washington County was pleased to host our community’s inaugural Volunteer of the Year Luncheon on April 22, during which it recognized individuals from 25 nonprofit organizations as well as Christian Doub and Jerry Overdorff, who received the Teen Volunteer of the Year Award and the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award.
The celebration would not have been possible without the support of the nonprofit organizations who nominated their Volunteer of the Year; Lou Scally’ who did a terrific job of emceeing the event; and all of the business that helped to defray the cost of the luncheon. VWC would especially like to thank Chick-Fil-A for donating and serving a delicious lunch, the American Red Cross for providing the space for the event and Lovell’s Nursery and Ben’s Flower Shop for donating the centerpieces and corsages. VWC also would like to thank the County Commissioners for attending the event and for recognizing those individuals who transform our community through their volunteer service.
Volunteer Washington County believes that our community will fulfill its potential, not when a few people give a lot but, when everybody gives just a little. Due to the generosity of all those who made this inaugural event a huge success, we are already looking forward to next year’s luncheon.
Bernadette Wagner, co-director
Volunteer Washington County