In this episode of A Great Recipe for Life I talk to Emma Betts, melanoma patient and author of Dear Melanoma.
Emma is one of the most remarkable people I’ve met. When she was 22 years old, and living overseas, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma and given three months to live. Today, two years later, and thanks to a clinical trial, she is living every day as much as she can.
Emma’s story is particularly meaningful to me, as just over two years ago I was diagnosed with a Stage 2 Melanoma. What was particularly frightening was being told if I had waited to have my skin checked, then it most likely would have become Stage 4 within weeks, which would have given me a life expectation of months.
What shocked me the most about Emma’s story, is that melanoma is the #1 killer of people in their 20s. Emma is incredibly open with her story, and I’m so grateful to her. While we laughed a lot while recording this, I definitely shed more than a few tears while editing it.
I hope you enjoy Emma’s story, and if you only take one thing away, please get your skin checked. In fact, if you haven’t had your skin checked in over a year, pick up the phone and call your GP RIGHT NOW. Before you read any further. It’s a phone call that could save your life (it saved mine).Everyone assumes you can just cut out a melanoma and you'll be fine. That isn't the case. - Emma… Click To Tweet
I was horrified to learn that sunscreen 30+ means it works 30 times more than your body naturally looks after itself. And as a redhead with white skin, my body doesn’t have a lot of self-protection. This means 30 times of not much isn’t much, which explains why I have been sunburnt often when wearing sunscreen. WOW. That was eye-opening. In a really bad way.It's kind of a cool cancer to have as everyone is talking about melanoma - Emma Betts #podcast Click To Tweet
You can connect with Emma on Facebook.
If you would like to support melanoma research, please make a donation to Melanoma Institute Australia and include the reference “Dear Melanoma”.
What we discussed:
- the importance of having a pap smear, prostate checks, mammograms and sex ed at school – “if you’re not mature enough to have a pap smear, you’re not mature enough to have sex”
- being diagnosed with melanoma
- what causes melanoma – and what doesn’t
- believing in science and not fads
- being sun aware all year round
- weird and ignorant stuff people have said to Emma
- living in the moment
- what a clinical trial is and how to get into one
- melanoma drugs
- raising money for the Melanoma Institute
- communicating why we need to be sun safe
- the Cancer Council’s Sun Smart app
- Emma’s blog, Dear Melanoma and that we all have the fabulous Bec Sparrow to thank for Emma starting it
- launching a new business Love Emma (!!!)
- what not to say to people with cancer
- pavlova vs meringue roulade
- bucket lists
- Through the Looking Glass
- Love Your Sister
- having her niece named after her, and trying to encourage her husband to have her name tattooed on his bum
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