Saturday, December 31, 2011


How do you say goodbye to a year that has both blessed and cursed you? How do you welcome in a New Year with all the promise it brings while you live in fear of more health problems, and while you watch while people with your kind of cancer drop away?

I am conflicted this New Year's Eve.

This last year has brought about more tears and challenges than I would have ever expected, but while I was hanging on during the storm of cancer surgeries, I was also being blessed by many things, too. My family worrying about me, complete strangers telling me they would pray for me, my friends online and IRL letting me know they were here if I needed them, gifts I was sent, just the complete outpouring of love. One other great blessing I learned is that whatever happens to me, I'll get through. I'm not the wuss that I was.

I'm stronger than I thought I was.

While this knowledge does make a difference in the way I view things now, it still can't shield me completely when people still get diagnosed with this cancer, when friends struggle through their own cancer journies, when friends...die...from this cancer.

When I wonder if it will come back, and when...where in my long will I fight...

Welcome to Cancer-Land, it's a whole other country.

My sister today suggested that I get therapy to help me deal with all that happened this year, and all that could happen. I didn't take it as an insult because we've both been through therapy, but I'm wondering if that's what I really need. Isn't this a normal reaction when one has a serious illness? Sometimes it feels like people want to rush me through this year, through this cancer. Yes, I'm in remission, yes it may not come back for years and years, but I have to make this journey at my own pace. Just because it's over for YOU doesn't mean it's over for ME. It probably won't be totally over...EVER. Because my kind of cancer has no cure, and I know that. It hides, sometimes for years, but most of the time it comes back. I've resigned myself to that, but I don't want to think about it constantly.

I'm so scared. I'm so happy. I want to cry. I want to celebrate.

I'm so conflicted.

I guess it's not impossible to cry AND laugh at the same time, I know I've done it before. maybe that's what I need to do...both.

Cry for the people lost this year, cry for the pain of loved ones mourning, cry for all the heartache that may come in the new year, but laugh at all the funny moments this year, all the love shown to me, all the victories of getting through every single surgery like a trooper.

2011 you will ALWAYS be remembered, for the good as well as the bad.

2012 I won't ask for much, just let me live and enjoy every minute. Let me laugh, let me show love to others, let me feel the sun on my face without fear.

And if anything bad should happen...

Let me FIGHT.

Friday, December 30, 2011

RIP Randi... a true warrior

We lost another warrior yesterday, Randi from Randi's Journey with Melanoma . I had no idea she was that bad, but that's probably because of her upbeat attitude. Everytime this happens it inspires me, but it scares the hell out of me, too. But mostly I'm just really, really sad. I hate this cancer.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Pics

Here are a few new pics that I've gotten and/or taken of my journey so far.

 This is my first scar, after the initial mole removal done in March 2011. It was small, 8 stitches, but it was a big deal for me. They did it in the derm's office and later called me on the phone to break the bad news that I had cancer,

 This is me in Pre-op. I think this was my 4th and final surgery so far to remove the tumor behind my knee. (That one turned out to be benign). Mom took this pic and I'm giving her the look "You better not be taking my picture, mom!".

This at the dermatologist in October for two removals and biopsies. I was getting to be a pro at the whole medical thing by this point.

The procedure room at the dermatologist, or as mom likes to call it, "The Melanoma Room".

My main scar where it all began, right above my cleavage. It's faded a bit, but you can still see how large it was. For some reason they decided to do only internal stitches and used derma bond on the outside, so my incision started to pull downward due to my boobages. I could have had surgery later to make the scar prettier but I refused it. Let's face it, I'm no beauty queen anyways.

A closer view. I wish I had taken more images during my journey, but I think I was just so numb from having cancer that all I could think of was the next scan or the next surgery. But I think it's important to share our images and stories so that others can benefit from our experiences... if they choose to.