It was Christmas day and I was preparing my dinner for my family.I had a pimple on my upper back and asked my two daughters to look at it because it was bothering me.I lifted my shirt to show them my back, not even realizing to the right of my back was a mole ,and it was odd-shaped,odd colored and started forming a scab and they said mom you have melanoma on your back and you need to get it taken care of right away.
I made an appointment with my doctor, He removed the mole ,and it came back as malignant melanoma.I was scared,and started having anxiety .I was hoping that just removing the mole was all I would have to endure and be done.If it weren’t for that pimple on the top of my back , I never would have known to the right side of my back was melanoma,and if it weren’t for my girls detecting it.They knew what it was.
I was set up with an oncologist at the Cancer Center and found out that the cancer was believed to be stage two.From there I was scheduled to see a onocologist surgeon at Upstate Cancer Hospital in Syracuse NY.I went for my consult and was scheduled to have nuclear injections to map out lymph nodes to see where they led to surrounding area of where mole was removed from my back.The results showed the drainage leading to under my right arm.Dr.said not to worry that it didn’t mean it had traveled but it was possible that it did.
Dr. scheduled me to have a pet scan ,I went in was injected with radio-active material,which scared me horribly.I was told I couldn’t be around my two grand children who are both 6 years old for 20 hours, and anyone else to stay at least 6 feet away from me.I was worried about all this and it weighed very heavily on me with over whelming fear and anxiety.
I was scheduled to have surgery to remove the cancer from my back and widen the margins and remove lymph nodes from surrounding area as well as go in under my arm and remove lymph nodes to biopsy.I went in and under went a two and a half hour surgery.
Now it was a five-day wait for results to come back.I battled so much fear and anxiety like I never experienced before, suddenly I looked at life so much differently then before.The five days were up and unfortunately for me my fear was staring me in the face.The pathology report came back that the cancer had gone to one out of four lymph nodes removed from under my arm.I was not stage two , but stage 3 c malignant melanoma.I cried and prayed everyone in my church and churches from all over have been praying for me.
Two weeks after the first surgery I had ,I under went a second surgery,Dr. went back into incision under my right arm and removed another 20 lymph nodes for biopsy, and he put a drainage tube in my right side.This was a very rough surgery on me s well as the first one.
The results came back that the pet scan was good ,it showed no cancer, and the second set of twenty lymph nodes were negative.So The Dr. removed all the cancer and I was told I was now cancer free.I cried and rejoiced and thanked God that He had His hand upon me and the Dr.’s who did the surgery on me.
Now there is a new plan set up for me , I now have to start cancer treatments because of the stage the cancer was,the fact that it went to lymph system,even tho I was cancer free nd it was removed,there’s the chance of it starting back up and traveling through my body and attaching to other things.Not only that but I must have physical therapy twice a week,and be fitted for a sleeve and a compression bra for lymphademia.Lets just say my life has changed forever and its all caused by a mole I didn’t realize was on my back that was melanoma.
I have since gone for consult for physical therapy and am set up for it,and to be fitted for sleeve soon.I went in and had my first injection which is a new cancer med,it was an hour and a half iv drip.I will have 4 sets of treatments every three weeks.Then every 12 weeks for the next three years.
I am experiencing a few side effects so far which was I broke out with a rash on my chest,was given benedryl.I have swollen lymph nodes and an irritation under my upper lip, a sort of raw feeling or like if I ate something sour and the after effects of too much acidity.
If it had not been for God first and above all I don’t know where I would be,the love and support of my husband who is a minister and children,my family,and I am very blessed to have the love and support and prayers of my pastor and his wife and other ministers, as well as friends.So much prayer has went up for me and still is going on for me.
I am praying for this cancer to stay away that it won’t return and that I don’t get sick from side effects from the cancer treatments.I am taking it one day at a time, I have limited use of my arm due to nerve damage and lypademia.But I am ever so grateful that I have my life and I have my family and those I hold dear to my heart.I plan to keep blogging about my progress or problems that occur so that I can help others who have this.
If there is any thing I could say about this experience , I would tell people to take notice of moles you have , or check your body to see if you have them in ares you wouldn’t think they would be.If you have moles odd colored,shaped, swollen,scabs on them don’t ignore it, go to the doctor have them removed right away. I am not a sun bather and I got this .People wear sun screen and sun protection, tanning booths are bad for you.This is your life, don’t take chances .Melanoma is a nasty cancer and it spreads quick.
If you have any questions , or you found out you have this and need moral support leave me a message.I needed moral support and still need it as I have a long road ahead of me.I wanted to share what I have been going through the past couple months.