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!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

AIM For A Cure 2012-Charlotte, NC

Hello Friends,

I remember stumbling upon a post on Facebook back in January 2012 from the Melanoma Prayer Center about AIM at Melanoma's walk/fun run in Charlotte, NC.  I remember thinking how awesome it would be to raise a bunch of money not just for cancer in general but specifically for Melanoma.  The number of people diagnosed with melanoma is on the rise and sadly the number of deaths due to Melanoma continues to increase.  More research for better treatments need to be available!!!  If Melanoma is caught early the chance of survival is great, something like 99%.  But if Melanoma is caught in the later stages, there aren't good treatment options.  If you are diagnosed with stage II the only treatment option is surgical wide excision and interferon (and some oncologists don't even use interferon for stage II).  If you are diagnosed with stage III the FDA treatment options are surgical wide excision, Lymph node dissection or Ultrasound surveillance, and High Dose Interferon Alpha 2b for One Year.  If you are diagnosed with stage IV the treatments are surgery, Interleukin 2, Zelboraf if you have BRAF mutation, and Yervoy.  Sadly only about 10% of those with stage IV Melanoma survive...We need to change this and take Melanoma Down!!!!

Saturday Nov 17, 2012 the AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk/Fun Run was a reality.  I was so excited and blessed to meet many of the melanoma warriors I follow on fb and blogs in person.  I was so thankful to travel from Kentucky to North Carolina with my best friends Hattie and Jason, My Mom and Step Dad, My little Sis Teaonna, My babies Livi and Andrew, and My biggest Fan--My Hubby Aaron.  Thanks to those who sent in donations for Hattie and I, we turned in over $1,700!!! Thanks to Randi for helping get our T-shirts for the event, while I'm so last minute! At the time of the event over $60,000 was raised to Show Melanoma Who's Boss!!!

I didn't get the opportunity to grab a hug from Anne, who organized the event, but I want to say: Anne You did an amazing job!!!!  There was free skin cancer screenings from Charlotte Dermatologists, UV skins was there, Awesome T-shirts, Free Starbucks Coffee, Bagels w/ cream cheese, protein bars, water, oranges, chemical-free Aveeno Sunscreen, lots of awesome giveaways, and hundreds of people affected by Melanoma.  I was moved to tears as I listened to those who spoke at the event about their loved one's who passed away from this horrible beast!  Sadly, one of the things I observed as I looked around was how many young people were getting the purple survivor shirts at the event.  We have to stop this beast!!!!

There were lots of people walking and some running...I decided to run, mainly because it was cold and I wanted to warm up.  I had so many names I wanted to put on the back of my shirt because sadly I know way too many people in my personal circle who have/are battling this disease, but I picked four: Joe Stevens (passed away Feb 13, 2012), Me (stage 3-battled 3 x's), Kim Blevins (stage 3-battled 2 x's), Jen Christie (stage IV warrior-Fighting for her life), and All Cancer Warriors!  I want you all to know that I ran for Donna from the Cancer spot, My friend Casey T. from back home, Kasee K. from back home, Megan F. from work, Sara W. my running friend, Eric Sizemore, my patients I meet with melanoma, my fb Melanoma friends, My Blogger Melanoma Friends and those who I've never met but connected because of this horrible disease.  I Run for all of You!!!

Here are the Pics from the Event:  Enjoy......

All the walkers/runners for the Event
Livi-I run for My Mommy and All the Cancer Warriors
Teaonna- I run for My Sister and All the Cancer Warriors
The Back of Our Shirts
Teaonna and Livi
My little Andrew

Hattie and I Running for all the Melanoma Warriors
Mom, Livi, Me, and Teaonna

Livi, Aaron, Andrew, and Me--Andrew didn't want to pose for the pic

Mark, Me, and Rich--check out those TuTu's.  Rich writes Hotel Melanoma
Carol and I.  Carol writes Attitude of Gratitude

Chelsea and I.  Chelsea writes Adventures With My Enemy Melanoma

It was such a blessing meeting all of you and getting to hug you in person!  I hate that we all share this common bond with this ugly Beast, But together we are Showing Melanoma Who's Boss!!!!

