Tuesday, August 2, 2011


 I was sitting at mom's the other day and I asked her if she could print some paperwork out for me on her printer. I explained that I wanted to take it with me on Wednesday to my oncologist's appointment. They are the guidelines to a 3 month follow up of a Melanoma patient - what scans should be done, etc. Mom was a little hesitant and asked why and I explained that if Doc Onc doesn't schedule me for any scans, I'm going to pull out the paperwork and ask him why. She said "Don't you think it might piss him off? Like he might think you're trying to tell him his job".

I mentioned in my previous entry that my sister Deni wasn't really understanding of how I've been feeling lately, and how mom is more able to relate. Well it seems they've decided to switch roles this week. Deni is definitely supportive of me questioning my oncologist because she's had her share of trouble with doctors. Now suddenly mom doesn't want me to questions what the onc does. It's like she wants to stick her fingers in her ears and go "la la la la" and say "think positive, it will all be fine, just think positive". I agree thinking positive can help, but so does having scans.

She's worried about the effect of the scans on my health. She's worried having too many scans will give me cancer.

How ironic is that??? I just got OVER having cancer. For all I know, it may still be in my body. If you're reading this, you probably understand how sneaky Melanoma is, how it is more likely to come back than alot of other cancers. This is another thing about Melanoma that most people just don't get. Not only can it kill you easily, once you have it in your body you're pretty much never going to be in a full stand down mode ever again. You'll always have to be on the alert for it... and that's if you're one of the lucky ones.

Want to know how my future looks right now? If I go 2 years from now with no Melanoma, I'll be happy. If I go 5 years I will be really really happy. If I manage to survive 10 years from now, I will be one of the lucky ones. That's just how it is. This is not me being negative, this is Melanoma.

So mom worries that the scans will give me cancer in maybe 20 years. I would rather have the scans to make sure the melanoma doesn't come back and kill me in 2 years, or 5, or 10. I can't even imagine I'll still be around in 20 years. If I am, I will worry about it then. But by then I'll be 66 so I will consider my life pretty much a good span by then.

Mom is insisting on being with me at the appointment Wednesday. This is nothing new, she's been with me through this whole journey, but I have a feeling she plans on ganging up on me with the doctor, saying "I TOLD her she doesn't need all these scans!". Deni says mom is just scared and doesn't want to go back to where we were a few months ago, amidst all the surgeries and uncertainty. I can understand that, I really can, but I'm not willing to stick my fingers in my ears. Not about this.

I feel so frustrated. Has anyone else ever had this problem?


  1. Becca, I think there's a lot of different opinions among melanoma docs about the risks and benefits of scans when the patient presents no symptoms of concern. Be that as it may, your peace of mind is paramount at this point. I know my own doc did a scan or two just to make ME feel better. Best wishes to you.

  2. Thanks Rich, you're right. It's my peace of mind that's motivating me right now.