The "M" Word

I haven't blogged since the middle of January. The past 6 months have been a whirlwind for me after hearing the "M" word again.

The "M" word for me is Melanoma.

Four years ago (July 2013), I was diagnosed with melanoma through a mole on my neck. I had surgery to make sure the melanoma was contained in the mole and had not gone into the lymph nodes. Everything was fine at that time.

Fast forward to the middle of January 2017. A lump appeared on my neck. I wasn't sick. I waited to see if it would go away - NOPE. I called my doctor. Next came a CT scan and then a biopsy. My melanoma was in my lymph node. Off to my oncologist for a PET scan and MRIs. I was scheduled for surgery to remove lymph nodes from the left side of my neck. We knew one lymph node was infected with melanoma. After surgery, we found out that 2 lymph nodes were positive for melanoma. The second one was microscopic and had not shown on the PET scan. 

Next came physical therapy twice a week to get my neck moving again and discussion about treatment as I was now considered to have Stage III Melanoma. Lucky me (I say lucky because my oncologist calls the standard treatment for Melanoma "evil". The clinical trial drug isn't as evil.), I qualified for a clinical trial and that was the road I took over the standard treatment and radiation.  I had a 50/50 chance of receiving the trial drug. 

I am receiving the trial drug, Keytruda. I started receiving treatment on May 18 (my 26th wedding anniversary). I go for treatments every 3 weeks for a year. So far I have not experienced too many side effects - just a bit of fatigue every now and then. I am hopeful that will continue but we'll see.

Some things have been on the back burner such as blogging. I am still spending some time creating resources, but they certainly take longer than prior to surgery and treatment. The hubby and I are continuing to go camping and create as normal a life as we can have through the midst of appointments and treatments.

I don't let the "M" word get me down. It's just part of my life now. Praying and reading God's word gets me through. I know there are others that have it worse than I do. My go-to verse Joshua 1:9.

Here's a selfie from today. Be sure to check your moles once a month and wear sunscreen. :)