We have been sooo busy lately! Like it’s actually almost ridiculous. For whatever reason, everything is in April and it’s all happening at once. The good news is, it’s mostly good, fun stuff (besides the chemo treatments, doctor appointments, scans, and all that fun-ness). Just takes a lot of work, like, say, I don’t know, planning a color run!! But I’m so grateful for our hectic schedule because it’s keeping my mind off of things. Specifically results.
I went to the dermatologist yesterday and had two spots removed. One was on my lower back, was large and dark, and had only appeared since my last check three months ago. My dermatologist said it looked “angry”. So that’s fun. And then there’s the really scary one, one that is on the right side of my face, directly in the path of where my first melanoma was removed from my forehead and the lymph node that it had traveled to by my ear. Ugh! A melanoma there would mean that there is STILL cancer in the area and that either radiation didn’t adequately take care of it or they didn’t radiate high enough and the cancer is still active and spreading.
So what would that mean treatment wise? My oncologist could choose several ways to deal with either one of them. I would think the one on my face would be the worst one since it would be a sign of the cancer not having been completely eradicated in the area. I know it would mean a surgery to remove it involving a plastic surgeon (that’s what they had to do the first time) and maybe possibly radiation again but higher up on my head and face. This would mean radiation would be hitting my brain, which I was able to avoid last time. The one on my back, if positive, they would remove it and as much surrounding tissue as they could and may want to do what’s called a “sentinel node biopsy” which means they would take the lymph nodes closest to the lesion and test them to see if they’re positive for melanoma.
Am I getting ahead of myself? You betcha! But it’s hard (impossible?) not to. The one on my forehead looks strikingly similar to my first one, which wasn’t pigmented. It also has grown very quickly, it was about 5cm in diameter and had only appeared in the last month or two.
**I need to interject here and say that melanoma doesn’t only look like what you see in the pamphlets or in diagrams like this:
Mine had no pigment to it! And if you look to the diagrams to tell you if yours is dangerous or not, you may miss something. My dermatologist even said yesterday that those diagrams can be misleading and either make people worry over nothing or make them dismiss something that shouldn’t be dismissed. I don’t say this to scare anyone, but just want to emphasize that if you have a spot that makes you uncomfortable, get it checked and insist it gets scraped! I appreciate people trying to spread awareness, but don’t like that these diagrams can be misleading. Don’t self diagnose or self dismiss (if that’s a thing), let a pathologist tell you it’s not cancer! The first dermatologist I went to told me mine was no more than an inflamed keritosis and that I was “too young for skin cancer”. So yeah, let the pathologist tell you.
Is it possible mine aren’t cancer? Of course!! And I still am trusting God to put me where He wants me, not where seems most desirable to me. I am praying that they aren’t melanoma, but my faith won’t be shaken if they are. This is a part of life for me now and always will be. I want this cancer to change me and make me a better person. I think that’s kind of the “cool” part about having a cancer where I can never be declared “cancer free” or be cured, at least at this point. I will always have this looming over my head. How is that cool? Well, it doesn’t allow me to go back to who I was before all this. I pushes me forward and deepens my understanding of God and my love for His people. It makes me ache for those who don’t yet know Christ and sorts out the important things from the filler. So yeah, that part is kinda cool. I am still trying to make small changes in the right direction as far as food and nutrition goes, but its not a slam dunk by any means!
Anyways, back to planning the color run! And cleaning! And speech writing (I get to speak at a Relay for Life event on April 11th- my and Eric’s birthday!) How cool is that? I’m so excited 🙂
Have a great weekend everyone!