Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I can't believe that the day has come when I can finally say that "I AM IN REMISION!" It is such a difficult and important milestone to reach at Stage 4 Melanoma and I feel blessed to be where I am today. Don't get me wrong--I know I have a LONG way to go--the rate of recurrence is very high, especially the first 3 years. With that said though, I also know that I need to enjoy where I am now and relish in the moment, even if it is short-lived. My wonderful doctor, Dr. Minor informed me that it is harder to get to remission at this stage than to stay in remission. That made me feel a little better.

He also told us that he feels very encouraged by the results that we have seen from the treatments and scans over the past year. I have responded very well, and all signs are pointing to hopefully a durable remission. I do have to mention that though I am considered "in remission", I am not technically considered "N.E.D." (no evidence of disease) because I do have one little spot still showing up on the CT in my right lung. However, my doctor is confident based on the fact that I have had negative PET scans for almost a year now that what is remaining is just scar tissue. WHEW!

I will continue to have scans every 3 months and will see my doctor then too. The other plan is to remain on Yervoy (Ipi) every 3 months as maintainence if my insurance will cover it. I feel good about that plan. I know that I'm going to have moments of high anxiety, especially leading up to the scans, but I am going to try my best to not stress about it so much and enjoy my life now.

Having Eric with me at this doctor's visit was especially memorable. Over the past year, Eric has stayed at home with the kids while I have traveled back and forth to SF for treatment, so this was the first time meeting my doctor. I am so grateful that he was there to hear that all-too-important news so we could share that joy and temporary relief together.

I have to give thanks to all who have helped me get to where I am today--my husband and children who keep me fighting, loving, and enjoying life to the fullest. To my parents who have supported me in so manys through this year, who have been at all my doctor's appointments, hospital stays, and scans. To my other family members who have encouraged and uplifted me, who have helped us with the kids amoungst other things. To my friends and church family who have rallied together to make sure that I had help with the house, the kids, and meals and of course, who have offered so much emotional support to me too. To my acupuncturist and hypnotherapist for helping me get through treatment, envision a positive future, and for always believing that I could do it too. But I can't leave out the most important person and that is GOD. I give full credit and thanks to my Heavenly Father for His hand in healing me. I know that the medicine and all the other things that I have done have worked because they work TOGETHER through His power, and ultimately, I know that it is HE who healed me.

I know that this journey will certainly have more "bumps" in the road, but I also know that I can get through anything after the last year. I accept that there is no cure for Melanoma yet, but I also have so much HOPE for the future and know that it is bright and that there WILL be a CURE someday. I figure if I can buy some time.. if "the beast" comes back..there will be more options, BETTER options. I will BEAT it again. Life is good if we choose to see that. I am indeed blessed, happy, and forever grateful.


jandehenderson said...

What wonderful news! I have followed your blog for the past year and I couldn't be more happy for you!

"Melanoma Mom" to Josiah (teenage melanoma warrior),

Jamie said...

Congratulations, Christina! I am so happy for you and I have no doubt that your remission will be durable and you will soon be NED. I love your pictures - washing the cancer away. I hope that soon you will be able to do that in your heart too (at least the negative parts). My thoughts and continued hope are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your wonderful news.

Rebecca and Andy said...

Thank you so much for commenting and reading my husbands blog. I am so excited and encouraged to hear your news, we live for the day we can say the same. Don't dwell on the future and what it may or may not bring, enjoy every moment you have in the present. I know you had a few questions about Andy's treatment and I will answer them, but tonight I am brain dead after a full day of testing and such, so I will wait until I can answer properly:)
Rebecca Wileman

jwoodbri said...

That is such fantastic news! I am so happy for you and your family. If I remember right we were diagnosed stage 3 about the same time and I think of you often. So glad to hear you are doing well. I wish you years and years and years and years of remission! :)
-Jess (from Moms With Melanoma; jwoodbri on Melanoma International)