Tuesday, January 24, 2012


As the time for my next chest CT is approaching, one week from today, I find that I am getting more and more nervous every day. I know it's completely understandable but how to deal with it is what's working on me a little, okay, a lot! Right now I am just trying to remind myself to breath. Worrying about whether there is change in the nodules in my lungs that were found long before I heard the word melanaoma. Worrying about if those nodules are related to my melanoma diagnosis.

I know all the things to follow: worrying won't get me anywhere. Pray. Have faith and hope. Stay positive. I say these things all the time. Up until now it has truly worked. I think not knowing about melanoma when I started having the scans helped with dealing with those appointments. No big deal, nodules, could be a number of things but no change from the first one so no worries. But now as the time approaches I can't help but wonder.....Stay positive. Pray. Have faith and hope.

I know what I will do. I will go for the scan. I will go see my lung doctor afterwards. I will inform her of the melanoma. I will wait for her to review the scans and for her to tell me if there is any change.
It is okay to be nervous. It is okay to worry. Regardless of the outcome I will stay positive. Pray. Have faith and hope.

I believe the key is to not let the nerves or worry take control. Don't let it overpower you. Remind yourself of what you tell everyone, no matter what it will be okay.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


That's how I was feeling today. Actually how I have been feeling for several days. Lost in my own little world. Lost in my mind. Trying to figure out how to get back to me.

Ok, I started writing that yesterday and was no clearer than a muddy glass. Today I put a voice to why I feel lost. Melanoma? No. I know that no matter what happens there God is with me. So what then.....
My baby is grown. He moved away. I have been a mom for more than half my life. When my daughter moved away I was devastated. Cried like a baby. I still had my son at home. I still had 10 more years of raising him. I have known this day was coming. Pretty much my top thought all last year. What am I suppose to do? My kids have been my life. My world. I know I am not the best mom in the world. Far from it but I do know that I love my kids with all that I am. I would give my life for them.
I have been going through the motions since he moved. Wake up, go to work, go home. Same every day. Existing. Unsure of what I am suppose to do now. Trying not to think at all about anything. My husband is always so supportive. Always letting me know he is here for me. I finally told him today why I am depressed. That he doesn't' understand and that I don't think anyone understands. I know he loves me no matter what. Told my daughter that I am depressed. She is always a blessing. Sends me just what I need to hear. Thanks to their support and my sister's support I was able to clear away enough mud to think. Why is it that this has you so down? Because I never really had a life without my children and I don't know what I am suppose to do now. 
I hear this voice, barely a whisper through my tears, "how is it you don't fear melanoma because you know you have God to make that journey with you but you don't see that God is making this one with you too. You are more than a mom. You are a wife. You are a daughter. You are a sister. You are a friend. You will get through this. It's okay to cry. Don't lose sight that you are still needed. Still loved. And maybe, just maybe it's time to find yourself."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Alice

I don't know a lot about the story "Alice in Wonderland" but that's kind of how I feel. Every since I heard "Melanoma" I feel as though I have fallen through a rabbit hole. My world is so different. Nothing seems the same. What I thought was important no longer matters. I feel as though I have entered some altered universe and it is just too wild to take in. And I have only just entered this passage. Normal is no longer normal.
Sometimes I feel like I am speaking another language. It is like no one understands me. My world is spinning. "Biopsy from your arm was melanoma. We have scheduled surgery already." Someone wake me from this dream.
Biopsies every 3 months till we get all the "spots". Take them all!! Take them all now!!! Shhhhh. Too many, close together. Confusion on what came from where. In due time.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6

The core of me is still solid even though some days I have a hard time remembering that. I know that I am on this ride for a reason. I know that I am not on this ride alone. I know that no matter what happens on this new path, I will be okay.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Where to start

I was born and raised near Galveston, Tx. The youngest of 7 kids. I am a mom to two wonderful children. I am a Nana to 4 amazing grandchildren. My first experience with skin cancer was in 2008. I went to my doctor for a mole on my back that was bothering me. Before it had always appeared brown and never caused issues. It turned pink and was hurting like no other. A blessing from God actually because when I went to the doctor he looked at it and said he wasn't worried a bit but the spot I had on my face he was concerned about. My face? The spot on my face didn't hurt. I thought surely he was crazy. Then he comes in the room with a card for someone he wants me to see. Kansas City Skin and Cancer Center. What??? As soon as I got home from that appointment I researched until I found a mole that looked like mine. Basal Cell Carcinoma. When I went for that first appointment at the dermatologist he said I think it's Basal Cell, are you familiar with that. I was. He scheduled surgery and then I started my 6 month checks.

In 2010 I wasn't able to keep up with those appointments. In 2011 I decided I needed to go back because there was an area on my nose that I had been questioning for a while. When I called to get in to see the person I had been seeing he could not see me for 4 months out but they had another lady that was going to be starting and she could see me. Another blessing from God. At first, didn't really like her. She prescribed me a chemo cream for my face that my insurance wouldn't cover. I had to call back to get them to call something else in. This took a few days but finally started using a cream. To say the least, it is not a friendly cream. When I went for my first full body check with her she said that there were about 20 "spots" she wanted to biopsy but would do them over a period of time. Said these were "different" than what I was treated for on my face. Asked if I understood that. I did. She did 2 to start. Still thought she was a little crazy because these "spots" she was worried about to me looked like freckles. I have LOTS of freckles. Next appointment for more biopsies she told me that one of the first 2 had come back Melanoma. Now, to touch on why I say seeing her was a blessing. I am a VERY "spotty" person. Have been for years. The doctor that I was seeing before never showed any concern over these "spots". I believe all things work out the way they should.

Rewind to the end of 2010. I was loosing weight. Didn't really notice till one of my sisters said something to me. She had just seen me a few weeks prior in Tx when I went for the birth of my last granddaughter. She then came to KS to see me and first thing out of her mouth was "are you loosing weight". No. So I weighed myself. Hmmm. I had lost. Everyday I got on the scale, everyday I was a pound lighter than the day before. So started lots of testing. Doctor wanted me to have abdominal and chest CT. Insurance declined the chest CT but approved the abdominal one which showed two nodules, one on each lung. I was referred to a lung doctor. She in turn ordered a chest CT which was approved. Now I go every 6 months for a chest CT to check the nodules. The last one was no change. Of course the first thing out of my mouth to the derm after she said Melanoma was about the lungs. She said it was good that I was having those done because she would have ordered a chest xray. I am scheduled for my next CT on the 31st of Jan and more biopsies on Feb 6th. I was worried the CT would be around the same time as the biopsies so it was a relief to me when they called for the appt that I would have CT results before my next round of "slice and dice". The weight loss did stop and I did put some of my weight back on. Never got an "answer" to the cause but I know it was because I needed to have those test.

Being raised in Tx, we spent lots of time at the beach. Never heard of such a thing as skin cancer when I was growing up. Got my fair share of sunburns back then. Some extremely bad ones. As I got older it was all about being tan. Laying out in my parents yard with my other sister, rubbing the baby oil on and moving with the sun as it changed positions. Moved to Ga when I was 17 but my "love" of the sun didn't change. Went to the beach there. Laid out there. Moved to Ks when I was 26. Didn't change then either. Laid out. Went to the tanning beds. Went to outdoor events. Got cooked on several occasions. One that required me to go to the doctor because the burn was so bad my skin was bleeding. Looking back....what was I thinking??? I stopped tanning years before I was ever diagnosed with skin cancer but seriously.....all I can ask myself now is what was I thinking.