Sunday, June 26, 2011

That Gut Feeling

Do you ever have a gut feeling? You know, that gut feeling that tells you something is right...or that something is wrong? Ever since being diagnosed I have been a big "gut follower." I have grown quite found of my lovely gut. Usually it is right on. Sometimes it gets a little overly cautious, but I'm ok with that. I would rather have it be overly cautious than under cautious. Know what I mean?!

When I started this trial back in APRIL 2010!!! I just had a feeling that this was the trial for me. I dont know why. I had been thru sooooo many different chemo drugs and really nothing had worked. At least not for long. I just FELT like this was the medicine for me. The average time on this medicine is 6 months! The pure fact that I have made it for 14 months with zero recurrance is an absolute miracle. It really and truly is.

Sometimes I get so annoyed and frustrated that I have to travel for my medical treatments. But, the fact of the matter is, no matter what, with Melanoma, I will always have to travel. Kansas jut doesnt have the best cancer care. At least not for Melanoma. KS offers the standard medical care, but trials for Melanoma are rare, and not all that great. So, having to travel will always be on our "must do" list. Boo!:(

But, I guess if I have to travel I am grateful that I have to travel to Nashville, TN, because let me tell ya, Nashville is BEAUTIFUL!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Goodbye

Yesterday, June 13, 2011, my Great Aunt Lotta passed away after a long, long battle with Melanoma. A few weeks ago I decided to load up the kiddos and head back to see her. That was a decision I will never regret and will always, always remember.

I didnt think it would be the best idea to bring the kiddos with me, in case you didnt know they are a bit wild and I just wanted to be able to focus on chatting with my Aunt, not telling them to sit down and get off of things the whole time! So, I called my Grandma and asked her to head to my Aunts house with me. My whole family lives very close to one another, its kind of nice actually. So, Grandma and I went up to her house and we were able to chat for about 45 minutes.

I held it together quite well while we were there, but once we left, and I dropped my Grandma off, I lost it. I just bawled. There is something about seeing someone you love, someone that you know is going to pass away soon, in a hospital bed. It was just a bit to much for this girl.

Since I didnt want to be left with that vision, I made the decision to go back to see her the next day. I am so, so glad that I did. She looked so much better. She was sitting up in the chair and joined our conversation. That is the day I will always choose to remember. I am so glad something told me to go back.

Before cancer my Aunt and I werent all that close. But there is something about having cancer. The exact same type of cancer, that brings people together. Because of my Melanoma I have truly made some great friends. Friends that I have never ever met, but truly adore. That is how I feel about my Aunt, of course I loved her, we were family. But I truly admired her. I looked up to her. She fought Melanoma for THIRTEEN YEARS!! She beat Melanoma for thirteen years! That is truly amazing. If you have listened to me preach then you know that only about 10% of people with Stage IV melanoma live more than 5 years. Luckily, with all the new research being devoted to Melanoma, that percentage is raising. I can only hope and pray that I will be able to beat Melanoma for that long (however, longer would be fabulous!)

Rest In Peace Aunt Lotta. Your battle and your fight were inspiring and will never be forgotten.

Much Love-Your Great Niece

Monday, June 6, 2011

Therapy?

When I first started to blog, way, way back when, I used my blog as a journal. I chronicled our life. Everything. I did not have cancer at that time, so it was all about the fun stuff. Which was actually pretty nice. A journal is a good thing to have. I just need to remember to write in it! A few things have happened since I last posted. I did finally get the results from my last scan. They were fine. What really worries me is being able to tell the difference before the fatty lumps and new cancer. So far I havent noticed anything other than the fatty lumps, which is good:) I have felt pretty good. Tired, but that's pretty normal anymore!

This sun has been fierce here in KS. We just skipped right over Spring and now its in the 100s and the sun is a killer! Even with 110 SPF on I can feel the sun just burning the heck out of me! Grrrr! But, the meds are working, so I will deal with it. My husband got me some awesome spf shirts to wear and I absolutely love them! I only have two though, so I need to get some more! They have been lifesavers! While the kids are outside in the pool  wear one of those to protect my shoulders, a big ole hat, sunglasses, and lots of sunscreen. So far I have only burned a few times. Its really a matter of trial and error, how often do I need to reapply. For normal people every hour or two is adequate, for me, its more like every 30 minutes!! Ugh!

But, oh well!

I hope everyone is practicing sun safety and wearing that sunscreen!!