Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just scared

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.


  1. I have the same fears as you do. I am always worried about it coming back. You are not alone in this, as a lot of us with melanoma feel the same way. I just take one day at a time. Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am sad and sometimes, I am just plain scared out of my mind! You are right, people don't understand. Hugs to you!!!

  2. I found your blog through my blog. Believe me, I know how it feels. So many warriors like us are dropping off like flies. It seems so many that I know all of sudden, which doesn't help.

    What I can tell you, is that you can't focus on that. There are also people that are doing well, and surviving. Most of those people aren't blogging about it either. You don't see them because they are out living life!! I personally know a few of these.

    It's a hard challenge to balance staying in your own "bubble" and also supporting others who are in the same boat. For me, I have to have minimal connection with these people, because it just brings me down too much when I see another fallen warrior. Live your life, enjoy the moment of where you are NOW, and don't look back. There is nothing you can do to control the future. You can only do your best to live your best life NOW.

    Praying for peace for you...

  3. Just found your blog and love this! Most people do not understand what melanoma does to you. The constant fear and the knowledge that you will never be cured from melanoma. It can come back after 5, 10, 15 years in hiding. It's a beast.

    I pray that you will forever be in stage III and never progress to stage IV!

    I am Stage IV and being enrolled in Til replacement therapy. I hope this is the cure that so many of melanoma patients want and that it will be a cure for everyone in the future!