Monday, January 22, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Jeff here . . .
I don't know why I am going through this. That's something I'll probably never know. But I do know that I want to make sure no one else has to go through anything like this if I can help it.

So, if you are fair skinned or of northern European heritage (e.g. Irish, English, German, Polish, etc), have had at least one major sunburn in your life, or have lots of moles (dysplastic nevii) on your body, YOU NEED TO CALL A DERMATOLOGIST. Dermatologists are nice people. Moreover, because dermatology residencies are among the most competitive for medical students, dermatologists are also really smart people. A dermatologist can look at your skin to identify any potentially cancerous lesions.

When you call the dermatologist, ask for a skin checkup. Wear comfortable clothing to the appointment because you are probably going to have to shed most of it. The dermatologist will look at all your skin, including several places that you may not be able to see for yourself, like your back, your scalp, the bottom of your feet, even between your toes. If the dermatologist sees something suspicious, he may want to remove it immediately. LET HIM DO IT! Better to carry around a couple of stitches than a festering cancer.

If you live in Wauwatosa, I strongly recommend Dr. James Barnett. He is an excellent doctor. If you would like a reference to a dermatologist elsewhere, I will do my best to get you one.


Mary M Clay said...


I don't know why you have to go through this either, and I don't think we can ever answer that question, but I do know that you have always been a leader and a role model for others. For our family, for example, you were our role model as a sibling, student, worker, budgetter, Catholic and now a father & spouse. You have a greater calling now as an example for stamina and strength in the time of illness. And the audience is larger than just us siblings. We all are learning from you and love you tremendously.
Thank you and I love you,
Mary M

Katie Clancy said...

Jeff, it was great to see you are typing again and through the worst of the treatment. It speaks so highly of you to be thinking of others and how to prevent cancer in others while you're going through the worst of it yourself. You are giving melanoma a face, and that has already inspired others to learn more and take steps to prevent it in themselves and loved ones. I hope it is some comfort to you to know you have touched so many through your experience.

Stay strong and have a restful and restorative recovery! Talk soon,
Love, Katie

Ann R said...

I have been telling every friend and person I know. I do have a friend that they just found a bad spot on the bottom of her foot and they just removed it right before Christmas. I will remind her of the frequent times she needs to return to have rechecks. Hang in there you are a great role model for so many people. I am listening to everything and appreciate you sharing your journey and knowledge.
God Bless,
Ann Reins (Tracy Mom)

Laura Gilbert said...

Laura (Laurie) Gilbert
Jeff and Kelly, it's Laura Gilbert from Ireland. I got the news today from Andrea & MC, and I'm sick over it. It's been 11 years, but I can hear your voice like it was yesterday. I can't believe how much your family has grown and how big Aubrey is -- I've got a picture of you and Kelly at senior week. You've got Aubrey, all 8 lbs of her, in one hand, and a beer in the other :). I'll have to scan it and email it over.

I wish I had something to say other than, "Jesus, this sucks." But please know that I am absolutely praying for you, thinking of you, and will be checking your blog daily. Love to you, Kelly and the kids -- Laura