Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I am a white girl.

I grew up in rainy Oregon.
I also have red hair and white skin.
Ugh...really, really white skin.
When I was growing up, the kids used to mercilessly tease me
about my super white skin.
Especially about how I "glowed in the dark"
my skin was so white.

This lead me to do a few foolish things. 
BUT, in the end, my skin does NOT tan.
And, I had to accept that *horrible* truth.
I know!
First world problems.

I was always EMBARRASSED about my white skin.
I had to wear long sleeves-even in the summer-to protect it.
It seemed I was always putting sun screen on myself.
Meanwhile, my friends wore tube tops and slathered their skin in baby oil
and got deep, beautiful tans.

Even as an adult, I've had a couple of bad sunburns.
My family loves water parks.
I have always personally hated them-because of my skin
Yet, I always "gave in" and went because I wanted to be with my family.
But, guess who always got burned?
I will warn you right now:
no sunscreen can keep you from getting burned at a water park.
After my last experience, I looked at my husband
and very, very firmly said,

I had to decide that it was
my skin
my health
and nothing was worth risking that.

Now I live in the South.
I realized yesterday,
that my entire scalp is burned.
I use a hair sunscreen for red heads...
but apparently, this is not enough.
I think I'm going to have to start wearing hats...

the story I am about to share
is super important to me
and close to my heart.

Ashley is the beautiful lady on the right.
Ashley passed away a few days ago,
on March 15, 2013  at 5:00 am.
from Melanoma...
skin cancer.

Ashley's friend, Tracie, is on the left.
Tracie has a really great blog, 
Fishtail Cottage.

Tracie and Ashley were friends for over 30 years...
Tracie is trying help Ashly inform others
about the dangers of
tanning and tanning salons.
Please read on...

My dear friend Ashley is fighting her war on Melanoma by sharing her story with others.  Her hope is to save just on person so that they do not go through what she has had to endure!  Please share this story with others by putting it on your side bar – awareness is key! Thank you for taking the time to read this (dated 2/16/2011)!

This report by KGW, a news station in Portland, Oregon is interesting...
BTW, that's my Mom's cancer Doctor.
Small world.
by Ashley Trenner on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 4:58pm 
I was warned about tanning and tanning beds. I had some knowledge of skin cancer but thought I was invincible and that I would never get cancer. I am 38 and began tanning in high school until I was diagnosed with Melanoma at age 33. In 2003, a tiny lesion appeared on my right buttock. A dermatologist removed the lesion and the result of the pathology was negative. Within a year the lesion reappeared and I neglected to go to the dermatologist. I didn't have insurance and didn't want to pay the money to have it removed again. I allowed the lesion to get a little larger than a quarter and it became very painful. I finally went to a dermatologist in 2006 to have it removed again. Two days after the removal the doctor said it was malignant melanoma. I was scared and a complete wreck to say the very least. Immediately I was referred to an oncologist and surgeon at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for a larger biopsy of my buttock and a lymph node dissection in the right groin. This was a crucial surgery because if the cancer had spread internally the survival rate is less than 50% in 5 years and difficult to treat. If the melanoma is caught in the beginning stages and hasn’t metastasized the survival rate is over 95% and highly treatable. The sentinel node which is the lymph node closest to the original lesion on my buttock tested positive. This time I was more scared and I had no idea what I was about to endure. One month later I had another surgery to remove more tissue and lymph nodes in the groin in order to remove as much of the cancer as possible, removing more tissue and lymph nodes in the groin. The treatment at the time was Interferon which I started 2 months following the last surgery. It was brutal and I was miserable for 2 months. My regular 6 month checkups for 3 years were negative for melanoma. However, 2 months after my last checkup in 2009, I felt a lump inside my right hip which tested positive for melanoma. I was completely devastated because I had hoped the cancer was gone for good. In 2010, I was in clinical trial studies of the drugs MDX & Yervoy (recently approved by FDA). Neither one was effective in treating my melanoma. Currently, I am in another clinical trial study of OncoVex which I started 3 months ago. My scans in January, 2011 showed cancer in my lymph nodes in both sides of my groin and upper back, my liver and my lungs. I am trying everything so I am also utilizing eastern medicine. 

If you aren’t familiar with Ashley's story, please visit both of these links to read about her.
Sadly, I must share with you ~ My dear and  precious friend, Ashley,  went to be with The Lord on March 15, 2013 at exactly 5:00am.  She fought a courageous seven year battle with metastatic melanoma.  She is finally at peace, no more nasty tumors, no more pain. It was a surreal experience to witness her last breaths along side her loving parents, Bob and Karen Trenner ~ I am truly blessed to have known Ashley Trenner for the past 30 years of my life.  I am sharing her story so that no one else ever has to endure such pain – I truly believe her story will save lives.
If you would be so inclined to post something on your Blog / Facebook and share with your readers – It would mean so to me personally that you share her legacy.
xoxo, tracie


Fishtail Cottage said...

thank you so much for sharing Ashley's story! hugs to you! xoox, tracie

KatieBelle said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It is comforting to know she's in heaven and out of pain. :: Big Hug ::

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