Monday, August 5, 2013

Now batting...#5!!!

The 5th Annual MelaNoMo'! will be held (appropriately) on the 5th of October. Today is August 5th. So see you in 2 months. High FIVE!

I would say that quite a lot has happened in the past 5 years. I remember going into my first surgery around 5 am in the morning and one of the top songs on the radio at the time was called "bleeding love". As we were pulling in to the surgery center the words, "I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding" were echoing through my head. Thanks Leona Lewis for the uplifting message.

We are so grateful for all of the incredible support that we have received these past five years. We just wouldn't have been able to get through it with out you.  And again, the main reasons to host MelaNoMo'! is for everyone to get together and celebrate life, live in the moment and say thank you.

We feel like we are spreading the word about melanoma and the severity of the disease. Doesn't matter male, female, white, black, young, or old. It can really effect anyone at anytime. Two things have to happen to create MelaNoMo!,aka, "no more melanoma" 1. Awareness. 2. Generate funds to create more treatment options for current patients. This is our goal for MelaNoMo'!

Like I said earlier FIVE YEARS. We are truly blessed. We have met so many wonderful people through "electric cancer avenue". In tribute to the fifth year we are honoring five different people/charities that we have been touched by during our journey. All of the proceeds from this year's event will go towards(or in honor of):

1.)Phil McGil- A great college friend and prime example of how to live life. Currently playing poker in heaven. (A portion will go towards Philfest's "phil"anthropy, September 14th in Athens, Ga).
2.) Heather Hampton- fellow melanoma warrior/Georgia Bulldog/friend. A living example on how God wants us to live. (A portion will go towards Emory Winship Cancer Institite)
3.) Julie Neff- My nurse at Winship.  While helping so many others fight cancer, she was fighting for her own life. (A portion will go towards Emory Winship Cancer Institute)
4.) Cameron- 14 year old fellow melanoma warrior trying to live as a normal teenager, while battling stage 3 melanoma. He's supposedly has mad bball skills. (A portion will go to Egleston Children's cancer research)
5.) First Descents- a wonderful program: kayaking+cancer=living.


Freddie Freeman is a huge Melanoma Research sponsor, as his mom passed away from this horrible disease.  He is the man.

For more details on this year's event and how to donate please visit

This is not the year to miss!!

Friday, May 24, 2013


MelaNoMo'! will be hosting the 5th annual fundraiser this fall. 5 years!! Over $60,000!! Thank You!! Or should I say Gracias?
There is only one way to bring in the pinnacle 5th year of MelaNoMo'! That is  mexican fiesta style. Mis amigos and familares please save the date for:

October 5, 2013
The event will be held at our beautiful cabin on the 'Hooch in North Ga and will be from 1 pm-Siesta. The amount of support and funds raised is overwhelming, but the outcome can be surreal if we can continue to raise awareness for melanoma, create more options for late-stage patients, and find a cure. Despite the growing incidence of disease there's still a huge lack of funding to find a cure.  We have made progress up the hill, but there's still a mountain to climb. So come join us for some cold coronas on the river and put an end to this disease. No more Melanoma, man(in spanish accent)...MelaNoMAS.
My fellow melanoma warrior and friend Heather Hampton and her husband Steve know first hand the trials and tribulations of this disease. She is such an inspiration to me and so many others living her life the way God intended and using her battle to help spread the word. When asks what can we do, the simple answer is "pray". So please follow her blog and pray for her and her family as they beat this disease.


Thursday, March 7, 2013


The word philosophy come from the ancient Greek, which literally means love of wisdom. A philosopher is understood as a wise man.  "Phil"osophy is this above plus so much more.

"Phil"osophy: a lifestyle we should all try to strive for everyday; a badass fighter full of wisdom and light; a hell of a poker player dealt a shitty hand of cards. As the majority of hands don't go to showdown then it is logical that you need to play what you represent, not what you have...This is my buddy Phil.

If you are from Athens, went to UGA in the past decade, or even have a friend of a friend that went to UGA you probably know Phil. And if you know Phil, you most likely love Phil. There's not a bad thing you can say about this guy; I mean he is the man. He is the definition of living life to the fullest- a "Phil"osopher. He has been battling cancer since I have pretty much known him, close to 10 years, but by any means never let that slow him down. Cancer was never the topic of conversation with Phil because you would rather hear about his latest Odyssey or poker winnings.  The man has got some stories.

Phil has never missed a MelaNoMo'! in the 4 years that we've had them. He is always one of the first to arrive and last to leave. At the first event sitting around the fire after a few beers Phil and I briefly discussed our battle together stating that cancer sucks, but took comfort in the fact that two friends in their mid 20's were fighting it together, and are going to beat it together. And Phil, congrats my friend you absolutely did not let cancer win. You are inspiration to me and so  many others.

