It's been 10 months since I was diagnosed with cancer. You'd think it would get easier and easier to put it out of my mind and go on with my life, especially since I'm clear for the moment. But that's not the case. As my friend Chelsea said in her own cancer blog "Those of us with Melanoma live in 3-6 month increments, from scan to scan". So true. My own time is getting close to another full body check and possible biopsies with my dermatologist, and my own review with my oncologist. My scans are in 6 month increments. You would think 6 months would be plenty long enough to put it out of my mind after scan time, but as time is going on, I'm learning more about this type of cancer, and I'm seeing more and more Melanoma warriors die. Give me a surgery... I can do that. Scans are a piece of cake. Even biopsies I can handle, but give me this knowledge of how brutal Melanoma is... how it hides...give me the seeing people die every day.... I'm not handling it. Maybe my sister is right: maybe I do need to talk to someone.
It was bad right after the new year when Randi died, and I thought I'd try and distance myself emotionally from the Melanoma stuff for a bit, but then Samantha Channels died, and I'm seeing other friends online fighting such heartbreaking battles, and it's killing my heart. It's gotten so bad that I had a nightmare the other night that I had advanced to stage 4, was seriously ill, and I was telling my family goodbye.
No one else understands that doesn't have Melanoma. They don't realize how deadly it is, how sneaky, how it hides. Instead they tell you things like "you have a %50-50 chance and that goes for everyone", or "If you only think about the negative, that's all that will happen to you", or "You're clear, why do you keep dwelling on it? You could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Just get on with your life".
Tell that to Randi. Tell that to Samantha. Tell that to everyone in treatment, in the hospital, in hospice. For those of us with Melanoma, we know that the odds are NOT in our favor. You might get hit by a bus tomorrow, but we have a deadly disease that most people don't even realize how deadly it is. They just think it's skin cancer, it's gone, you're fine.
Well I'm not fine. I'm not DOING fine.
I'm terrified, and I can't share this with my family because then THEY would be terrified for me and I don't want to cause them this pain.
In two months it will be my one year Cancerversary, and guess what?
It's NOT over. It will NEVER be over.... until it comes back. And the odds are that it will.