I started this as a thank you post, listing all that people had done for me over that last couple years. It wasn't working, too many people, and too much to say. Will you please take it personally as I try and tell you now. THANK YOU. Yes, you. I am crying right now thinking of how lucky I am to have such a great immediate and extended family, a most incredible ward, and the truest friends ever.
And then Josh. He was perfect during it all. I will never know how.
I am feeling great. Which is its own blessing, then add the appreciation I have for it.
Medically, where do I stand? I was given, in the beginning, a 50/50 chance of surviving in the next 5 years. It has already been two years. If you look at a chart of people at my stage of cancer, dying, most of it is happening in the first few years. Right now they have no reason to think the cancer is back. They worry that there could be small amounts of cancer in the blood. If it does come back, I would almost certainly die. Melanoma spreads to the brain, liver, and lungs. It doesn't respond well to chemo or radiation like some cancers do. I scare you now mainly so you get any ugly or changing moles removed ASAP. Even caught in its earliest stage, you still have a 5-10% chance of dying from it. Sometimes fifteen years later.
They say your not cured of melanoma till you die of something else. I'm just saying.
Where I used to think I was going to die certainly with those kind of odds, I now can't see it happening. I can't imagine the stress and pain. So I don't. I imagine a happy long life. I guess chances of that are at least over 50%.
So, now that I have a future, what will I do with it? I am in the process of trying to figure that out. I have extra time on my hands now, and when school starts up...I don't know. Lots of possibilities. A clean slate, waiting.
I saw in the news a story about a lady in Utah who was paralyzed during a car accident. A single mom with two kids, 31 years old.
The reporter: "If she could take the accident back, would she? She said, "No, I wouldn't. I'm getting the chills, but I really wouldn't..... Of course, but I wouldn't take it back because I'm living a great life." I had to go online for the transcript to see if I heard her right.
I did. And you know what? I had the chills too: I might say the same thing.