This Time Last Year

Hello Friends,

This time last year, November 20, 2011 to be exact, my little girl Livi had been sick for over a week with a Strep/Mono combo. For several days in a row she had fevers reaching above 105... It was very scary! Since my family lives four hours away, my hubby and I have to arrange our work schedules during times like these to be able to care for our kids.  I remember like it was yesterday calling my friend Brittany, who worked midnights, to see if we could trade days so I could be home during the day to take care of my sick little Livi while my hubby was at work.  Thankfully she traded with me and I was set to work Sunday and Monday midnights in the ultrasound department.  

I clocked into work at 6pm and began taking care of my patients.  During my lunch break I received a text from my friend Joe, who is an ER nurse friend of mine also battling Melanoma.  For those who don't know about Joe, let me give you a little history---Joe was diagnosed with stage 3a melanoma on his upper back with positive sentinel lymph node under his arm.  Joe did the full lymph node dissection and all other nodes came back clean. In June 2011 Joe's scans revealed a lung mass and surgery confirmed it was metastatic melanoma.  Joe went on to have half of his lung removed and was told he had clear scans in October 2011.  Since there was no evidence of measurable disease his Dr's said there was no adjuvent chemo he could do other than interferon since his scans were clean.  Now fast forward to November 20, 2011 when I received the text message from my friends Joe.  The text read: "Alicia, I think it's back." I responded with "Where are you?".  He responded with "The ER room 22".  I responded with "I'll be right there".  

When I got down to Joe's room I could see he was lethargic, sweating, and his urinal was black.  He looked at me and said "I think I'm dying"  "I know it's back".  The next day scans confirmed our worse fears that the melanoma had invaded Joe's liver, bones, spleen, lung, and brain.  Joe tested positive for the BRAF mutation and began the treatment Zelboraf.  I tried to be there with my friend every day to support him, encourage him, and to just listen when he needed someone to talk to.  My friend Jennifer Christie, was also on Zelboraf at the time helped us more than she will ever know while Joe was battling.  My friend Joe passed away at the young age of 33 on Feb 13, 2012.  Before Joe passed away I told him about the AIM at Melanoma 5K that was held Nov 17, 2012 in Charlotte NC.  Joe said, "I won't make it that long, but Run for Me."  

Friends as we gather together this Thanksgiving please remember Joe and pray for his family.  He is missed tremendously!!!  I still have his voicemails on my cell phone and I listen to them whenever I need a boost of encouragement.  Please don't forget to check your skin for anything that seems new or out of the ordinary.  Joe's melanoma was on his upper back and his momma told him over and over to get it checked.  My first Melanoma was on my left hip during pregnancy and had I not waited over a year to get it checked mine might have been caught earlier than stage 3.  Melanoma is not just skin cancer!  It can and will Kill no matter what color or how old you are!  Please make the call to get your skin checked with a dermatologist!  Don't forget to share the love and spread the (chemical-free) lotion! Much love and God Bless Each of you!!!!

Joe and his precious Momma

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Hello friends,

Have you ever been in a situation where you send up a quick prayer asking "God give me patience or I'm going to end up coming unglued and lose my cool?" I don't know about you but sometimes I say those quick prayers as if Im expecting God to just wave a magic wand and "zap" me with some patience in about 2 seconds. I totally believe God could zap me with patience real quick but thats not the way He works. Patience is something that must be developed by experiencing and living thru trials or while waiting for something our heart longs for.

You see the very situation that is testing us to the point of complete breakdown is what develops patience. Its the moment when we quit trying to control the situation and we give it to God. Patience isn't something we can give ourselves by chanting over and over in our head "I need to be patient, I need to be patient, I need to be patient." That only prolongs the ticking time bomb that is going to go off when someone flips our switch so to speak. God is the giver of patience and its given by allowing Him complete control over our circumstances.

The book of James talks about developing patience through trials in this scripture: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5 NKJV)

God in the midst of our trials or while waiting for the "door(s)" to open help us develop patience and give us wisdom when we have to make serious life changing decisions. I know my life is in your hands and you are in control. You are the giver of love and peace. And your love never fails. Thank you for blessing me with far more than I deserve and most of all thank you for loving me while I was so unloveable. In Jesus name, Amen.