About Me

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I'm a Jesus loving girl who is blessed with an amazing husband and two beautiful children. At the age of 23, while pregnant with my firstborn I noticed a dome shaped nodular area on my left hip. It started growing larger and eventually started bleeding. After the birth of my baby girl and my 24th birthday I decided to get the ugly bump checked. The result was Stage III nodular Malignant Melanoma that had extensions into my lymph nodes. I completed a year of Interferon chemotherapy. a year later I became pregnant with my second child. After his birth I developed two more melanoma primary tumors-- stage 1 2010, and stage 2 in 2011. Since then I have made it my mission to advocate and educate to bring about melanoma awareness in hopes that it could save others from this deadly disease. Thankfully, I am very healthy and doing very well! I have No Evidence of Disease and I'm showing Cancer Who's Boss by staying fit and healthy. I plan to blog about my adventures in running over cancer during training for my first Full marathon Fall 2014. Remember to love your skin, protect your skin, and check your skin. Share the love and spread the chemical-free lotion!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 11

Hello friends, September 11 is one of those dates that is forever burned into my mind not just because of the attack on America but because of other events that happened specifically to me and/or my family on this particular date.

September 11, 2001 
I was nineteen years old and a sophomore at Morehead State University.  I remember walking to my morning health class with the excitement of Fall weather.  It was a beautiful morning with the sun beams peering out behind a blanket of fog and a slight crisp chill in the air.  As I got to my class the professor announced that we would be wearing Beer goggles in class and then write a paper about the affects alcohol has on your motor skills.  I remember thinking WOW this is ridiculous!  About midway through the class my professor comes running in frantic "We are under attack!!!"  She was pacing the floor and dialing numbers trying to reach her family that lived in NY city.  After class I remember standing with others around the TV watching as the planes hit the twin towers.  The visions before my eyes were as eerily chilling as the air that September day.  

While workers were searching for people and moving rubble they saw two steel beams in the form of a cross.  It stood there strong in the middle of such destruction as a symbol of strength and hope.  My thoughts and prayers are with those who are daily affected by this tragic day!

September 11, 2002
A year after the attack on our country my father in law became very ill.  He passed away on 9-8-2002 and was buried on the one year anniversary of September 11.  My husband was 25 when he lost his father.  He was an honorable Man of God that lived and breathed his bible. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to know him and hear him tell stories about traveling around to preach the gospel.

September 11, 2006
I don't remember the exact time of my appointment but it was on a Monday afternoon.  This was my first appointment with a dermatologist.  I had this ugly red bump on my left hip since I was 23 and in my 12th week of pregnancy.  Now that I was 24 and was holding my 6 month old bundle of joy it was time to get the ugly bump checked especially since it had started bleeding.  I remember the Doctor sitting directly across from me and asked "so what are we here for today?"  I told her about my bump and she had me slide down my pants to get a better look at my hip.  She poked, prodded and squeezed around the bump then had me go to the procedure room where I soon had a biopsy.  The lidocaine injections felt like a big pinch and after I was numb the procedure wasn't so bad.  In the back of my mind I knew something wasn't right but I kept reminding myself "even if it is cancer, It's just skin cancer".  Besides, I never knew anyone who died from that!  Two days later on September 13, 2006 I received a phone call from my doctor's office telling me to immediately get to her office to discuss my pathology results and options.  I knew at that moment my life would forever be changed.  To hear the words "You have cancer"  "invasive nodular Melanoma" "It has spread to your lymph nodes" "Stage 3 metastatic malignant melanoma" "You will have to do a year of chemotherapy"  "you will be very sick"  "you may need anti depressants as this drug has neuro-toxic side affects"  "you may develop liver and kidney failure" "your chances of survival are less than 50% in 5 years". I cried and I prayed "OH GOD help me get through this"  just as we did on the other Sept 11 days.  I remember laying across my bed sobbing and asking God to help me as these words came to my mind "Can you serve me through this?  Without the power of God and the support of my friends and family there is no way I could have endured that difficult year on my own.  2 Timothy 1:7 says " For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  Friends, while September 11 will be one of those dates that we will never forget because of the tragedy that happened, let it also be a reminder to love and encourage one another.  You never know when it could be your last time to tell someone you love them or your proud of them or just hug them.  As a reminder,  Please check your skin for any unusual areas.  If you have any new moles look for the ABCDE A-assymetric, B-Border irregular, C-color variation, D-Diameter (big as a pencil eraser), and E-evolving/changing over time.  I would also like to add if you have a mole or new bump that itches and it doesn't go away please get it checked asap!!!  I know Fall is in the air but don't forget to share the love and spread the lotion as the sun can burn you in the fall and winter just as much as the summer.  Much love and God Bless!!!

Me holding Alivia (6 mo old) one week before getting diagnosed with cancer

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