When you look at me you cannot see my scars. They are too deep and under the skin, literally. The surgery was more than 2 years ago, May 9, 2011.
Some of the notes from this procedure are, " This was a long and difficult operation because of the desmoplastic reaction secondary to the biochemotherapy, but we were very pleased that we had a clean resection outside the fascial planes encompassing the tumor. We are hopeful that with this procedure, the patient will be rendered free of disease with her advanced malignant melanoma with a combination of biochemotherapy and surgery. Blood loss was estimated at about 100 ml. The specimens sent to pathology consisted of an en bloc axillary dissection."
Looking "Normal" is acceptable for me, as looking like a cancer patient was not fun either. People look at you with pity. People do not know how much my left arm hurts due to the invasion surgery to remove the cancer. I save my complaints for my hubby, (THANKS DEAR!!) yet I am very weak and say if I swim I swim like Nemo, with one arm and in circle.
So, I am envious of people who live cancer free. People who go about their business, not knowing if a new pain is a reoccurence. People who do not worry about their next scans.
I live with cancer. I will always be a stage IV melanoma patient. I am fortunate to be GRATEFUL to be NED. (No Evidence of Disease). Melanoma patients do not use the word remission.
Most days I go about my daily business, plan meals for my family, think about my classroom, think about my family. BUT, melanoma is ALWAYS lurking in the shadows of my mind. I PRAY it will not reappear in my body. I am saddened by the losses in the melanoma community...so many young people. AND the youngest of all is about to pass from melanoma. A sweet 2 year old who is the only case of melanoma being passed during pregnancy.
BASICALLY, CANCER SUCKS!!