Monday, April 9, 2012


So the plans were these:  Three weeks from now we scan.  If there is no major progression, one more cycle of IL-2 beginning in May, ending in May. 

This morning I am just out of bed and almost into my clothes again.  With a whole month home to recover I was feeling really pretty good.  The boys are on spring break and were enjoying their first day with their grandparents.  I got to do some housework and this afternoon I stood in the sunshine spilling into the kitchen.  I smiled and put my hands behind me to arc my back.  I stopped short.  And gasped.  There was something foreign (yet familiar) under my fingers.  Right next to my spine.  That hard marble lump that I have said good bye to twice. 

I don't know what you are supposed to do when you find something like this...again.  But I freaked out.  Ginger and I laid on the bed and I sobbed into her tight curly neck.  My mind full of all kinds of bad thoughts.  I finally pulled myself together and called Josh.  Poor guy has been taking care of me all week and all weekend (we have had some horrible nights) and just got back to work and gets a call from me.  "I found something.  It's a tumor on my back, Josh!!" 

I called the Dr.s office.  The nurse practitioner said we will try and not scan early.  As long as it's not causing pain, growing rapidly, or other tumors start popping up, we wait three weeks to scan.  We hope that this will respond just like the one on my neck.  That maybe the immune response I am having is making it flare up, and will eventually melt it.  Please be the case.

If it does start to cause trouble we would most likely radiate, and then I don't know if we could still get another cycle of IL-2 in, or if we would move to the next drug.  Trying really hard not to worry about it. 

Mental battle begins.  I cannot waste 3 weeks in worry.  I can win this one.  But man, it's going to be tough.


They mentioned that IL-2 patients have very vivid dreams.  I read a girl's experience where she was traumatized by the nightmares she had.  Well I had a nightmare one night last week:  I had stage IV melanoma.  The Dr.s said there is no cure at this stage.  I was going through this horrible treatment.

And then I woke up.  I was in the middle of this horrible treatment.  The Dr.s have told me there is no cure at my stage.  I did have stage IV melanoma.  Yikes!!!


  1. I don't know you Alisa, but I am praying hard for you. My mother had a very brief battle with Brain cancer last year so I don't know how you feel, but I can only imagine what your children are thinking. Just know that you are being prayed for each and every day.

  2. Hoping this disappears, too, Alisa. Thanks for the update.
    I think freak out is what I would do.

  3. I would recommend not rubbing or touching any part of yourself for three weeks. It's the only way to not scare yourself silly. As for us over here, we will pray every day that your nightmare is turned into the most pleasant dream you've ever had. IMMUNE SYSTEM MELT AWAY ALL LUMPS! will be our chant.

  4. Oh, Alisa. Praying for you! My Alisa and I were talking the other day about a young woman in our ward, and Alisa says, "I pray for her everyday - her and Alisa." I thought of you and you have no idea how many people are praying for you and your family. In the meantime, I would agree with Jill - don't touch anything! Love to you guys!

  5. Lots of love and prayers for you Alisa. I wish I could tell you not to worry, but I would be a total hypocrite if I did. I worry, worry, worry, and I don't even have a good reason to. I'll pray for you to continue to get well AND for peace of mind during the coming weeks.

  6. Stop touching it and go enjoy the sunshine with your boys. You can beat this... I ain't scared.

  7. No, No, No- that's all I can say! Positive thoughts right! My thoughts are NEVER far from you.. UGH, I can just cry for what your enduring, I don't think any of us really truly understand what you and Josh are going through- you continue to amaze me and I know if I am just thinking about what your going through I cannot begin to imagine; does that even make any sense? PLEASE know of the love I have and your continuance of being in our prayers.. Love is surrounding you guys..

  8. I'm glad your immune system is tougher and smarter than the tumors. They are going down!

  9. "That maybe the immune response I am having is making it flare up, and will eventually melt it. Please be the case."

    This must be the case. You are too far along in your fight to have a setback.

  10. Stop touching it and go enjoy the rain with your boys, I mean. ;)

  11. Alisa,

    I read your comment on my blog: and felt compelled to find your blog and read your story! I spent an hour reading through your posts and was so touched by your story, how you've been handling all of this, and how well you and your husband have communicated with your boys.

    I have to tell you that I feel it is no coicidence that we connected. I immediately felt drawn to your story, not just because of our melanoma in common, but for other similarities too. Mother of boys, physcially active, LDS, our age (I just turned 34)...I'm sure we could find other things in common too! ;)

    I wanted to reach out to you though because I wanted to give you some hope. When I went through my treatments and was in the middle of "the fire" (as I like to call it), I held onto the fact that I know survivors of this cancer. Personally. People, friends now, that are 5 years, 7 years, even 10 years out. In fact, there is an older lady in Logan who went through Stage 4 melanoma 10 years ago, had 77 tumors spread throughout her body! She was only expected to live 2-3 months when they found the cancer. Well, she some vaccine treatment at NIH back in 2003 or something and miraculously, it worked! She has been in complete remission since 2004. Amazing and so inspiring!

    I would love to chat with you sometime if and when you are able. My email is

    Best of luck, I will for you to your family. Keep on fighting and never surrender! And most importantly, trust in the Lord--he will not leave your side!

    Christina McEvoy