Thursday, September 6, 2007

hey, that's me on CNN!

Yes, I was interviewed by CNN. But first, let me tell you how it happened.

I was checking email several weekends ago when I got an email from a writer who was researching an article for She had come across my blog post about my experience with skin cancer and she had wanted to talk to me about it. She was primarily interested in my long wait to see a dermatologist as she was doing an article on physician wait times.

I had a very pleasant conversation with Marina (the journalist). Before our chat, she had sent me a copy of a research study that was about to be published. Apparently, the study found that persons seeking a dermatologist for a cosmetic procedure get to the see the doctor sooner than someone seeking a consult on a potentially cancerous mole. Seeing as that I had to wait 2 months to see a dermatologist all the way out in Centreville (it was a 3 month wait in DC), I was particularly interested in the study as it had reflected my own experiences.

Marina had told me that she might not use our conversation in her article and I was fine with that. So, I thought, At least I had an intelligent conversation with a person about something I feel passionately about.

And then, on Tuesday, Marina’s article appeared on Slate. It turns out that she did mention me and our conversation (and provided a link to the blog). Before I knew it, my blog was getting a ridiculous amount of traffic. And then on Tuesday night, I got IT. The email from CNN. Apparently, they wanted to talk to me about my skin cancer story for a piece they were doing on the research study.

Following a phone interview yesterday morning, I was asked to appear at the CNN DC Bureau for an on-camera interview. Of course I said yes (otherwise, I would be known as the girl who turned down CNN). Eeeek! I was freaking out all day. After all, I wasn’t dressed for the occasion, as I wasn’t expecting to be appearing on camera while I was deciding what to wear in the morning.

In the afternoon, I showed up at CNN, got checked by security TWICE and then was swept away to my interview. Following my interview, I was asked to do some really uncomfortable action shots of me walking around (uncomfortable because I felt ridiculous doing it). Also, they wanted a close up of my biopsy scar (it’s on the back of my leg, so it’s not anything indecent to show), which required me to sit on a bench, with my back turned to the camera and my leg twisted out to show the scar. This was not a comfortable position. But I did it, nonetheless, because I didn’t want to be the girl who said No to CNN.

My interview appeared on CNN around 8:45 during a segment on the show, Out in the Open (yup, never seen it either). They showed only 15 seconds of my interview but it was ok. I got to be on national television! But the best part was being a part of a bigger message—that dermatologists really should put their patients’ health ahead of financial interests (AND that people need to be more careful with their skin). When I was asked by the interviewer what message I wanted to get out there, that’s exactly what I responded. I was disappointed that my answer didn’t make it on the show.

Still, it was a great experience.

And to think it would never had happened had it not been for this little ol’ blog...


Beth Barnett Boebel said...

That is SO awesome! Due to Bills family history and my own personal history with melanoma I am always telling people to go to the derm. When I moved back to Blacksburg I called the dermatologist office, told them my medical history and that I was due for my follow-up screening the woman said sorry new patient appointments aren't available for 8 MONTHS. So I had to drive about an hour to Wytheville to get seen within 2 months.
Is there a link on CNN so I can watch it?

bettyjoan said...

I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma at age 19, after waiting nearly 8 months for an appointment (this was in Atlanta). In the nearly eight years that I've been a proud cancer survivor, I've had dozens of biopsies and surgeries. The only reason I'm still here is that, after my initial diagnosis, I absolutely DEMANDED timely appointments. Your doctor is getting paid to see you, and you can bring your business elsewhere if he/she is not willing to put your life before some suburban housewife's microdermabrasion. Period, end of story.

Continued good health to you!

sunchaser said...

Well, I'm not surprised at all that the media are recognizing you for the brilliant person that you are! :)

Malignant melanoma... sigh. It's awful, awful, awful...

Wear suncreen people! Everyday damnit!

sunchaser said...

Gosh it's just hitting me now(distracted in airport before)

Yes, it is so cool that CNN interviewed you! :)

If they want to interview anyone about the danger associated with smoking and leukemia, send them my away (based on what I've seen, the current stats are lies, lies, lies!)

lizzie said...

beth--i had no idea you have a history with skin cancer. maybe we can start a club.:) i'm sorry about your experience with seeing a derm. the wait time is pretty ridiculous and i'm hoping that this study will change things. i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

also, the video isn't on cnn, but i'm working on digitizing a copy and will then upload to youtube.

bettyjoan--congrats on surviving cancer! i had never been to a derm before my cancer experience and i thought it was enough to tell the derm that i was seeking a consult on a suspicious looking mole and that my primary care physician was concerned after checking it out herself. i just wanted to know if the mole was cancerous. i thought that was enough to get an appointment but it wasn't. i had to wait a long time like all of the other peeps with potentially cancerous moles. ugh. i share your disgust. 8 months is just not acceptable.

sunchaser--melanoma = bad! yes, please wear sunscreen!

thanks. it is kinda cool, isn't it? if cnn contacts me again, i'll be sure to tell 'em about ya so you can set everybody straight!

Anand said...

That's so freaking awesome...You sure have had your 15 seconds of fame..Enjoy every bit of it!

lizzie said...

anand--thanks. kinda glad the 15 seconds are over! :)

sunchaser said...

Check this out:

How wild too because I know Dr. P!

lizzie said...

sunchaser--that's so cool!