And then there’s the day when you wake up and feel like your old self again 😊
This Fall has been a wild one. On August 25th my dermatologist referred me to a surgeon to remove a spot on my skin he was concerned about. I was told this was serious but likely precautionary and I did everything I possibly could to keep positive, trying to convince myself he was just being cautious.
Oct 2nd I had my first surgery. 2 weeks later I found out the pathology had come back and was malignant melanoma. Nothing can prepare you for those words. Malignant. Nothing. Took over a week to get conclusive information on my next steps. Longest and possibly one of the most traumatic times of my life. In that time I heard, they would need to do another surgery, that they’d got it all, that they would need to take biopsies from my lymph nodes, blood tests from my liver, etc, it went on with every different physician I spoke to the story changed. Fear doesn’t come close to what I was feeling.
When a biopsy is malignant they go back in to take more, to assess if the cancer has spread. I had my second surgery and found out that they had got it all. ALL.OF.IT. It had not spread.
Grateful is not a big enough word to describe how I felt hearing that. I still can’t find a word big enough.
It’s a feeling of complete and utter weightlessness, euphoria, relief, joy… I collapsed, literally wailing into Paul’s arms, purging months of internal terror, in a hospital hallway in my husbands arms.
I’ve since had another spot removed. I’m awaiting those results. Fingers and toes crossed.
I’m told with a Melanoma diagnosis you have an increased risk so to be vigilant about watching my skin bi-monthly and noting anything that changes.
Believe me, you don’t need to tell me twice. On it!
The reason I am sharing my personal story is because of two things my dermatologist and surgeon said to me along this journey that have me feeling a weighty level of responsibility to spread melanoma awareness.
1. They said I was lucky it was caught early because that is the thing that saved my life.
Early diagnosis and excision.
I told them a friend had told me to go get it looked at. They told me to go thank my friend for saving my life. My beloved guardian angel, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am indebted to you my dear xo
2. The second thing my Drs told me was that skin cancer is the only cancer you can see coming, but you have to be looking.
This resonated so deeply for me as I hadn’t been looking. I thought I had, but somehow didn’t see this spot, plain as day on my arm. Thankfully my friend was. It took someone pointing it out for me to see, but now I’ll be looking.
Please do the same.
And that is why I’m posting. I feel so blessed, and lucky, and now I want to pay it forward in the largest way, to let others know, to spread awareness.
Vigilant proactive lifesaving awareness.
So please promise me, my family and friends, check your skin. Every inch. Check each other, check your partners, kids, friends, each other. Melanoma is quickly on the rise in younger people, in fair skinned folks like me and in darker complexions as well, and it is deadly.
Please promise me you’ll check yourself.
I’m so blessed. So blessed to be on the other side of this one, and now vigilant about watching for other spots. So blessed for my husband, family, and friends’ support and strength through the darkest and scariest days of this. I love you. So very very much.
So blessed I have my whole life ahead of me.
If you think I lived life to the fullest before, you ain’t seen nothing yet!!!