Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Common Mistakes

If you've reached my page, you are probably well aware that May is Melanoma Awareness Month! What a perfect time to share this information from the Phoenix Skin Medical Surgical Group, right?!

Knowing how to properly examine your skin is so important. At most people are getting their skin checked every three months, with the majority of us seeing a dermatologist once a year. That's not enough. Our skin changes, so we must keep a watchful eye! Out of three melanomas, only one was found by a dermatologist. The other two I found myself. Not sure how to do a proper skin check? Let's start here!


Courtesy of Phoenix Skin Medical Surgical Group

Monday, January 15, 2018

Breaking Traditions

Each year, on the eve of my cancerversary, I grab the book my best friend made for me that consists of letters from my fellow melanoma friends, a glass of wine, and I snuggle in for a good cry.

Not this year.

This year, year seven, was different....

This year, just a month prior to the seventh anniversary, my oncologist broke up with me.

I went in for my routine six month scans in December. I felt pretty good, no concerns at all, but I wasn't expecting the news my doctor gave me. He told me my scans were clear, that it had been almost seven years since my initial diagnosis, years from the last treatment, etc. As I sat there listening to him talk about what the team of melanoma specialists had discussed, I interrupted him and asked with a bit of panic in my voice, "Are you breaking up with me?" Like all men, he said I can still call him if I want, we can still be friends. (Bless this man for GETTING me.)

In typical Chelsea fashion, I didn't cry. I sat there pretty stunned. I might have laughed. I looked at my mom who was equally shocked. In seven years we've never once discussed the possibility of being discharged from his care. Even when he approved me for pregnancy, and then wondered why I wasn't pregnant yet (he was pro-baby for this girl!), I never once considered a life without scans. It all felt so surreal. To be honest, I don't think the reality of it will hit me until June rolls around which is when I would've been sent for follow-up CT scans. I hope I don't sound ungrateful. I am so incredibly thankful! I am excited! I am thrilled! I am SHOCKED! We never thought this day would arrive...and it's here.

Am I scared about no longer receiving CT scans? I don't know. I don't think I am. Because here's the thing...Those letters that I read from my melanoma friends on the eve of each cancervesary? Some of those friends are no longer here... Those people had the best care available to them, they fought like hell to stay on this earth, but they aren't here. I owe it to them -- to my friends -- to live.

So this year on my seventh anniversary of being diagnosed with melanoma, I stayed quiet. I didn't mention it to my family as we explored the Bahamas. I hugged my boys a little tighter and I said a silent thank you that this is my life. I know, I KNOW, how lucky I am.

I figured I'm overdue to share a few other pictures with you! Being a mama is everything. 

The sign says My Bucket List...exactly what he is. 

My bonus kid is growing up so quickly. He's the perfect big brother!

Right before I left for vacation I received this fun shirt from
I'm not going to lie, I'm obsessed with it. 
The cat looks so innocent until you pull the pocket down...
then it feels exactly how I do towards melanoma. 
(The shirt itself is super comfy! Size up!)

(The cat giving the middle finger shirt in this review was provided by Top Tier Style. If you would like to purchase your own use the coupon code BLOG15 for 15% OFF everything on their store!)

I want to thank you all for following along with me over the last seven years. It's been quite the adventure, hasn't it?

Sending you love and good health! Wear sunscreen!