Tuesday, June 26, 2012

through the years

I opened up  my old blog on my last post. 

There are a ton of things I would like to edit.  But I am leaving it original, because that is who I was back then.  It's good to see a change I guess.  

*I was worried sick about the lymphedema in my leg!  I am so over it now.  The swelling has been very manageable.  I also can't believe surgery stressed me out.  Ha!  I love surgery!

*I got a lot of things medically wrong on my first diagnosis.  I am sure I am still giving misinformation here, I am just saying it how I understand it now. 

This section is especially for my melanoma friends who will know the terms I'm using here.  I didn't ask to see the pathology report from the original mole that was removed.  Which is totally ridiculous of me.  If only I had gone on google and typed in the word 'melanoma' I may have figured out what to be worried about.  But, last year I read the report. The biopsy was sent to 4 or 5 pathologists around the state before the final report was written.  One line reads, "These are some of the strangest melanocytes I have every seen."  Not super reassuring.  It recommended only having USCF unravel the DNA to see if it was melanoma.  The report didn't have a depth associated with it (the UCSF report did, it was at least 2.5mm).  It was also a shave biopsy (note to everyone who is having suspicious moles removed, insist on a punch biopsy so if it turns out to be melanoma they can see the depth and get your stage right).   The UCSF report said "Thank you for sending this interesting specimen..."  I thought I had nodular melanoma, because that is the closest thing I could find to what my mole looked like when I searched for images (it was pinkish and tall, it grew in a couple of months, I thought it was a wart), but I later found out it is under the microscope that they determine what kind of melanoma you have, and mine was a spitziod melanoma.  I assumed my dermatologist was in the wrong for not acting quicker to get a node biopsy.  I realized after reading the reports, he was only doing what was recommended.  At a depth of 2.5mm it likely had already spread to the lymph nodes.  Of course I would have demanded being super aggressive at first, if I would have known how horrible the cancer is.  But I don't think anyone was at fault.  They were very odd cells.  From my reading, determining between a benign Spitz nevi and a spitzoid melanoma is very hard.  The Dr.s have also told me this was unlikely caused by sun damage, because of the type it was.  I have my doubts, but there you go.  I need to do some more research on spitzoid melanoma for sure.

*I loved my life with little kids at home.  I wish I would have written down more of what they said, and what we did.  I am starting to record what I remember of them since they were babies.  I will hopefully finish with that this week while they are at a karate camp in the mornings.  But my memory of those days is so limited.  I wish I had kept a better record. 

*The old blog plus this one does not represent how my life since 2007 has been, really.  I stopped blogging in 2009 and every time I thought about starting back up again, I thought I would only be bragging.  Josh keeps telling me, "We have had the best few years of our lives."  And they have been.  Full of adventure and love and hope and appreciation.  Our marriage had never been so perfect.  Our children were not old enough to be too cool for us.  We were surrounded by good people that we love.  Josh loved his job.  I loved my life at home.  We had cancer behind us, and nothing ahead to slow us down. 

Those two years in between my blogs will always be remembered as our favorites.  Too bad I didn't keep better record.  I could have kept a private blog to brag on, couldn't I have?  Anyway, I just wanted to make it clear that I have not been sick and worried for 5 years. 

*Some posts that might summarize the blog:  we learn that my mole was indeed melanoma, hearing the bad news that the cancer has spread, treatment plan, how I felt during treatments, one of those chemo days, the boys take advantage of my weak mental state and acquire a puppy, an all time favorite song, the end


  1. Hi there Alisa. It's another one of those "you don't know me..." posts, but ever since Sonja told me about you last year, I've been following along (I would see her at those parent venting sessions where we did crafts...) Anyway, I have loved reading the things you write about your family--how much you love your husband and your kids--and you have inspired me to be a better mother and to love life more. And to be gutsy.

    This was my anthem in the hospital, but I think it's much more fitting for someone like you:


    Thank you so much for writing. You are so loved!

    Love and prayers,

    Lizzie Low

  2. Alisa,
    You are such an AMAZING writer! You have such a pose' about you. Your such a beautiful girl. Thank you again and again for keeping your blog open and for having EVERY right to brag about how awesome your Family is. I truly don't think you realize your impact your awareness your hope- it has been something I look forward too.. You are one of the MOST honest people and you have detailed this road for so many other's who may be on a similar path. You make me want to be a better person, you make me want to disregard the things of this world and really relish what the importance are. I often get angry for the stillbirths I have had, for the fact that I have had two premature babies.. I have felt somewhat robbed- I wanted more kids, most likely it won't happen! You have helped me to understand appreciation: Appreciation of the NOW, of what I have! Loves, Hugs, hope and prayer your such an amazing girl- brag about your family.. you love them.

  3. Alisa, thanks for opening up your old blog. When I saw the printed version at your house one day, I read the whole thing. I wanted a copy. I know that you are so right about loving your years in between. You have inspired me and helped me like no one else. I owe so much to you for your example of living. I love you!