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!

Monday, December 3, 2012


Hello friends,  

How many of you like change? Anyone out there seem to embrace it and ready to roll with whatever is thrown your way?  Sometimes change is good and it’s a welcomed surprise...Other times change throws us a curveball and we feel emotion we didn’t even know we could have.  Change can make us angry, sad, hurt, confused....but change can also help us grow in many ways if we can embrace it and allow it to teach us a thing or two.  

Here in the last year, we have encountered lots of change.  Some of it has been good and some bad.  Some of the changes have caused me to get angry and feel hurt.  If i’m being completely honest, some of the changes, especially the ones I didn’t get to control made me down right want to say things out of my character.  First in January of 2012 my dear friend Joe, found out the treatment he was on was no longer working against the Black Beast Melanoma.  I was sick with grief over the fact that this monster was ravaging my friends body and taking up resident where IT didn’t belong!  The changes happening made me so angry!  I felt angry at myself more than anything because I couldn’t stop it...I truly thought I had the power and enough faith to save my friend.  Change is hard....

After my friend Joe passed away in February 2012, my best friend Debra moved away. I was completely shocked!   We have worked together for close to six years and she is like my long lost sister.  We always joked that she is the female version of Joe. They are literally so much alike it’s scary! The three of us were inseparable those last few months of Joe’s life.  If Joe wanted Broccoli and Cheese soup from Panera, I could call Deb and she’d be right there to serve it to him. We spent every moment we could with him and his family to help comfort in some way.  Deb was with me and Joe’s family the night he took his last breath...That’s how Joe wanted it.  He said, “When the time comes I wan’t to be surrounded by my mom, my sisters, and my two best friends; You and Deb”.   We’ve been through a lot together.  Deb is that friend that I can seriously tell anything and she always knows what to say to make me laugh.  She loves me for who I am flaws and all.  I miss being able to drive five minutes to see her but I know there is a purpose for these changes.  Still Change is hard....

Just this past month a lot of changes have taken place with my job.  I had been working for this company for 8 1/2 years and had plans of settling into this place until retirement.  I thought my best friends Hattie, Deb and I would be doing sonograms til we  were old ladies.  These people have been with me through chemo and the birth of my children....we are like family, to separate us would be insane.  My husband and I recently bought a new home just a year ago 5 minutes from my work place because we just knew that’s where I would work for years to come.  About a year ago an opportunity came up to continue working for my company/department but it would require an hour commute to and from work each day.  I had been working nights and weekends for the past 7 1/2 years, and this new job was dayshift only and no call.  I took the position with the thoughts of being next in line for the next available dayshift position within my department.  This position was the next best thing until that coveted dayshift position became available locally.  Well those were my plans, but that’s not how things worked out. A year goes by and lots of changes happened.  The things I was told, were not true...the traveling position became a permanent position without the option of transferring back to my old job.  Because of my history with stage 3 melanoma, transferring jobs and insurance is a scary topic, so at times I feel stuck to do what ever the company asks me do.  Yes, this was very difficult for me to swallow and completely out of my control.  This was change that I didn’t embrace so easily.  This was change that made me angry and I became physically ill over it.  The new position will entail taking call and I live an hour away...not something I want to do when I have small children and my family lives four hours away.  Definitely not something I want to do when I have worked “crappy” shifts and put in my time over the years. Change is hard....

Just this morning our children’s pastor and wife made the announcement that they are moving from our church...God has called them to another church closer to their family. This is a change that is very difficult for them and us but at the same time a joyous move closer to family.   I have to admit, I was selfishly saddened by this news.  K and J have allowed God to impact our lives and our church in a Big way.  After much thought and prayer this is what I put on K’s fb wall: Change is hard but sometimes it’s necessary.  Change is uncomfortable but God is more concerned with our hearts and growing us than He is with our comfort.  Pastor K and J, You will be missed tremendously!  I have no doubt that God is going to use you three in a mighty way to impact His kingdom.  you have done so much in the lives of our children and for that we are eternally grateful.  We are so thankful to call you friends!  K you are an amazing leader and it was an honor to finish Tough Mudder Ky with you.  I also want to say I’m so proud of my Livi girl.  After church was over, I asked her if she was ok and she responded with “Yes.  I’m Ok...I was the only one not crying this morning.”  she said “I was too busy hugging and helping everyone else who was crying.”  I asked her if she understood that you guys are moving away and would no longer be our children’s pastors and she said, “Yes, but we can drive to see them sometime if we want to.Again, thanks for impacting our lives!  We are blessed because of you.

Change may be hard but God has a plan and even though some changes are out of our control...They are not out of God’s control.  On the bright side, I had coffee time with my friend Deb this evening before she traveled back to her new home.    Distance may separate us but our friendship is stronger than the roads between us.  Even though I no longer work with my Best friend Hattie, we still go to church together and live in the same town...She even traveled to Charlotte to run the Melanoma 5K with me.  Our friendship is stronger than not working in the same department.  And as for that new job I was so grudgingly not accepting of...well I’ve met some new friends who happen to be amazing!!!  These people love me and cheer for me. They even bought me a cake when I passed my Vascular Boards.  I enjoy their company and we are a great team together.  I realize now, I’m just where I need to be.  Change is hard....but sometimes the things we see as a huge burden can turn out to be just what we needed all along.  

Since I’m talking about Changes, I find it only fitting to make sure you are aware of any changes on your skin...as these changes can be bad!!!  Check moles for the ABCDE’s:  Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color changes, Diameter, and Evolving.  If it itches, bleeds, or just looks funky get it removed ASAP!!!  As always please share the love and spread the Chemical free lotion to all those around you.  Much love and God bless!!!

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