Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Melanoma Angel.



This morning as I was being lazy in bed, chit chatting with Mr. Spots about our NYE plans, and browsing Facebook, I saw my friend Al had posted that yet another one of our melanoma friends had recently passed away. When I saw it was Randi, the tears immediately began to flow. How could it be Randi? I just talked to her a few weeks ago. She sounded good, strong, sending me more advice about how to deal with this disease and what questions to ask my doctor....

Randi was a beautiful wife, a loving mother, and a dedicated fighter. I only knew her from the blogging and Facebook world but boy, she loved the men in her life. She fought because of them. She would tell you so.

Randi's story is a bit different than others that I have shared with you. Randi was diagnosed with stage III melanoma in 2005. She had all of her lymph nodes removed in one particular area, and then went on to living five years with No Evidence of Disease. Unfortunately, melanoma showed his ugly face in April 2011 by reappearing in her brain and then spreading to other parts of her body. 

Yes, you read that correctly. For five years, Randi was healthy. She passed away on December 29, 2011. 

When people question why I must go for scans every 3 months and why I am participating in a clinical trial even though I am "fine" now, this is why. There is no cure for melanoma. For many, I don't want to say most because that is far too negative and depressing, melanoma hides for a period of time and then reappears when you least expect it. It does not simply go away. I live in 3 month spans. If my scans are clear this next time, I will go another 3 months. If not, we will fight.

As you head out to celebrate the end of 2011 (good riddance) and the beginning of 2012, consider adding "Protect My Skin" to your resolution list. You may think you look prettier with a tan, but I am sure you would agree that you look prettier alive than dead. You may think that mole is nothing to worry about but it may be the same type of mole that began my stay in Hotel Melanoma. Consider it.

And please, as you celebrate, send a prayer to Randi's family. They have lost a beautiful wife, a loving mother, and their toughest fighter...

Rest now, Mrs. Randi. We will never be able to dance on the tables in Vegas now, sweet friend, but I promise to continue to educate, educate, educate. I know that is what you would want.

6 comments:

Carol Taylor said...

Beautiful post, Chelsea. Dead ain't sexy. Life is. Blessings.

Brittany said...

This just breaks my heart. My aunt went through something similar. She was clear for about three years and in that time had two babies. Then it came back worse than ever. So sad. I'm praying for Randi's family and as always praying for you! Keep fighting it girl!! You are such an inspiration to so many!

kayemsmom said...

AS I CAME ACROSS THE BLOG TODAY SEEING THAT RANDI PASSED AND STARTED READING ON, IT IMMEDIATELY BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES.. MY HUSBAND IS FIGHTING STAGE IV AS WE SPEAK, HE IS ON ZELBORAF, BUT HAS 5 TUMORS IN HIS BRAIN- HE HAS BEEN DOING REALLY WELL THE PAST FEW WEEKS WITH A BREAK FROM THE DR APPTS..AND THE LAST FEW WORDS WERE THAT THE TUMORS IN HIS LUNGS ARE SHRINKING BUT WE DONT KNOW ABOUT THE BRAIN DUE TO THE BLOOD BARRIER.. UNTIL FEB WHEN THEY START AGAIN :(.. SO ONCE AGAIN TODAY MY HEART TURNED RIGHT AROUND AND PUMPED REALLY HARD YELLING AT ME .. SAYING "WITH NORMALITY FOR A FEW WEEKS HOW EASILY I STARTED TAKING MY HUSBAND AND HIS FIGHT FOR GRANTED. GETTING UPSET BECAUSE HE WANTS ME TO SLEEP IN THE WOODS, OR NOT UNDERSTANDING HIS DESIRE FOR QUIET AND NATURE. WELL TODAY GOD SMACKED ME IN THE FACE.. EVERY MOMENT WE HAVE IS SO PRECIOUS, EVERY MINUTE I CAN SPEND WITH HIM IS A TRUE GIFT GOD IS GIVING ME, I NEED TO STEP BACK AND REALIZE HOW THIS HORRIBLE MELANOMA HAS BEEN AN AMAZING LIFE CHANGER FOR ME SITTING IN THE BACK SEAT WATCHING THE PERSON I LOVE BATTLE IN HIS WAY- THANKS FOR MAKING ME REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT MINUTES ARE:)

Rich McDonald said...

A lovely tribute to a lost gem.

Prayers for Jen said...

Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea! I couldn't agree with you more. Never ever let your guard down. Protect yourself and get scanned. I too was stage 3 June 2006 as u know. Surgery aparently "showed NED" and because I was Only 30 at the time opted for treatment. I wanted like you to do everything I could to live a long life and I too am a fighter... I even did high dose interferon for a month and self injections for 6 mo until they pulled me off of it due to toxicity as it shut down my thyroid and I lost 45 lbs and ended up in a psych ward for 5 weeks until they figured out the interferon through me into a condition called Hoshimoto's thyroid condition...All while my new husband didn't know if the Jen he knew would be gone forever or ever come back. Luckily I did and since then we have been blessed with a miracle in our 3 1/2 year old son that was never supposed to be here...He is my miracle and man, when I look in those eyes do I ever have fight! . I wore full hair extensions to my wedding and my hubby married me 2x. Once at justice of the peace so I could stop teaching (horrible ins) and focus on getting well puking and on interferon) and in July of '07, a ceremony we never new I would even make. I was in the hospital a week before. My hubby married me with Cancer when he could have fled. Soul mates. Has been there every step of the way and now we are here again... The monster still came back after all that. Mine too came back April 2011 after 5 perfect years of NED and am now determined to see these stage 4 mestastis out of my body. I did everything right and not trying to scare u just being real. Did everything right and it still came back. Never missed a scan and was NED for 5 years. Obv. it was devastating when I found and actually in April when I felt the tumors, I was 5 mo preg. with our second child. A child that couldn't make it I feel due to my immune system and essentially was given a lethal diagnosis and I was forced to abort at 20 weeks. Essentially it had no kidneys and would have died in the womb or been Still Born. This is def. a GOD thing. God knew I had a hard enough time terminating a lethal pregnancy let alone a healthy one. That little angel is fighting right along side me and I truly believe sacrificed it's life for me to fight even harder. I must see this through. I had surgery to remove the tumors and a week later, surgery to remove the fetus. I was in full maternity clothes. Devastated and angry on two fronts, but determined to fight and be a happy person. Never look back. Looking forward to 50 more + Get scanned! Get checked can never be too safe! Hugs and to health. We will beat this! Yes, you can say Melanoma changed me. I choose to see the gifts it brings....YOU are one of those gifts and all the other warriors out there...

Jen Christie

Jenprayers.blogspot.com

So passionate about this!

Paul said...

Nice post Chelsea. It was like a punch in the gut last night when I saw the post about Randi.