Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hindsight is 5 p.m.

I saw this last night, a remnant of the "old" website, before the revamp. It was written just 2 months after the diagnosis, and I think it's pretty interesting. See what you think.


Hi, my name is Lori, aka Miss Melanoma. As you might have guessed I have Melanoma. That's just a fact, not a death sentence. I started this site for a couple of reasons. First, once I found out I had Melanoma I searched the internet and couldn’t find one local place for people dealing with melanoma and didn’t have much luck. Second, I wanted a place where people with Melanoma could come, share stories, read about my progress as I go through treatment and share along in my blog area. I feel like this has been an awesome experience, and I've grown from it and learned so much from it. I couldn't imagine not sharing the whole thing, the good and the ugly, so that it wouldn't be lost just on me.
So I had this mole. :) Just your run-of-the-mill mole, nothing super special about it- a little mole on my baby toe. And yeah, the mole started to grow, and then a year (or three) later, it started to peel, and bleed, and I happened to be working for a doctor (or- let’s just be honest here- I probably never would’ve even had it looked at even then) who took a look at it and sent me to a

dermatologist friend of his across the street to have it removed. So the dermatologist shoots the mole up with lidocaine, slices it off with a razor, puts a band-aid on the toe, and that was it. I never once, not even for a second, thought about the mole after that. Never wondered what the path report would be, never thought of asking my doctor the results, never called to check up on it, never considered that I could have cancer. I’m not really sure why, but now I do know a lot more about this sort of thing. Now I know that skin cancer typically strikes women in their thirties (even though I obviously had it before then), and is a leading cause of death among women in that age group. Now I know that cancer hits all kinds of people at all ages in life all the time. Good people, young people, healthy people included. Now I know that cancer, like so many other things that you can come across in your lifetime, can be a blessing disguised as a bump in the road.


I look back, just two months into this thing, and know that I was a typical patient. Like so many people I lived under that little cliché you hear people say all the time: I was so caught up in my little life, just doing my day-to-day thing and worrying myself over the intricacies of what I had to get done that I just never thought cancer would “happen” to me. The doctors would later ask, Why didn’t you have it looked at sooner? And there would be no answer, because the answer is in the million daily doings that cover the not-doings.
A week or so later my doctor calls me into his office. This doctor, who is also a very good friend of mine, has this horrible sad look on his face and he says to me, Please sit down, Lori, and he pauses what seems like forever, and, rubbing his eyebrows and holding his breath he finally says that he’s so sorry to be the one to tell me that I have cancer.

I first think: it’s not really cancer, not the kind of cancer other people get. I’m 30. I can’t have that kind of cancer. Not the kind of cancer that kills people, which meant, basically, I am invincible.
Then, after I guess a few milli-seconds, I starting with all the other racing thoughts. I guess it takes a second to really realize that there is this extraordinary chance that the disease no one wants to get has already taken over part of your body and you really may die.
Then- and I'll never forget this- then I thought about my friends. How I was gonna tell them? How could I tell them? And over and over and over I just kept saying, I can’t put them through this. What was I going to do?
That's just a snip-it, but an interesting look, I think, of life after dx and before treatment. How crazy things are?


Anonymous said...

Wow - I remember those first few weeks like it was yesterday - I remember the phone call that I got from you like it happened today - I can't believe that it has been as long as it has -

I am so lucky that I have that memory - because it reminds me how truly lucky I am to have you - and to have my life and...
rereading this post along with your last post - makes it all clearer to me - I can't even explain it - but I am glad that you are keeping this blog up -

It helps those who have suffered from cancer, those who love someone who has experienced cancer - and those who are scared shitless that they wouldn't be able to be the kind of person that you are in handling cancer. your blog gives information and it gives me hope.
Love you - m

Anonymous said...

Your blog gave me hope too when I learned I had melanoma last December. I'm 27, and whenever I was feeling down, letting myself go, I would be thinking of you, of how strong you are. And I would be coming to your blog to read that «you live with melanoma, you don't die from it». I won't die, I mean, not from it. ;)

The people I first thought of when I learned I had melanoma were my parents and sisters. Telling them was the hardest. Telling my friends too, I would be shaking on the couch when telling them over the phone I had cancer, but my boyfriend was there, holding me.

Two month later, I'm better now. I'm now dealing with paranoia that the cancer might be coming back, but I know that will go away too.

I'm planning to have a baby, I'm thankful the doctor is allowing me to. I'm thankful I'm alive and well.

Thanks so much for your site, good luck with everything. I'll keep reading you.


faye said...

It is strange to be invited back to the time before I knew you, the beginning of this forced invitation into a world that you did not ask to know about.

Sometimes I have nothing to say on your blog, b/c it would be the same thing all the time...about how amazing you are and how lucky I am to know you...Well, you are, and I am!


I'm Too Young For This!