Saturday, July 23, 2011

What? You Have Cancer? Really?

Don't get me wrong, I dont ever mind hearing how fabulous I look, but I dont think that people, who dont have Melanoma, really get how dangerous it is. Because they look at me, I look fine, and they figure that is how it will work out for them.

Let me just be the first to say, that the last three years have sucked major monkey balls! I have fought my ass off (literally!! have you seen how thin I am?!) to get this far. I have researched. I have found the best doctors. And I know exactly what I will or wont try as far as chemo goes. I know alot about almost every melanoma chemo drug out there. That's just how I roll. I am a research junkie. That wont ever change. My husband, who is certainly more laid back I am (that's why we work so well together, I stress out, he stays extremely calm-it works for us:) has already been told, when I get to sick to fight that he will just have to fight for me! (PS My MIL and mother have also been told the same thing:) I have lots of fighters on my team!!

But, I do know that if you happen to see me walking down the street, here is what you will see:
a mommy, with a Princess holding one hand (probably in a swimsuit!) and a superhero holding the other hand. Both probably fighting over which hand to hold!
A mommy carrying a big bag filled with 100 SPF sunscreen, water, and snacks.
A mommy who loves her 2 children more than life itself.
Two beautiful children who love their mommy to the sun and back.
A mommy who will fight forever to be around for her children.

What you wont see is a mommy who worries about Melanoma returning.
A mommy who is scared to death to cry in front of her kids.
A mommy who is in pain almost every night because of the damage that biochemotherapy did to my legs.
A mommy who wishes that cancer was all just a bad dream.
A mommy who will never ever stop fighting, researching, educating, and praying.
A mommy who truly believes that God has a plan for everyone. This is mine. There is definitely a reason I am still around.

And even though this mama is looking fabulous and kicking some cancer ass, please remember to wear your sunscreen and protect skin. Its the only skin you have! Protect it people!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CT Results

Last week I made the trek to Vanderbilt for my bimonthly appts. I started with labs, CT scan, Dr appt, then I headed across town for my derm appt, then went back to Vandy for my repeat labs and to pick up my meds.

Originally we were going to make this a family trip, however, my husband couldnt get off work, and I sort of decided I needed a little mommy time ;) Sometimes its nice just to have a few nights without bedtime battles and tears!

My labs looked great so no worries there. My CT scans took a little longer, but I did get the results yesterday. I currently have a new nurse. My old nurse would just email me and tell me that the scans looked great and no need to worry. This nurse emailed me and asked if anyone had called me with my CT scan results. Major freak out!! I called her immediately.

But, she quickly informed me my CT scan looked PERFECT and I had nothing to worry about:) So, at this time I have been on this drug for 15 months with absolutely zero reoccurance! How simply amazing is that! I am the poster child for this drug! Its like this fabulous drug was made just for me! And that, my friends, is a true miracle!

In fact, the head of the Melanoma dept at Vandy has used my pathology when giving lectures on the effectiveness of this drug! Cool, right?! My melanoma is famous!

I have certainly had many bumps in the road the last 3 years, and it definitely has not been easy, but I am more definitely one lucky mama! I am truly blessed!

Friday, July 8, 2011

3 Years? Really?

3 years ago today my life changed forever. Nothing has been the same since my dermatologist told me, "You have Melanoma." At that time I had no idea what that really meant or the seriousness of it. I knew he wasnt kidding, and I knew from the look on his face that it was serious, but I truly had no idea how different my life was going to be. And I guarantee my husband didnt! Considering his response on the phone was, well ok then. Gee, thanks dear!

The last three years have been rough. Really rough. My body has been through more than most 33 years olds will go through in their  lifetime. I have been on 7 different chemo drugs, and honestly only one (the one I am currently on) has truly worked. And it has worked wonders!!

Studies have shown that eventually my melanoma will find a new pathway around the Braf gene. Currently, what the drug I am on has done, is turn off that Braf gene, therefore in a sense, the Melanoma cant spread because it figure a way around the gene. Lucky for me, I have really stupid cancer:) It cant figure out how to get around it, I like stupid cancer. No, scratch that, I LOVE that I have stupid cancer:)

One thing I do know, is that my time is probably running out (on this drug that is!). Soon my melanoma will get around it. We knew when I started this trial that this wasnt a permanent fix. Just temporary. Well my temporary has turned in to 15 MONTHS!! Awesome right?! But, this does beg the question, what will we do next. Where will we go from here. And, I'll be honest, I dont really know. Dont get me wrong, there are lots of trials and lots of new drugs to try. But, I think a part of me will be extremely upset and hurt when this medicine stops working. This medicine and I have a bond! It hasnt ever failed me, I would really rather it didnt start now!!

The good news is, as far as I know (I dont have my recent scan results yet), this medicine continues to work, and I continue to kick cancer's ass!! If you know me, then you know very well, that I will NEVER, EVER stop fighting. I have way to much to live for. I really, truly do, and that is why God is watching over me. That is why He continues to help me win this battle!