Sunday, May 29, 2011

365 Days Take Two! -- Day Thirty-Two

Copyright 2011.  Flower on our front porch yesterday :) -- finally feels like summer!
All Rights Reserved.

*It'd be easy to add up all the pain,
and all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames.
Dwell on the wreckage as it smoulders in the rain,
but not me...
I'm alive.

And today you know that's good enough for me,
breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see.
Today's the first day of the rest of my life...
And I'm alive and well.*

-- Kenny Chesney --

Wow... well I don't usually actually write anything here, but as we near the end of this month I felt the need to say a little something more about this...

It's been a little over two months since I recieved the diagnosis of Stage I melanoma.  Since then I've had two more surgeries to perform wider margins on moderately atypical moles.  In fact I have stitches in my back right now for both of those. 

I'm just now reaching a point in the past couple of weeks where I feel like I can breathe again.  For the longest time after hearing the news (and even actually before it - since I was sure the mole was melanoma the second I saw it in the mirror) I feared every single mole on my body.  I wanted them all gone.  I couldn't look at a single mole and not think that maybe, just maybe that one was another melanoma.  And maybe, just maybe that one would be worse.

There are no words to adequately describe what it feels like to hear the words "You have cancer".  Or to describe the feelings that come along with that.  I recieved my diagnosis over the phone at around 8:30 am and did not go in for surgery until 1 pm.  The thoughts that went through my mind in those 4 1/2 hours still to this day bring tears to my eyes and panic to my heart.  I simply cannot imagine what people go through when they find out that they have to go through chemo treatments and radiation, or worse yet when people find out there's nothing that can be done.  My own brain struggled to find a single positive thought until the moment my doctor revealed to me in the office that my cancer was stage I.  And even for a few weeks after that, the negative thoughts still crept in far too often.     

The reason for all of this though... May is melanoma (and all other skin cancers) awareness month, and as May will be ending in two more days... I implore you to please perform a skin check tomorrow or Tuesday.  Just take note of the moles you have and of anything you think looks odd.  If you find anything at all do not hesitate to call a dermatologists office and set up an appointment to be seen.

I was lucky... and that's not something I'll ever forget.

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