Sometimes I go back and read back through my blog to when I first began this journey with melanoma. It is always therapeutic, strengthening and humbling to recall some of the experiences (both good and bad) that I have had the past few years.
One thing that I have been thinking about a lot lately (and often forget) are some of the painful, not-so-fun experiences that I have had. For example, I still remember very clearly the day I was told I had Stage 4 Melanoma. It was literally like a bus ran over me. Or a knife stabbing my heart. Hearing those words from my doctor was probably one of the most surreal moments of my life. And obviously not in a good way. I felt like I was having a nightmare or out-of-body experience where I didn't feel connected to the experience that I was having. Almost like I was just "watching" or "witnessing" myself being told that news. It was very strange. And then grasping that news and dealing with it was a whole different ball game. It was so frightening, that even now I tear up just remembering how scared I was. I would cry at the drop of the hat just thinking about the enormity of my situation, the unknown of the future, and how delicate my life hung in the balance...
I remember thinking to myself upon hearing that dreadful news that, "I might not make it to my 35th birthday". That milestone seemed so far away and yet I was still SO young! Now, as I approach that birthday in 2 months, I am overwhelmed with joy that I WILL make it to my 35th birthday. I hope to celebrate it in a big way because there was a time when I honestly doubted I would see that day come.
Another memory or instance that has crossed my mind recently was an experience quite polar opposite from the previous. And that was hearing the news from my doctor that my treatment was working. I was half way through my biochemotherapy and had just completed scans. I was so anxious to hear the results, just hoping and praying that they were good and that we could continue on this path to remission and recovery. What I didn't expect was to hear that not only was the treatment working, but miraculously 5 of my 6 tumors (which were quite large), were gone. Dissapated. No evidence or trace of them left behind. And the one remaining was more than half its size and no longer active! I remember watching my doctor excitedly tell me the results and the only words that came to my mind were, "It's a miracle."
Because it was. It was truly a miracle. I have witnessed miracles in my life before. But nothing like this. I was so overcome with emotion, gratitude to my Heavenly Father for healing me through the medicine, and filled with love for all the prayers and love being sent from so many family members, friends, and even strangers. I knew at that moment that prayers really do work.
It's memories like these that I am so grateful for because I always want to remember them. When I remember them, I am humbed, strengthened, and reminded of the blessings I have been given in my life and that is truly a gift!