A blog about us…and journey with Melanoma

Archive for August, 2010

Survivors.

My blog has been bugging me. Sometimes I feel its too negative.  I want to share stories of melanoma…..but I don’t want to scare.  Well, I kind of do.  Sadly I don’t see any other way to drive the point home.  The majority of people I meet just don’t understand how serious this type of skin cancer is (I was one of these people one year ago).  Even some people with melanoma don’t understand the seriousness.  But for all of the horrible stories about melanoma, there are as many good ones.  So in an attempt to get the right balance, I have updated the blog and separated the pages into two sections – the stories of devastation and the stories of survival... which include those who are surviving with Stage 3/4 melanoma.

For me, it’s really great to chat with those who understand… my “melanoma friends”.  Our friend Christina recently moved to Stage IV, which was devastating, but she is such resourceful person and went into major research mode.   After talking with the top docs and other survivors, she picked a very tough therapy (biochemo) and stood by it even though some people said not to do it.  This week she sent me a note from the hospital (where you stay for 5 days in intensive care while they administer the drugs): her tumors are shrinking after just one round!   I am so happy for her.

Last night we watched the newest episode of the Big C and I cried and laughed through the entire thing.  Its so great to have a show we can relate to.

And this week it was so cool to Sykpe with Andrea – aka “Melanoma Girl“.  She is a stage IIIa survivor just like Mike and she is starting a non profit organization.  She had just gotten her scan results and they were all clear.  So happy for her also!  We are trying to organize a charity event and she has some great ideas… so stayed tuned.  How cute are her t-shirts?  I am going to get one for myself:

Get your shirt at http://www.melanomagirl.com


Fun in the Sun

Yes, we can still have fun in the sun!  Last year at this time, I thought our days were over at the beach.  But I have realized its quite nice to sit under an umbrella in the sand.  The only problem is protecting your face and head in the water.  You can’t really wear a hat body surfing.  And the waterproof sunscreen doesn’t last.   I have to admit, Mike got a bit burnt on his nose. And I got burnt a little where the sunscreen didn’t cover.  I feel guilty.  Mike says I am not a good melanoma wife.  Oh well, what’s done is done.

Anyway, this was our first vacation since Melanoma came to visit and we were celebrating clear scans, and our birthdays.  We were supposed to go to Disneyland.  But we did one day of Lego Land and had enough of standing in line.  Instead, we hit the beach.  We stayed with our good friends at their beach house in San Clemente two blocks from the ocean.  What a great beach town!  Miles of beach, a pier and restaurants and a cute shopping downtown all in my favorite Spanish style architecture.  We ran in the morning, hit the beach, had cocktails, ate out, slept in, and repeated that for a week.

Aidan on San Clemente Pier, Aug 2010

We loved it!

Mike on the beach

Mike digging on the beach

Lego Land Caitlin Mike

Lego Land - Caitlin and Mike