PDA

View Full Version : A very special anniversary



Victoria
01-20-2011, 05:26 AM
Today marks the fourth anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I remember hearing the words 'appears to be extremely aggressive' from the pathology report, and I remember the sound of my husband's breath leaving his lungs like he'd been gut checked, but I don't remember how I felt. The type of cancer I had, level four nodular melanoma, has only a twenty seven percent survival rate at the stage I was in. Oh, and it is most common in 65+year old men, and I was a 35 year old woman. But guess what? Despite the depth of the tumor (that's where the level four comes from), the cancer had not spread to the sentinal node, from where it would have most likely traveled to the lungs liver or brain. My oncologist looked at me like I was a freak. Just to be safe, I underwent intensive
Interferon therapy, self injecting twice a day, five days a week for two months. I lost thirty pounds, most of my hair, was too sick to work, and vomited so much that I began to vomit blood. It's all a hazy snap shot now. But four years later, I am cancer free, and I look at each day as a gift, as a second chance. So, here's to second chances, and to making every day count.

Gretad08
01-20-2011, 07:26 AM
Congratulations on your anniversary. Cancer has wrecked a lot in my life over the last 2 years and if I never have to deal with it again it'll be too soon. One of the types we dealt with was also skin cancer, but squamous cell carcinoma instead of melanoma. Good for you. I'm glad you're doing well.

Also, Columbia MO eh? I'm only about 90 miles East of you. M-I-Z-Z-O-U!!!

Victoria
01-20-2011, 08:00 AM
Yarp, good ole Columbia, born and raised. You getting some of this snow? Pretty, but a pain in the ass. Speaking of, yeah, my melanoma was where the 'sun don't shine,' except if you're at nudie colony. Doc said it was the beds. I also had two squamous cancers removed from my shoulder about a year ago. Damn stuff is tenacious. I tell ya, if any of my kids even looks in the general direction of a tanning salon, I'll just save them the trouble and skin em. Anyway, it's nice to hear from a neighbor. Take care.

Lavern08
01-20-2011, 10:35 PM
... But four years later, I am cancer free, and I look at each day as a gift, as a second chance. So, here's to second chances, and to making every day count.

Indeed! :Hug2:

Gretad08
01-20-2011, 11:00 PM
Yarp, good ole Columbia, born and raised. You getting some of this snow? Pretty, but a pain in the ass. Speaking of, yeah, my melanoma was where the 'sun don't shine,' except if you're at nudie colony. Doc said it was the beds. I also had two squamous cancers removed from my shoulder about a year ago. Damn stuff is tenacious. I tell ya, if any of my kids even looks in the general direction of a tanning salon, I'll just save them the trouble and skin em. Anyway, it's nice to hear from a neighbor. Take care.

We got about 10-12 inches of the white stuff last night. Snow Day! :) I'm not going anywhere at least until tomorrow.

I feel the same way about tanning beds. My kids better stay away. Squamous took my Dad about a year ago. Keep up with your checkups, and be safe in all this snow.

regdog
01-20-2011, 11:21 PM
:Hug2:

Maryn
01-20-2011, 11:36 PM
Victoria, everyone whose life has been touched by cancer--which would be me and damned near everybody I've ever met, or will meet--is delighted to hear of these anniversaries.

How will you celebrate? I shall raise a glass to you.

Maryn, whose husband's cancer had only a 5% survival rate--but he was in the 5%

Snowstorm
01-20-2011, 11:38 PM
:Hug2: Oh, Victoria. How wonderful. I have tears in my eyes for you and for your incredible health!

Victoria
01-21-2011, 07:27 AM
This is an issue that I think touches everyone, either first hand or through someone we love. My mother was an oncology nurse for fifty years, and she remembers when a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. Period. I feel more than lucky, not only to have been diagnosed during a time of such astounding medical advances, but also because my situation could have been so much worse had my cancer metted out. I feel like I literally dodged a bullet. How did I celebrate my anniversary? With a glass of wine, a quiet evening with my husband (until the kids went to bed!!!) and by reminding myself that I am the only one who can live my life. Thank you for all of your wonderful thoughts and encouragment. While it's nice to know I'm not alone in this experience, I kind of wish I were. Bittersweet, I guess.