Now that I’m all grown up, and have finally figured out what I want to be, my thoughts are constantly on the prize. That prize for me is to raise Melanoma Cancer Awareness so high, that Melanoma becomes a household word. That’s my desire. I want to see black ribbons on my garbage cans. I want there to be a line of beautiful North Face jackets with that same black ribbon. I want to see Burton snowboards carry the ribbon. I want it displayed on all things young and fun. I want Melanoma Cancer to be so well known, that the current upswing in melanoma is drastically reduced. I want our beautiful young people to RUN from tanning beds. You can roll your eyes if you want to, I can do what I want. After all, I’m fifty now.
Yesterday we spent the day at U of M while Jillian had a CT scan, and a brain MRI. We will travel back again tomorrow to go over the results with our Dr., and possibly begin another round of Yervoy in combination with the drug Zelboraf, which she has been on the last four months. We were talking about this combination of drugs in the car during our drive to U of M. I mentioned that she would be one of three patients currently on this combined treatment. “Go Jill”!!, I said. She replies, “Yea, me”.
Damn. “yea, me” indeed. I turn to my daughter sitting in the back seat. Looking at her, you would have no idea she has cancer. She looks healthy. She IS healthy, and young. Except for this one thing. Melanoma Cancer. It was a fluke that her Dr. ordered a PET scan one year after the mole on her back came back positive for melanoma. That area around the mole that had been excised, along with two lymph nodes, came back showing clear margins. We had NO idea that she had a tumor on her liver, two on her lungs, and several on her brain. This is how Melanoma Cancer works. It is the beast lurking within. You may not even know you have it. The doctor’s decision to order that scan has most likely saved Jillian’s life.
Our lives have become one with cancer. This drive to U of M every 4 weeks, or whatever the current treatment plan is, is just part of it. In the meantime, Jillian continues to plow through her life as she goes through her day to day activities. She runs every day. And you won’t hear her complain.
So this month, during Melanoma Cancer Awareness Month, while college graduation parties are being planned, while teenagers go to their proms, while seniors plan their graduation open houses, while brides- to- be plan their weddings..while Jillian fights her battle….I’ll be planning the next way in which I can raise awareness to the Beast that Lurks within. I can do that. I WILL do that.
Love and hugs, and ton’s of blessings!