MelaNoMo'! this year will honor the "Phil"osophy we should all strive to be everyday.

Monday, February 25, 2013

"Concert for a Cure"

DIET CANCER: I intend to make light of cancer. I intend to find humor in it. I intend to make people laugh at me/with me.
These were my intentions when I started this blog on March 23, 2011. I was in an oncology waiting room in Tampa, FL and the only thing I had in common with the other patients were tumors. I thought to myself, "What a joke!" So I started Diet Cancer.

Different angle needs to be taken this afternoon to honor a fellow melanoma WARRIOR that lost her battle just a few weeks ago. She was 25. Her family has reached out to me and I feel so much gratitude towards them, but also to all my supporters. We are doing what we set out to do and getting the word out that melanoma is no joke.

Her family is set out to make a difference and hosting "Nikkis birthday concert for a cure" in May downtown Snellville that will benefit Emory Winship Melanoma research. They said that Nikki was planning on becoming an advocate when she got better and will be smiling down on this event in May proud to see her family and friends gather together to celebrate her life.

I will post more info on the event as it comes. Below is a link from the Gwinnet Daily about Nikki Rouis:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Toast to another GREAT year

Given that the Mayan calender prediction of the worlds demise doesn't come to be a reality in a couple of weeks. I would have to say in my 27 years, 2012 will go down as one of my favorites. Yea 2003 was great and who can forget 96, classic. But through my personal experience my favorite would have to be 2012. In no way am I complacent, but just truly grateful. Happy holidays to everyone! Here's to HEALTH, WEALTH, and, HAPPINESS.

Monday, October 1, 2012


October is here and there is much to celebrate!:

Dawgs are 5-0
Braves locked up wildcard
Falcons are 4-0
Columbus Day
Raking Leaves
Leif Erikson Day (the real discoverer of the new world)
Pumpkin flavored stuff
Adam Strong Bday
The CornTastle

Oh and these things as well:

-Annie Kate Gaines will turn 1 month old on 10-4-12.
-MelaNoMo'! is 10-20-12
-Just over a year of No Evidence of Disease.

MelaNoMo'! is right around the corner and I hope that everyone can make it up. I have been knee deep in diapers and no sleep so I am looking forward to celebrating this great month of October with all of our close friends and family.  We are teaming up with Winship Cancer Center this year to help contribute to Dr. Lawson and his medical staff to fund more clinical trials for melanoma that would be available on a local level. We contribute being "NED" to the great staff at Emory University and are happy to contribute to this great melanoma research group. 
Also MelaNoMo'! is a tribute to all of those people that supported us through thoughts and prayers and got us to where we are today(a healthy but exhausted family). We can't thank you enough, but we can start by getting you an afternoon buzz, eating BBQ, watching college football, and listening to some bluegrass music outdoors around a fire by the Chattahoochee River on an October afternoon.
Look forward to seeing you there, 10-20-12. more info @

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Save the Date 10-20-12

My scans were clear in June and MelaNoMo'! date is scheduled for Oct 20th!!!! Hope all have a great 4th of July/hump day.

Sun safety tips courtesy of Disclaimer: for any of the baby boomers generation this is a joke. Enjoy:

Sun Safety Tips

When summer rolls around, everybody wants that perfect tan--but it's important to play it smart. Here are some tips for safe, sensible tanning:

  • Block out harmful UV rays with giant magnifying glass
  • Always sit at least 100 yards from sun
  • When applying sunscreen, get children on the beach to help with those hard-to-reach spots
  • UV rays can damage the corneas; don't forget to rub a good sunscreen into your eyes
  • Risk of sunburn is especially high while swimming; strap on a thick lead suit before entering water
  • Instead of using our sun, sunbathe using safer, more distant star like Beta-Sirius
  • When tanning, always alternate who's on top
  • Avoid harmful UV rays; live underground until your descendants evolve into eyeless, albino mole people
  • Before going outside, check sun's strength by placing test baby in driveway for 1/2 hour
  • Stabbings, while tanning or not, are very dangerous—avoid them
  • For those raised in a red-sun environment, yellow sun may cause superpowers; use only for good
  • Tanning is safest when done in short spurts; disrobe for just a couple of seconds every few blocks while walking through town
  • Allow thick, protective melanoma to grow all over skin
  • Avoid suntanning on inner planets like Mercury and Venus
  • Coat body in "seagull-nip"; wait for protective coat of seagulls to cover body