Monday, February 28, 2011


Just back from the ultrasound. They couldn't tell me conclusively that it was melanoma, but the pathologist in the room took one look at it with her microscope and said we had some good cells. The radiologist asked how long it had been since I had the PET scan, because it looks like it's grow. Probably horns. Evil thing....get it out!!!

I can talk to almost anyone about 'it' without shedding a tear, but last night we had the cancer lesson with the kids. Didn't take them long to ask the question, "but what if they can't stop it with chemotherapy?" Five year old with a fever, crying in my arms. Heart. Break.

The arrow on the left is pointing to it. To be clear, even if this turns out the be something else, my stage remains the same because of the lesion I just had removed. They may want to keep the tumor in there and monitor it while I do treatments to see if the cancer is responding. They may inject a vaccine inside the tumor while I'm on treatments to see if that helps (experimental). I'm saying, maybe it's a good thing I have it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

date with fate

Okay, ultrasound-guided biopsy (under local anesthetic) Monday morning. Meeting with surgeon Wednesday morning to decide on treatment. March 2, 7 a.m.

10 year old is home with a fever. I'm home with a tumor.

Luckily, there is snow and sunshine everywhere today and it's lovely!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

here we go again

I am not sure how I feel about keeping up a blog again, but it does seem to be the best way to update friends and family about our medical happenings. I do know how I feel about those. And I guess that's why I hesitate blogging, because I just can't seem to keep the feelings and random thoughts (sometimes morbid) out of the facts. It's all mixed up for me. I'm doodling my own messages in the margins.

Today at the oncologist's office the Dr. said:

"You do have cancer."

I heard: "You need to get away."

"The scan shows a spot in your leg."

I heard: "For a long time."

"We can choose a systemic treatment, or something local."

I heard: "Hawaii or Italy?"

"Not stage 4."

I heard: "Hawaii."


I have had a lesion growing on my leg for the last month, looked like a wart or something. Sound familiar? That's what I said about my first one. We finally looked it up on the internet and found pictures just like it of melanoma. Went to my endocrinologist the next day (Tuesday the 8th) and she pulled strings to have me rushed to the Dermatologist at the Huntsman that afternoon. He took one look, cut it out, and said it was nothing. "Really, I'm not just saying that to be positive. This is not melanoma, it's nothing to worry about." So I didn't. Besides, I was SO over cancer. Until Friday when the Dr. called back and said, "I was really surprised to find that the lesion we took off your leg was a metastasis from your original melanoma." I don't remember much of the conversation. Besides, I had a valentines party to put on and didn't have much time to talk. We have been scheduling appointments and scans. And today got the results: one spot in the leg.

We will plan what kind of treatment after they do an ultrasound and see how hard this other tumor would be to get to.

This puts me at a stage lllc. I was lllb previously. I have failed the standard treatment for stage 3 (interferon), so we have other, more aggressive options now. They are talking either bio-chemotherapy, or maybe Isolated Limb Perfusion, where they inject chemo only into the leg during surgery. Also, most likely a surgical removal of the spot on my leg.

Right now we are doing great. I am very functional. I haven't even had a good sob about it. Such a different reaction from the first time. I am so much stronger. I was always bragging to Josh about how nothing scares me now. But I was so surprised that not even a cancer diagnosis scares me. I am very sad sometimes, but not scared.

I really do feel like running away, but James has a fever, and they want me to wait till I get the ultra-sound done to take off. I guess a bath and nap will have to do for today.

We have had a couple weeks to work this out, and have been hugely distracted by other cancer news. My sister's oldest son was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and starts his chemotherapy treatments today. I can't complain. This happening to a child is a whole different experience. All my prayers are for my sister. Heaven help us through this year.