So, I get the phone call from my dermatologist telling me I have melanoma while I was having my hair blown out. Believing as I do that there are no accidents or coincidences, I see clearly why I received the news at that particular time. All those around were able to hear me say to my doctor, "It's alright; God is in control.". The door opened for me to share my faith with the five people around me. I've been back to my salon since that day, and know that at least one of those present that day is a believer. She asked to know the exact time of my surgery so she could pray.
I immediately called my husband to tell him the news. Now, I just have to tell you that the worst part of this melanoma thing has been telling the people I love the most. It is a mother's instinct, I think, to shelter and protect those she loves. The man I love, the amazing father of our children, is a rock! As I received my news, he was under a diagnosis of possible prostate cancer, with 12 needle biopsies scheduled for the next week.
So, on the day of his biopsies, I dropped him off then went down the street to meet with my surgeon oncologist, Dr. Rohit Sharma. Now, the second worse thing about cancer diagnoses is the waiting. Just tell me the news and I can deal with it. But, we waited a week for biopsy results for him. That week I prayed Job 13:15 a lot: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him...." His tests were clear; no cancer!
Now we wait, again, for testing of the lymph nodes that were removed from my groin. Dr. Sharma says they were not dark in appearance, as they might be if they contained melanoma. We will wait. "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.." Isaiah 40:31
Dr. Sharma spent two hours with me on my first visit. He was thorough, explaining risks, detailing research, and outlining our next steps. Initial pathology reports dictated the size of the excision.....about five inches across and just down to the muscle. Lymph noses would be taken for testing and a skin graft performed by a plastic surgeon.
Next, on to see Dr. Michel Saint-Cyr, the plastic surgeon. His analysis was thorough. If he could just move a flap over from my leg, he would do so. Otherwise, he would take skin from my abdomen. End result: the flap worked, and no grafting was required.
Googling melanoma will result in hoplessness. I warned my children about that. There is just no treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation...not effective. Immunotherapy shows some promise. But, delving into websites yielded little enlightenment. Knowledge is power, so I wanted some knowledge. I wanted to know what others with melanoma were experiencing. As I track my journey through this diagnosis, I hope others on the same journey can find some reassurance, hope, and come to a place of giving thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)