Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Mom, Allison, and me.... proud I had hair! Spring 2011

As 2014 ends today I definitely ponder another year without cancer.

Melanoma is one that can return with no notice and people who have been diagnosed are not even given the prognosis of remission, we live with NED, No Evidence of Disease. This is very confusing to many people and I stick to language that is familiar to people, like remission.

I am 3 1/2 years NED.....and SO GRATEFUL.

Yet, my scars continue to remind me of my battle.

Even though I have my hair back, and my hips ;), I feel the scars all the time.Everyday I cover up my scars, & under my clothes is a hole under my left armpit.  The cancer had been a 16cm tumor, wrapped around my brachial plexus nerve.  It was HUGE. The 5 rounds biochemo killed it and it was a black, dead, ugly mass, that was removed in a 3 hour surgery in April 2011. The underarm has scars of the original lymph node biopsy done in 2000, with my first stage 1 melanoma.  My poor arm is saggy due to my lack of ability to really use it, as the surgery removed muscles and nerves. I was left with 2 JP drains as well.  I am blessed to actually be able to use my arm as I have a friend who lost an eye to melanoma!  LOST AN EYE!!!  I can hardly complain when I see her wonderful smile and feel her warmth and joy for life.  SHOUT OUT to Suzanne Lescure!!

Many of us carry these scars and will always experience fear at new pains in our bodies, feel our lymph nodes while showering, look at new spots and wonder how long they have been there.

I suppose I am grateful I "got out" of fighting cancer as well as I did. Most people do not know I was sick and cannot believe I almost died from "just skin cancer." I even had a coworker tell me she was reconsidering using sunscreen because of me.... ( that's right, she doesn't in using sunscreen.)

My caring bridge entry after finding out the cancer was gone:


     "No tumor in Nineteen lymph nodes", "No evidence of melanoma", "Importantly, no viable tumor cells are seen in any of these specimens."  Laboratory External Specimen Inquiry

This is the news I received today!! No evidence there is still cancer in my body!  Thank you Angels, Jesus, & Heavenly Father for the MIRACLES!  

I can plan on my return to my family!

Keep the HOPE!

love, Stephanie

Even though I have scars, I will move forward with HOPE & FAITH that even if it came back, I would beat it again.. 

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