Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am a cancer survivor

I signed up for a 10K walk coming up on February 6th. The 2nd Annual Minden St. Jude 5K & 10K run and/or walk for the children of St. Jude. The Minden, LA area has been noted as the largest per capita givers to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the last 15 years. In 2008, this fundraising weekend raised $876,264 for St. Jude. With this 2010 race, they hope to raise even more money for children's cancer research.

I have walked in the Little Rock, Arkansas Susan G. Komen Walk for the cure.  http://www.the3day.org/site/PageServer?PageServer?pagename=homepage  That was over whelming and emotionally for me! To look over the crowd of people as far as you can see. Many pass you with no hair, some so frail they can barely walk, but so many hundreds and hundreds there to walk for the cure because of that loved one they lost to cancer. I am a cancer survivor! I was diagnosed (13 years ago and still no sign of it coming back), with a malignant melanoma on the top center of my head. It was 2 cm in depth and the size of a silver dollar. After two biopsy’s, a surgery to do a brain sweep, skin graft off my thigh to use on my scalp, and over 100 stitches, I was finally told they got it all! Just hearing those words that you have cancer, no matter what the size, its devastating to hear. Your thoughts are about your family, your life, what now? You don’t know where that roads going to go and what’s at the end! I remember when I went back to the doctor to get the metal cap off they had sewed over my graft to protect my scull. When he said you won’t have to take the chemo, it looks like they had got it all! Wow, that feeling was that same feeling that overcame me when I walked that Susan B cancer walk. Looking above the crowd, knowing that those endless waves of people walking all around me were there for all the same reason. Cancer!

2002
That's me on the far left

Thank God I haven’t had a relapse in all these years. I am a woman though. And women are very vain in nature. To this day I cannot stand or sit anywhere if I feel someone can see the top of my head. Yes, I am bald there. The graft did work, but it’s there to cover my bone. The cancer left what I call my bird bath because it’s like a shallow hole that holds water. Hair does not grow on a graft. I try to cover it up with my hair, which is hard to do. Most days I forget about it, but on the days I see it in the mirror, those feelings come rushing over me again. Will it come back? Only God knows! I am one of the lucky ones, I survived! You may say as you read this that it was only skin cancer. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, accounting for more than 40 percent of cases. More than one fifth of Americans will develop skin cancer at some point. More than a million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Since 1981, the incidence of malignant melanoma — the most deadly form — has crept up by about seven percent a year. Skin cancer, mainly melanoma, will kill more than 7,000 Americans this year.

Walking for a small twenty dollar fee may not be doing much for a cause, be it cancer, leukemia, whatever the cause, but it gives me the feeling that I am just a speck of that cure that will one day be discovered. I am walking! I can walk! There are so many that can’t!

4 comments:

  1. You did the right thing by going to the dr. and they ran all the right test to get that Cancer,before it was to late! The test that i talk to people about is haveing their COLON checked,sure it may be hard to go one day and not beable to eat, you can drink sprite and get cleaned out It may save your life and keep you from wearing a bag on your side. My Mom died from colon cancer and it does run in families. Her brother also died of colon cancer. So I beg u and who ever else reads this to go and tell your dr. you want your colon checked.

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  2. I just read this tonght! I don't know where to write responses to people who write comments in my journal, but I wanted to thank you for your comments and support of me. Go and take that trip to VS! :o) You and your husband will love it!

    My mother-in-law's melanoma was caught too late. She is with Hospice right now. We thought, from the doctor's prognonsis, that she would only have 6 months or so, but I think she had her two year mark in Nov/Dec of 2009. I am so thankful for the love and time we have been able to share as a family! I think about the grandkids and get really sad sometimes.

    I'm so proud of you for walking in honor for cancer as a survivor and for a cure; to raise money and awareness! If I can donate some money towards the cause, please let me know where I can do that...do I just click the links above?

    I think you are an amazing individual!

    My daughter loves the socks by the way! I think she is so adorable when she wears them and I love that they are mis-matched! :o)

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  3. Hi ! This is from my iPod

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  4. August 4, 2010 update
    Saw the dermatologist at 5:30 this am. He is sending me to a surgeon in Shreveport next Tuesday to do a bio on a spot right between my eyes. Don’t know the outcome of all this yet but I can tell you it feels like I am living an old nightmare again...the unknown

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