Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Indoor tanning is banned in SIX states!!

Six states have now banned tanning bed use in minors!  California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, and Vermont!  This is exciting news, people!  C'mon Idaho, let's get with the program!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Live not just survive

How many melanoma survivors, (or any cancer survivor for that matter) can relate to this??
I remember not too long ago, I would think this very thought.  I don't just want to survive!  I want to live because living, to me, means enjoying life to the fullest!  And today I am grateful that I can truthfully say that  I am living, not just surviving.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Melanoma joke

I had to chuckle at this because I think it's important to find laughter in all of this ugly world of melanoma!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

3 years is a big deal.

Well, I made it to my 3 year mark!  3 years in remission, 3 years without evidence of disease, 3 years all clear!  There was a time in the past that I wondered (and at times seriously doubted) that I would still be here.  So, to say that I'm grateful I am alive, is an understatement!
I was recently reading back through previous posts when I was in the thick of it all.  It was humbling, extremely gratifying, and even emotional to read through all of my posts.  It definitely brought back a flood of memories, both good and bad!  In memoriam of the last 3 years, I thought I would highlight some of those moments (even the not-so-good):

On September 12, 2010 I wrote: 

"Sometimes I find myself crying myself to sleep or in the shower as I think about the possibility of being taken away from my family too early. I'm only 32 years old! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be fighting cancer at this stage in my life (or any stage in my life). The thought is too much to bare sometimes. I often doubt my own strength and courage, and even my will to live because I know that the odds are greatly stacked up against me."

On October 8, 2010 I wrote:

"This news was above and beyond what I expected. I mean, I had prayed hard for "remarkable results", but Heavenly Father really hit this one out of the park! Only one word can describe this event and blessing...MIRACLE. I have witnessed with my own eyes many miracles in my life, but this one takes the cake and I'm grateful to be at the receiving end of this wonderful blessing.  I don't even know if I deserve it!  I know that this answer to our prayers was the collective faith, prayers, fasting, and love from everyone around us, not just my own. Thank you for all of your prayers and love, one of the most amazing gifts to me is to "feel" of the power of prayer of so many people praying on behalf of us around the WORLD. It is truly astounding and humbling. We are so blessed!"

On Dec 3, 2010 I wrote:

"On top of the fatigue I've been battling with, it's been a tough week mentally too. I'm nervous for the scans coming up, just praying that the last tumor will be completely gone so I won't need surgery. And I just haven't been feeling as positive about things as I normally do, probably because I physically feel so crappy. I just need to get out of this slump so I can move on and concentrate on the "miracles" that have already occurred and that I'm healing. I do know that I have been blessed and that God is watching over me everyday. There are so many good things that have happened in our lives.

This quote has been a good reminder to me this week, 'Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.' ~Emory Austin"

On Dec 27, 2010 I wrote:

"I'm ready to kick 2010 out the door. Sure, there were some great highlights and we have been extremely blessed, but let's be honest, 2010 was one for the books! It was definitely the hardest year I have endured thus far in my nearly 33 years of life--physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I'm still here alive and kicking. The fight in me will never die. I have too much to live for and too many things that I want to accomplish in my life. Mostly, I want to change lives and help others. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do that yet, but I have to hold onto that hope. There is more life to be lived! 2011 better go off with a bang! I usually make lots of goals or resolutions every year, but this year I'm simplifying it. My only goal for 2011 is to kick the cancer out of me once and for all!!!"

And then almost 2 years later on February 10, 2012 I wrote:

"The part that humbles me the most is to see my "melanoma comrades" slipping by the wayside--losing their battles to melanoma or perhaps struggling to stay alive. It's that part that always puts a lump in my throat and brings tears to my eyes--because that could easily be ME. In fact, that could have been me a year ago if I hadn't responded to treatment. I COULD BE DEAD. Yes, that is a strong statement, but I realize that it could've easily been my destiny. Fortunately for me, I am still here. But the thing with melanoma is, you are never out of the woods.  I try to stay humble knowing that this beast can always find a way back into my body. Melanoma is sneaky like that--some even like to refer to it as the "great masquerader" because it is often unpredictable and erratic.  I personally know this from experience. All I can do is remember that TODAY IS A PRECIOUS GIFT AND THAT RIGHT NOW I AM DOING ALL THAT I CAN.

It's those 3 months scans that come creeping up that make me anxious and worrisome, and often bring me to my knees pleading for peace and comfort. I'm sure God is sometimes sick of hearing, "Please, Heavenly Father, let me continue on this path. Continue to heal me and bless me with another 3 months of clean scans". I sometimes even find myself making "deals" with Him to do whatever he asks of me, so that I can still be here with my boys. ;)

What also humbles me is to think of all the great blessings and tender mercies that my loving Heavenly Father has provided me and my family these last few years. I am often struck with awe when I realize the big things, and more importantly, the little things that He has given me to ease my burdens. I don't know what I did to deserve those blessings and miracles, but I am eternally grateful for them and try to recognize and acknowledge every one.

I guess I am glad for these humbling moments because if we didn't remember all that we've gone through and learned, how could we be grateful? How could we look back on our lives and see the Lord's hand in it? How could we progress? Being humble and grateful is the key to our existence, I have realized. If we can do that, I know that we will not only be happier for it, but be able to tackle all obstacles that come in our way."