A Melanoma Patient’s Survival Guide:  Lemons Really Do Make Lemonade

This poignant book tells the story of one woman’s battle against melanoma. Through more than a half-dozen surgeries to fight the spread and recurrence of the disease, the author somehow manages to maintain her sense of humor and her optimistic outlook. She makes a convincing case for the idea that mental attitude is an important adjunct to medical treatment.


Through seventeen chapters, the author describes what it is like to find oneself suddenly a member of “Club Melanoma,” as she puts it, and then describes the critical questions any new patient needs to ask their doctor before agreeing to a course of treatment. She explains some of the important test and procedures in terms a layperson can understand. She gives a candid description of the emotional ups and downs she experienced as she battled back one incidence, only to have another danger arise.


Her comments on the role of the family are very relevant, as she makes the point that when cancer strikes, the entire family is affected. As part of mental conditioning, she describes steps taken to avoid becoming a “one issue person” (boring!) at cocktail parties and other social events, and also describes methods to combat insomnia brought on by constant worrying over one’s health. The title reveals the author’s spirit. When presented with the big medical “lemon” of melanoma, she found ways to “make lemonade” by using her experiences to save the lives of others.


About the Author

Sally Welsh was born in Salem, Oregon, and then attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in education. Moving to Newport Beach, California after college, she taught elementary school, and met and married Terry Welsh. With the birth of their two sons, Chris and Doug, she became involved in the local sailing world, spending lots of time in the sun. Her travels took her to Europe many times, Hawaii yearly, and sailboat cruising in the Pacific Northwest, Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand. After teaching for many years, she became co-owner of a canvas luggage company supplying the local sailors, skiers, and travelers with custom made luggage. She continues to play an ongoing role as a volunteer in her church and her community, and now in the field of melanoma.


Still active in the sailing world, Sally lives with her husband, Terry, enjoying her children and grandchildren nearby.  Much of her time is spent on the water. Her older son, Chris, is a distinguished sailor on his boat, Ragtime, and her younger son, Doug, not only crews on Ragtime, but, along with his wife, Mary, has raised three fine young sailors, Charlie, Britty and Becca. 


As a consequence of all that sun and sailing, she has endured several episodes of melanoma that has given her insight into the disease. Her ongoing battle has fostered in her an interest in helping others who are facing (or know someone who is facing) the ordeal of melanoma. Her writings reflect her desire to assist people afflicted by it, giving them a resource for better understanding and for dealing with it.


She does not call herself an expert on the subject, nor a medical resource. She is, rather, just another “Traveler on the Road.”  She hopes her insight into the disease might help you and yours. At Dockside Sailing Press we found the book to be inspiring and came away with an appreciation for the author’s courage and sense of humor. There are parts of the book that would undoubtedly be of interest for someone facing any serious illness.


A Melanoma Patient’s Survival Guide:  Lemons Really Do Make Lemonade

By Sally Welsh

ISBN-10: 0615573770

Dockside Sailing Press

Newport Beach, CA.

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