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, July 10, 2013

Radiology Report

Hello friends,  My nurse from Vandy just messaged me my official radiology report.  They didn't mention anything about a new lung nodule and all my lung nodules appear stable!!!! In the message she said no new metastatic disease.  Stable scan!!! Praise God!!!!  Thanks for all your prayers :-) check it out :-)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vandy 7/8/13

Hello friends, I just wanted to give a quick update while traveling on my way home from Nashville. I'm typing this on my phone so I appologize in advance for any typos. 

 We had a great quick trip and guess what??  No biopsies!!!  My first appointment was with dermatology where I was first examined by one of the residents.  She found a spot she thought was suspicious but when Dr E looked thru the dermascope he said it was just a Nevus but not atypical.  Thank God I got out of there without stitches!!!!

Next on my agenda was to check in for my CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis with IV contrast.  The tech had a really hard time getting my IV but after the third try finally got it:-) the scan was pretty quick and easy even though I had the typical tight feeling in my chest and warm tingly sensation.  After my scan I was starving so we went to Ted's Montana grill for lunch.  

After lunch we went back to the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center where I checked in to see my oncologist.  My official CT report wasn't back yet but he pulled up the scan on PACS and reviewed it himself.  He saw one small new lung nodule but nothing he was overly concerned about.  He said we will wait and see what the radiologist thought of it but he wasn't concerned.  I'm going to follow up with him in 6 months and Dermatology wants to see me again in 3 months.  I tried to get Dr E to let me go to 6 months as well but he said I scare him since I've had 3 melanoma primary tumors and too many dysplastic to count on my fingers and toes.  

...And Dr E said my big purple toe needs to be seen by an orthopedic podiatrist.  He is also a runner and thinks I may need orthotics.  He also recommended getting my GP to check my SED rate and Uric acid to make sure it's not Gout or arthritis.  

Overall I'd say this was a fantastic checkup!!!!  Praise God from whom all blessing flow.  Now I'm just hoping this radiologist agrees that this lung nodule is nothing of concern:-). God bless each of you for your love and your prayers!!!!!

Here is a pic of the cute little dog "swoosh" the Vandy volunteer was walking around the children's center.  This little cutie was so sweet and great for my kiddos to play with.
My supporters and light of my life!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Living, Loving, Running and Oh yea...Cancer

Hello friends,

Sorry I'm just now updating you with my April Biopsy results!  After a long trip to Vandy I just wanted to forget that I'm a cancer patient and get back into work, family, laundry, cleaning toilets, running 6 miles....ANYTHING besides being a cancer patient. Thankfully it was only dysplastic (pre-cancerous) and my Dr. excised clear margins during the biopsy, so I didn't require any additional surgery.  Praise be to our amazing God!!! 

Here lately I've just been enjoying life and doing everything in my power to be as healthy as possible.  Getting a cancer diagnosis three times has a way of making you appreciate even the smallest things just a little more.  I've found the only person who keeps us from accomplishing our goals isn't the cancer or our disease it's us.  There was a time I couldn't run because I was too sick but God has blessed me with good health now.  The mind is such a powerful thing.  If you believe you can you will!  Instead of coming up with all kinds of reasons why I can't run I just started running and now I can run 6 miles without stopping.  When I first started running last Summer I couldn't even run a half mile without feeling like I was dying.  My motivation is to run for all those who are sick and unable to run.  I think of my friend Joe who is now running among the angels in heaven.  I think of those who are on chemo too sick to even walk.  I think of all the people who would love to run but just can't.  Every time I run I think of you all and it motivates me to keep going.  I run to show Melanoma Who's BOSS!

I still haven't checked the half marathon off my bucket list just yet but I'm working toward it.  I was planning on running a half marathon in April but my friend and I both ended up injured.  She fractured her tibia and I was dealing with an IT band injury.  We took some time off to heal but I've slowly started increasing my mileage again throughout the month of June. Hopefully we'll be able to Kill a Half this fall.  I'm signed up to run my first ever 10K this coming Saturday July 6, 2013.  I've been having some redness and swelling of my Big toe MTP joint with throbbing pain (i'm really hoping it's not arthritis--a long term side affect of interferon) so please pray I'm able to push through the pain during this race.  

You know reality has a way of just slapping you right in the face sometimes.  I'm getting to that point again where I finally feel healthy and then BOOM!   I'm doing all those things that healthy people do.  I'm juicing.  I'm running.  I'm praying.  I have a family.  I have friends that love me.  I just overall feel great!!!  But then I get the call from my oncology nurse at Vandy wanting to set up my CT chest, Abdomen, and Pelvis scan for re-staging and all of a sudden I feel like a cancer patient again.  I feel that crippling fear of what if they find something.  I'm suddenly at war with myself on the inside-- But I feel fine--why even go to the Dr--there's nothing wrong--but what if there is--my friend Joe felt fine and on his routine scan his melanoma spread to his lung--Dear God this is a reality--this is my life--give me strength Lord because I am so very weak--   I go next Monday July 8 to Vandy to see my Dermatologist at 10am, CT scans at 11:20am, and Oncology appointment at 2pm.  Please keep me in your prayers that I have the most boring scans ever seen at Vandy! Until then this is the song I sing and it just soothes my soul:

By:  Jesus Culture

One Thing Remains lyrics

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
this one thing remains

You're love never fails 
Never gives up, Never runs out on Me

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never ever have to be afraid
This one thing remains
This one thing remains

In death, in life
I'm confident and covered by the power of 
Your great love

My debt is paid 
There's nothing that can separate my 
heart from your
great love.