It’s been just a little over a month since my last post. This is the longest I have been away since starting this blog in October. I haven’t been away because I’ve lost my passion. I haven’t been away because I stopped spending my days thinking about millions of things I want to share with all of you. The reason I’ve been away is basically, life got out of control for me.
There have been so many things happening in the last month. My job, for instance, started it’s “busiest time” which is usually in the summer, 4 months earlier. Every time I turned around something was breaking, someone was needing help, something was needed to be done at the very last minute and everything else had to be dropped. Then my mom got very ill. Within a matter of weeks, my mom was experiencing awful pain in her stomach and legs, lost 15 lbs, and aged about 10 years. It took her to get really bad before she went to the ER- twice. Each time, they told her to see a back doctor and sent her home. It wasn’t until she passed out twice and we convinced her to go see her primary doctor, that it was discovered her diabetes was the reason for all of it. They hospitalized her immediately. My mom doesn’t keep up with her doctors. She doesn’t always keep up with eating well, and she can’t always afford her meds. She is home now, but still feeling very weak. The doctors said it’s possible some of this may not be reversible. She stands and her blood pressure drops. I have hope she is going to get better, but I tell ya , growing up can definitely suck sometimes. You MUST stay on top of your health. As my fellow melanoma warriors and I are always trying to say:
Then I had my 3 month scans. That’s right- scanxiety time again! I usually am not too nervous about it, until the day of my results appointment. That’s how it was this time around. I was also nervous because I was meeting the doctor who was replacing my wonderful head and neck surgeon. He went on to bigger opportunities, and I felt like I lost the one person who was able (and did) look out for me the most. The new surgeon is nice, but I am still waiting to see how much she looks out for me.
After an hour and a half of waiting, I was relieved to hear my scans were “good.” It’s amazing how familiar this is with the doctors. I was told they looked good almost as a second thought. That was all I was waiting to hear. I think they should come in with a huge sign that says YES- You are grossly unremarkable! That is what some of the results will read when they see nothing to worry about. And to think all my life I wanted to be anything BUT unremarkable, and now that’s all I desire.
This time my results read:
Yes, it was good news. News I am extremely grateful for, but when my oncologist told me I would be getting my scan again in 3 months(which I already knew) because of the location of where my melanoma was (my neck) requires them to be very compulsive about the checking, especially for the first 2 years. I then went to my meet the doctor taking over for my surgeon, and after feeling around my neck a bit, she said, “I still need a copy of the original pathology report. Also, you should be getting a chest x-ray once a year. You were right on the edge between a T2 and a T3, so we need to be on top of you.” The T’s refer to the thickness of the tumor which helps to categorize the staging of the melanoma. So great news, but still , a huge reminder of how serious and scary this all is. How after a surgery, skin cancer is not just removed and then you are “cured” left to walk away and never to have to think about or worry about cancer again.
It's SO not worth it!
But don’t be mistaken- I am still counting my blessings and appreciating my clear scans, and of course, hoping and praying this is how it will always be. But at the same time, I have my days when I can't help but fear the worst and want to kick myself for not knowing better.
I am still very much on a mission to prevent others from dealing with this fear, and that is why I am still here and will continue to be here, no matter how crazy my life gets. The message is just too important.
I'll be back, much sooner this time.
As always, thanks for reading. Remember to always practice safe sun!