Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Quest....

“It will take a miracle for you to survive”. Those words are seared into my brain. Those were the words spoken to us from the surgeon who was about to cut away half of Jillian’s liver. From a Doctor. From someone you are trusting and looking to for answers. Those words that were delivered in such a harsh, insensitive manner. 

 I will never forget watching the color drain from Jillian’s face as she sat on the examination table. I will always remember looking at my kids from across the room seeing  their tears fall softly from their faces. My world stopped, it was if all the oxygen was sucked from that room. The room was silent except for the occasional sniffle.

 And I then I remember feeling this fierce protectiveness bubble up inside me.. And the anger. How dare you. It was those very words that motivated me to prove him wrong, and to begin to navigate my way into the belly of melanoma. It is not a pretty place.

I’ve learned much these last two years. I’ve seen firsthand the resilience, determination, and joy, coming from a young 21 year old woman who has been handed a cancer card. I’ve seen what love can do. I’ve seen how extended family members and friends rally around us.  I’ve been blessed to have met so many new, wonderful people along this road as we meander along with melanoma as our partner.

I’ve also seen a darker side, and have taken some hard hits because of it. But my faith remains strong through it all, and I KNOW without a doubt that we will see the other side of this with love, compassion and a peace that surpasses all the darkness that threatens to suck us in.

I will continue to fight for my daughter and for all of those Faces that are currently battling this war against melanoma. And in doing so, spreading awareness where ever I go. That is my quest, my focus. My mission. Nothing will deter me, or my family from achieving this goal.

Fall Seven Times, Stand up Eight.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Real Deal..

So. Here we are. It has been three years, and three months since Jillian was first diagnosed with melanoma. Two years since she was diagnosed as Stage IV melanoma. Two years since she had half her liver ripped out of her body. Two years since I’ve slept through the
night without waking up with this heavy ball and chain that follows me through my day. At work, running errands. All. Day. Long. And then at night. Every night. And TWO YEARS that Jillian has undergone numerous treatments, and endured all of it without complaint. I am ashamed at my weakness compared to her.

 For those of you with children, this is your worst nightmare. All the hopes and dreams you have for your child. Shattered. Changed. To see them go through what should be the very best times of their lives….college, moving into an apartment, a new career. Their whole life in front of them with only the sky as their limit. Interrupted. You just can’t sugar coat it.

And yes, I am mama bear. I will do everything in my power to protect my children. Especially if they are injured, as Jillian most defiantly is. If you have issue with it, step aside. This mama bear attitude is what motivates me to fight this beast. To support my daughter. It’s what keeps me going, and helps me to stay focused on raising awareness to this very devastating cancer.

It helps me to see the bigger picture, and to know that I’m not alone in this. Because the blessings continue to be revealed to me. Through my family, my friends. My melanoma community. I know God has a plan. And its big.

I am not happy, but I am motivated.