I had a really fun post planned a few weeks ago - I knew May was just around the corner (my birthday month!) and I was going to share how strong I felt going into the one year mark of fighting melanoma.
Then that rug that I was standing on?
Yeah, it got pulled with the swiftness of Speedy Gonzalez from underneath my feet.
I went in for my 6 month check up on April 16th, expecting no difference from my check up back in October where I was given a "You're progressing fine - no new developments, just keep doing the Interferon injections with blood work every few weeks."
I am still dealing with the anger that I didn't mentally prepare myself for something worse.
During the exam, my dermatologist noticed another flesh colored mole that had grown in the last 6 months right on top of my scar. It was a black or white situation - no grey area. It was either really crappy luck that another mole just happened to appear there, or the melanoma was regrowing and spreading.
I really didn't know how to regroup after leaving that appointment. I had gone by myself (as I had to most every appointment over the last year - and no, I will not be doing that anymore) and I drove home in a haze. I knew that the phone call I would get in the next 4-5 days would be life-changing...again.
Almost in an exact repeat of last year, I got a phone call Friday morning 2 weeks ago and at first I let out a huge sigh because I thought it was the nurse. But then I heard, "It's Dr. H, are you at a place where you can talk?"
I knew. She didn't have to say anything else.
It was another melanoma, and this meant a whole new ballgame. Bring in the relief pitcher, it's time to regroup and throw a perfect game.
I made the phone calls, I texted and emailed to break the news - and I just sat in my chair and looked down at my son playing happily on my iPad and felt helpless.
Then I got mad. Really, really mad. I could have punched the wall.
Why had I done all this work over the last year to get better, why had I followed all the advice and did what I was told, why had I been praying, why had I trusted, why had I believed?
I stayed in this state for quite a few days. I'm still holding onto the spark of the anger feeling, because I know it will help me fight and keep the strength I need to keep trusting, praying and believing.
But then I began to get the answer to the Why? - not why I was still sick, or why I had to have a CT scan, more surgery and stronger treatment, but if I was prepared to ask why in such a demanding way, God was going to give me an answer.
My family and friends have surrounded me with love, strength and even anger, too. They have given me the tools and resources to FIGHT the anger and the uncertainty of why I'm having to go through this. I am not alone, and while I will continue to question and wonder why, I have every tool available to me to use what I am going through for a greater good. I refuse to look at this in any other way.
That really moved me. I won't ever be able to thank the person who came up with that idea, but it only encourages me to pay it forward as I continue on my journey.
I'll be having surgery a year to the day - so any good juju you can spare this Tuesday the 7th around noon would be greatly appreciated.
And if you don't hear from me here, just pester me - I tend to withdraw and get quiet when I get anxious and don't want to make other people worry. I'm WORKING on this, I swear. :)