the truth; i have cancer and i will win.
Disclaimer: This may be the hardest post I have written thus far. Please read and only allow positive thoughts, prayers and energy past this point.
This is the newest chapter of how my story changed on March 8th and how I am going to write it.
Let’s start from the beginning; most of you know in 2013 I had surgery to removal a mole which came back positive for melanoma. The surgery was successful with an all clear from my surgeon that he removed all the cancerous cells and lymph node, all I had to do was follow up with bi-yearly dermatologist visits and we should be in the clear!
Fast forward to October of 2018, I found a few lumps in my body that didn’t seem right but with every doctor visit they continued to tell me to “watch them” or “I wouldn’t be too worried about them, they move.” Despite these appointments something in my gut told me it wasn’t enough, that wasn’t the right answer. Deep down, I knew something wasn’t right. I decided to head back to my dermatologist to see what her opinion was. She took one look at me and said, without a shadow of a doubt, we need to get that biopsied. Although she may be abrupt at least she’s honest and doesn’t sugar coat it.
Back to the amazing team at Plastic Surgery Consultants I went, Dr. Economou had done my 2013 procedure but this time around I was blessed to work with his partner Dr. Lemaine, who in a small world, used to do Pure Barre in Rochester. Obviously I knew I was in the best hands from that point on! Early on Wednesday, March 6th I was off to the hospital to get prepped for Dr. Lemaine to remove two lumps from my body. It was an easy procedure, and to be honest, kind of cool to be awake for since I was more than passed out for my first procedure.
Friday, March 8th; as I sat in the chair of an examination room, with only my thoughts, waiting for Dr. Lemaine to return to the room, I knew what she was going to say before the word left her lips. The look in her eyes said it all.
Melanoma. The Cancer. It’s Back.
To be completely honest with you friends, the first word out of my mouth was… fuck! Even when you know it, hearing the words makes it go from a possibility to a reality in an instant. The shock hit me like a tidal wave as I left her office with my brain running a million miles a minute, and knowing I had to make that phone call… to my mom.
These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of new experiences like a brain MRI, PET and CT Scan, along with meeting my oncologist and a radiologist. Y’all I have an oncologist, words I never thought I would utter… ever. I’ve also been on a tour, I like to call it The Cancer Tour 2019 … I still think some t-shirts would have been cooler to hand out after telling people the news. :)
Friends, I am all about the positivity and I knew if I was going to have to tell the most important people in my life that I have cancer, you better believe I was going to make it light and as happy as can be thus being… The Cancer Tour 2019. This is my last stop on The Cancer Tour, sharing it with all of you.
You’re probably wondering… what does all of this mean?
The Diagnosis: Stage 4 Melanoma with about 20 tumors in my brain, lung, liver, small intestine and abdomen plus a few lymph nodes.
The Treatment: Last week kicked off immunotherapy, hello firing up my immune system to fight against The Cancer, and this week it’s a one time radiation treatment at the University of Minnesota. I’ll be under going Gamma Knife Radiation, which is pretty freaking cool if you think about it. I like to think of it as the zapper of The Cancer, it’ll be painless for me and a super easy recovery. Immunotherapy will continue once a month from here on out, and thankfully, with the advances in modern medicine I’m hoping I’ll be one of the blessed souls with little or no side effects like they’ve been saying is possible!
The Plan: To Kick Cancer’s A; between the advances of modern medicine and my approach to taking my body into my own hands which includes a drastic change of diet, mindset and holistic approach… I will win. The Cancer stands no chance in this body, I will be fighting it every step of the way. Yes, this new change of diet means I have given up donuts, pizza and pasta BUT it means y’all are going to be stuck with me for a very long time! I promise we will soon be enjoying the sugary treat again soon, but probably not every Friday :)
I know where your mind can wander to, hearing the words that someone has Cancer, there are many different images running through your head, but I have to tell you something friends. I am still me; the girl who every day wakes up grateful for the life she has and the people she is blessed to be surrounded by, who loves kicking seats at Pure Barre, writing with all her heart and most recently dreaming about all the donuts she will eventually eat again.
Most important, I am strong. I am strong enough to fight this.
All I can ask from all of you amazing people who have taken time to read this, my friends, my family, my village… your prayers, positive thoughts and energy are the most important to me and I could not be more grateful for everyone who has been part of the story thus far.
They say it takes a village, and I promise you, I’ve got the BEST village to get through a fight like this.
Cancer does NOT define me, and from here on out, I am writing the story.
PS - I will updating throughout the Cancer Kicking of 2019, on here and Instagram, as needed!