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.


  1. I'm thinking about you and your family Alisa. Many prayers coming your way from us.

  2. Oh my goodness. Josh called Ashkii today. Enough. Cancer. Already. I hope you know how hard we are praying for you and Steven and all of your family.

  3. I'm sure you don't want to put it all out there again on the blog, but I'm thankful you're doing it so I can know how you are. If you wanna run away up to Logan, please come visit! Praying for you!

  4. After going to San Diego I can totally understand the need to flee. This is so much harder than I ever imagined. I feel for you and your family and I wish I could do more to help you. You have done so much for us. I just read Steven your post. He is playing xbox and getting hydrated to prepare for chemo. He said, "what is she talking about? I get to sit here and play star wars and order pizza. I don't feel sick at all". I hated to explain to him that the stuff in his iv is water and they haven't brought the bad stuff in. He laughed at himself for thinking that.

  5. Oh my gosh Alisa - I just want to cry for you - How stong and amazing you are! You are such a beautiful woman that will over come this and be so much stronger when you do. We will keep your little family in our prayers.

  6. Hey Alisa- Michelle told me the news and your blog site. I could totally feel your strength in your writing. Until you mentioned your nephew. And then I cried.
    Stay strong. You don't even know how many people are praying for you- like Michelle telling us. It's amazing what strength we feel from the faith of others through prayer. Stay focused on what is necessary - in whatever area that may be-and on healing. We'll keep praying. And for your nephew.

  7. Awesome post, Alisa, in a bad sort of way. It had me laughing and crying. We are praying hard for you. You are amazing.

  8. Alisa, holy cow! What is happening in this world? I'm not sure, but we all need to pray harder than ever.

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you again. I can't believe it actually, but I'm so glad your doing this blog to keep us all posted. I'm really wanting to visit with you and Sonja. I'm going to make that happen.

    When you get done with this round of treatment lets to Europe again. We'll take Sonja this time. I'm serious!

    Love you so much!

  9. I love you and Sonj with all my heart and ALL our prayers are going your way! xo

  10. I can't believe all that has happened in one week. Life can change so, so fast. Thanks for letting us know. We are praying a million prayers for you and Steven.

  11. Thank you for the post. We love you. Both the royal we, and Brittany, Truman, Caleb.

  12. Alisa,

    How to know if you are a bad cousin-

    Don't call or talk or visit or email until you find out they have cancer (again).

    (Now imagine Chris Farley slapping himself in the head, pulling his hair and saying, "So stupid!" -Just forgive me.

    Emily and I are praying for you and Sonja and Steven and all of your family members. This last year, I have become involved with Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. Not sure if you have heard of it. I have learned so much about what it means to fight, and yet I still have no way to empathize. However, Now I have a reason to relay that hits closer to home. You and Steven are the reasons I will relay. (I know that's worded funny, but that's kind of like the catch phrase for the cause, "Why I relay...", you get the idea.)

  13. The fight goes on and the faith of all of us is being stretched and growing. The courage and strength in your soul is good medicine for all of us feeling helpless to help. Your aunt is here if and I am good at tending children, cooking big meals, yelling in frustration, and praying for little people and big people as well. I love you Alisa. You are teaching all of us to pray with more intensity. Courage and onward! Remember the little town your grandpa was raised in and feel free to speak in it's name.
    Love you,
    Aunt Kathy

  14. Alisa,
    At least now you have a plan of attack. You can do this and come out better on the other side. You are a fighter and one of my personal heroes. We love you so much! Remember I am only two doors away, so I will be here for anything you need.
    Love, Lisa

  15. Dearest Alisa, your recent email was very hard to believe, however, I am so thankful to be informed and have the opportunity to pray for you and be with you in spirit. So glad you have decided to blog the events, once mmore, and know that all the prayers you are receiving will have a huge impact on you, Josh and the kids. The news of your nephew is unfortunate but he is very lucky to have you in his corner when the going gets tough- you are a true inspiration! {Love, Marco, Steve and kids}

  16. Pretty sure blogger needs to figure out how I can comment on each comment. Loves to all!!

  17. Oh, Alisa. It all seems so unreal. Steven's news, then yours in the same week. It's paralyzing. Thank you for blogging. You're so good at expressing your feelings, and your fight has blessed so many lives. We all want to live bigger and better because of you.

  18. Alisa, I love the blog, doodles in the margins and all. Keep blogging. AND we love you. We're hoping and praying for the very best for you and Steven. You heard right, your doctor was telling you to go to Hawaii, gave you permission, in fact, I think he probably said it was essential to your recovery.

  19. Alisa, this is not supposed to happen, you have fought your fight! I wish I was across the street. We are always thinking of you and your family. Tell Sonja we are thinking of them also. We should go to Italy for the photography tour. I will go tomorrow!!! We love you.

  20. Alisa,

    I am so sorry to hear your fight isn't over, but you're going to come out on top! You're lucky to have been led to such great doctors! You can do this, and we're all rooting for you! I can't wait to see those pictures from Hawaii! ;). Lots of prayers coming your way!!

  21. Oh Alisa,
    I am so sorry to hear this! You are so amazing and I know you will get through this! I am so sorry for your sister as well! This awful disease is everywhere these days and it is so scary! Lots of prayers for you and your family!
    much love

  22. How about a big fat welcome back to your blog! You know how I feel because I've said it all a gazillion times, but I know you can beat this. I'm optimistic! LOVE YOU!

  23. I am a blog stalker! I am so sorry that you are facing round two of this crap. Cancer sucks!! I just bought my eight year old his first microscope. I told him he could have it on one condition - find the cure for cancer!

  24. I, too am glad you are updating your blog, but not for the reason for your updates. You know you are in our prayers and thoughts! You can get a hug from me anytime!!

  25. The Nevada cousins are all praying for you and your family. We love you!

  26. Wow. Thanks for your post and we will be thinking and praying for you. I am so glad that you both have a blog to hear the latest from. Now we don't have to bug you.... as much. You are in our prayers!!