Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Beautiful people

Meet Meredith and Nick.  Meredith is from North Carolina and Nick is from Australia.  Both are Stage 4 melanoma warriors.  Both led incredible lives and inspired thousands, maybe perhaps millions.  Sadly, booth recently passed away.
I hate melanoma!

If you have seen the video Dear 16 Year Old Me, you might recognize Meredith, the patient that shares her story with ocular melanoma.  You can read Meredith's legacy and journey here and here. 

Nick was a young father and husband who was fighting with the drug company that produces Anti-PD1 to extend compassionate use of the drug to hopefully help prolong his life.  He petitioned hard to get the drug, but ultimately lost the petition and lost his life earlier this month.  The part that makes me the saddest is that drug company recently just approved compassionate use of this drug for Stage 4 patients.  The irony!  You can read a little of Nick's story here
I did not know Meredith nor Nick personally, but I read their stories and followed their journeys.  They were definitely "beautiful" people!  I was both devastated and shocked when I heard the news that they both passed away.  What a legacy they left behind though and I only hope we can use their stories in a positive way to move our mission forward to educate others about melanoma.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I absolutely love this and think this applies to so many things in our lives.  I especially feel this way about our Sol Survivors Melanoma Foundation.  We couldn't do what we do without support and without each other!  Together we can and will make a difference!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Living Proof

About a week after I returned from SF, I received this letter and special invite in the mail.  It brought tears to my eyes, mostly because of the title or name of the event!
I feel so honored and blessed to be apart of a group of Stage 4 survivors that are still around 3+ years after diagnosis.  For anyone that pays attention to statistics, that is not a small feat!  I also feel equally grateful to be under the care of such a brilliant and caring doctor, who knows melanoma!  Dr. Minor definitely has a knack for keeping patients around for a long time and I know that it was no coincidence that I was led to him nearly 4 years ago...

Friday, February 7, 2014

3.5 Years!

Well, it was a big day yesterday!  I graduated to 6 month scans and finished my last treatment!  I have to be honest, it is definitely bittersweet.  On one hand, I'm happy to not have to go back every 3 months (which is what I've been doing for almost 4 years) and I'm also grateful to be done with treatment (I'm sure my insurance company will be even more grateful!).  However, on the other hand, I'm also a little nervous about going so long in between scans especially because I know firsthand how quickly this disease can change.
At the end of the day, I have to push my fears and doubts aside and trust the process and more importantly, trust in my Heavenly Father, who I know has a plan for me.  It was a joyous day to celebrate continued health, remission, and good news with my parents, my friend Courtney, and the doctor and nurses!
I love these nurses.  They go above and beyond to care for their patients and I always look forward to seeing them!

My good friend, Courtney came with me to SF this time.  Just for the day!  While my mom and I were at doctor's appointments, she was wandering the city taking it all in!  We were able to catch up after I was done, grab lunch and go see the Palace of Fine Arts.

My mom, my hero!  She has been with me at almost every doctor appointment, treatment, scan, and hospital stay.  I honestly don't know what I would've done these past few years with out my parents support.  It has been critical to have them with me, especially since my hubbie has stayed at home to hold the fort down.  What a crazy journey this has been, but we have been beyond blessed along the way.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


 I love this image of the sun damage that occurs before you're 18 (and shows when you are older).

I also love this image.  OUCH!  News flash people, tanning is OUT.  Not only does it cause premature aging, but it causes skin cancer, and not always the kind you just cut out!

 Another powerful image of tanning bed "coffin".  Tanning causes melanoma, simply put!  Your risk is 75% if you are over 35 and 87% if you are under 35!  Is that a risk you are willing to take?