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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blooming like crazy around my house and May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

I thought I'd post some of the shots I've taken over the past week or so of my azalea bushes and dogwood trees. Some of my azaleas are tall enough to be trees. I like them naturalized so the big ones are huge and even the smaller varieties spread out pretty far.
I always feel vindicated when my azaleas, in particular, start to bloom because during certain times of the year they look over grown and messy. However, once they are blooming they put on such a display that it's worth it.My dogwood tree is also huge and it's nice in the summer because I can park underneath it for shade.
After they bloom, I do cut back the azaleas that grow along the driveway side of my house because they start to obstruct the window and I also run out of parking space.
I like the way different azaleas stagger their blooms somewhat so between the various varieties I have several months of blooms. The green wall of plant material behind my car is a mix of white and pink azaleas that are just starting to bloom around the bottom but are only buds near the top. Below is one of the bottom blooms that are starting on that azalea wall.
Some of you may have noticed my spring header. May is skin cancer awareness month and the first Monday in May is Melanoma Monday to promote awareness about that cancer. I have stage III melanoma (no recurrences in four years) and I think it is important that everyone get skins checks so that it can be caught early. Although melanoma doesn't always originate on the skin, that's the most common place and the prognosis is so much better when caught early.
My melanoma was not caught early although it did originate on the skin (spreading to a lymph node). I had nodular melanoma which can be symmetrical and grow deep as opposed to the type which spreads out on the skin before beginning the vertical growth phase. The bad thing about nodular melanoma is that it starts to grow vertically fast. I have been very lucky so far that my melanoma in spite of being very deep only spread to one lymph node.
I wanted to go ahead and mention Melanoma Monday because a number of organizations have free skin cancer screening on that day. You can check out the American Academy of Dermatology's Melanoma Monday site and there are also observances in many other countries.

12 comments:

Mar said...

Your bushes have amazing sizes, Carver!! wonderful shots of your garden.
Thanks for your kind words, that's what makes blogging so special :)

juliana said...

impressive! you are surrounded by so much beauty...

Dr.John said...

Now I really envy you.
Our flowers are just starting and you have those wonderful blooms. Great pictures.

Dee said...

Wow, Carver! Lovely lovely azaleas! Happy spring!

jmb said...

Wonderful garden Carver and it is doing you proud this Spring.

Slip, slop, slap.

Vic Grace said...

So beautiful I am envious

ramblingwoods.com said...

Your bushes are so beautiful and I think that the randomness adds to their beauty. On Melanoma Awareness Month, I thought that it always started on the skin. I do have yearly check-ups as other kinds of skin cancer run in my family, but now I will make sure to have those check-ups and I am so happy that you have been cancer free for the past 4 years and hopefully forever....Michelle

Glennis said...

Beautiful Azaleas , your garden is so pretty.
Thanks for the timely warnings on melanoma, I really must have a skin check soon, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the World. After 4 good years, you should be ok now hopefully.

Smalltown RN said...

Thank you for the public services announcment it's a good reminder with the weather improving and folks getting outside more to tend their gardens...remeber to wear hats and put on the sunscreen!

I just love your photos of the Azelea's so vibrant....very nice indeed.

Daryl said...

Never can be reminded too many times to be careful in the sun and get any suspicious spots checked ASAP!

Lovely flowers!

JoyD said...

Here in the Southern hemisphere as the Autumn season is getting cold ,,,, we have a different colour ,, the Colours of Autumn...... dark and gloomy.... oh well... I still love it!!!!! mine is here http://whenmomtalks.com/2009/04/weekend-for-kids.html

Ayie said...

pretty flowers