Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Worth 1000 Words

"You look good today, but underneath it's not pretty.
Use sunscreen, protective clothing, and common sense."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Please Help!

Do you live in Virginia? Do you know someone who does? I need you to step away from the cat pictures, and the silly Youtube videos for 3 minutes and fill out this form! :-) 

Why, you may ask?

On Thursday a committee in the Virginia General Assembly will consider a bill that would stop teens who are under 18 from using tanning beds. PLEASE consider filling out this form that will be sent to your local delegate that shows your support for this IMPORTANT bill. It takes less than 5 minutes & it has the possibility of helping to protect VA's teens! 5 minutes, folks!
Some people have mentioned that the form didn't go through. If so, please take an additional 3 minutes and check this page to see who your delegate is and get his/her email address. I know it's a hassle, but please let them hear from you as to why they should vote to pass this bill. Here's the link if you have trouble with the link above: http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/VGAMain?openform
Thank you in advance for your help. Let your voice be heard!  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

All IS Good!

I just wanted to post a quick update that my scans were totally OK! The lymph node is still there, but it is smaller! My oncologist believes it isn't related to the melanoma at all, but possibly related to trauma from previous surgeries. I couldn't believe it when he told me. I had him repeat it numerous times before it even fully clicked. I went there ready to plan for surgery, so to hear that my oncologist believes I'm still healthy...AWESOME!

Our plan now is to rescan in 6 weeks per clinical trial protocol and continue on!

Thanking all of you for your thoughts, prayers and love during this scary time for my family and I. We greatly appreciate it.

Speaking of my family, I'm sneaking off to spend more time with them!

Thank you again for your prayers and good juju! I greatly appreciate it!


Monday, January 13, 2014

"Singin' Don't Worry..."

I celebrated my 3 year Cancerversary on Friday. Well, by celebrating I mean that I acknowledged it and moved on. I went out for dinner with my little family and my sister. It was a quiet night, not much was said about what happened just 3 years ago. I think our minds are all on what is going to happen is just a few days. Is the cancer back?

How can one lymph node cause such a fear?

Oh, melanoma.

My sister won tickets to see Kasey Musgraves, Kip Moore and Lady Antebellum. Like the good sister she is, she took me with her. We had such a great time! Kasey Musgraves sang Bob Marley's "3 Little Birds" which I took to be a good sign for the week ahead of me.

Have a great week, y'all.

I'll update when I can.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"What's Wrong with Your Skin?"

On the eve of the eve of the eve of my 3 year Cancerversary, it seems appropriate that my stepson asks those 6 little words: “What’s wrong with your skin?”
As I’ve previously blogged before, I’ve never hidden my cancer from G, but I’ve never flat out said, “I have cancer.” He knows that we have to be very careful in the sun, that sunscreen is a must, and that I travel to New York every 3 months to see my doctor. He, the little 3 year old sweet pea, watched as I threw up two nights after my first major surgery due to too much pain medicine. He points at my “boo-boos” and my “sunken hole” in my neck. He’s aware I’ve been sick. He just hasn’t heard the word Cancer.

I hear from parents who think I’m shielding him too much. I receive emails from dads who think I’m doing the right thing by educating him without scaring him. I hear it all. (Hello, hate mail! Hello, love letters!) But, I know our little guy which is why I’ve always felt like I’ve handled my sickness in the best way possible when it comes to him.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I walk into daycare yesterday, and the very first thing he says to me is, “What’s wrong with your skin?” I touch my face and say, “I don’t know?” We pack up and head to the car. I help him into his booster seat and he says again, “What’s wrong with your skin?” Again, I tell him I don’t know; I will have to look. I get into my seat and pull down the mirror, “I don’t see anything.”

Then he says something I wasn’t expecting: “My mommy said your skin made you sick. I can’t kiss your or give you my germs because we can’t let you get sick.”


So the time has come.
On the car ride home from daycare yesterday, I have that conversation I didn’t want to have. “Remember my boo-boos and the hole in my neck? Well when I was a kid I had too many sunburns and I used a tanning bed. When I got older, those years of burns caught up with me and made me very sick. It gave me something called melanoma. That is why I go to New York and why we always use sunscreen.” He thinks about it for a second and says, “So you are sick?” I sigh. “No buddy. I’m not sick. I was sick, but I go back to the doctor often to make sure that I don’t get sick again. I just have to be careful when it comes to catching germs because I have to go see my doctor next week.” That seemed to satisfy him.

…At least until we got home. G points to my back, “But you still have a boo-boo.” I told him to feel my scar, to prove to him that it doesn’t hurt, that it has healed. That, knowing I wasn’t hurt, satisfied him and he ran off to play.

I am very lucky that I’ve never had to be brutally honest with G. I’m glad I’ve never had to tell him “I have cancer.” I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve always just been his Chelsea.

Today, on the eve of the eve of my 3 year Cancerversary, I pray that I never have to tell him otherwise.

*I'm very thankful G's mom is very considerate of my health & the need to keep germs away! :-)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Drawing a Line

For the first year I kept this blog I accepted every single person who sent me a friend request on Facebook. Here's an obvious fact: Accepting every single person who sends you a friend request, even when you don't know them, is a bad decision, especially if you post about your private life.

So, I began to draw a line. I created my blog Facebook page, I attempted a Twitter page, and I began unfriending people I don't know in 'real' life.

I still struggle with that line because I really don't like to hurt feelings or act like I'm snubbing my Molemates. But sometimes people are not genuine, and it's really easy for people to sit behind a computer and bully others. So, the line has to remain.

In the last year I've really tried to separate myself. It's not just me anymore. There's my husband and my step son to consider. So, here's what I'm saying: I'm not trying to be mean by not accepting friend requests on my personal Facebook page. I am not turning my back on you or being a selective snob. I just truly feel that I put myself out there publicly enough with this blog, Twitter, and my blog's Facebook page, that it is OK and NEEDED to keep a little bit of my private life private. I do enjoy sharing melanoma stories via email though! I LOVE meeting fellow warriors & their families!  I just want something that is for me, Chelsea, the wife, the step-mom, the VA employee.

I hope you guys understand.

I hope your 2014 is starting out beautifully! XO!