Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where do I even begin?

I never thought I would be able to write a blog but with the inspiration of my favorite bloggers Chelsea and Heather and my deep hope that getting my story out there will help myself and bring awareness to others here it goes.. But now the question is where do I even begin.. I guess for those new to my story I need to rewind and give a recap of the last 9 months. 

It all started with an innocent trip to the dermatologist in the end of March 2011.. I had a "beauty mark" on my back that was dark in color and since I had other moles removed before I thought I would just go and get this one off as well. The dermatologist said she thought it was nothing but would remove it anyway and that I was to come back in a week for my results. Not wanting to take another day off of work I asked if I can come quickly on my lunch break the following week. Looking back big mistake, it's NEVER easy to have to hear that dreaded C word but to hear it by yourself on your lunch break is a whole other story. However, I was again told not to worry that it was only stage 1 and I was just going to need surgery to get it removed. No big deal right?? WRONG!!

I was sent in to see an Oncology surgeon that same day and at this point I can honestly say I was just in a state of shock..no tears just shock! I remember calling work and telling my boss that I wasn't coming back from lunch, then my mom who was in Florida at the time in which she replied you don't have "real"cancer its just a mole that needs to be removed.. which truthfully just pissed me off(sorry mom I know you were trying to help).. then to my boyfriend of only 4 months to see if he would come with me quick to this Dr. appt. I had in which he replied, "I'm not sure I am out car shopping with my mom," my reply.. umm ok dont worry about it but umm I think I have Cancer..click! He was at my apt within 10 mins.(yup thats why im marrying him)! 
An hour later I was in an Oncologist office and I could remember filling out the forms and not being able to write the word Cancer... I mean this must all be a mistake or a bad dream, people my age don't get Cancer?... I went in to see the Dr by myself another big mistake because I wasn't in any state to ask questions or even talk much for that matter(luckily Cristina, a friend from high school, just happen to work at this Oncology office and she came out and explained everything she could about the procedure.. thank you Cristina you will never know how much your kindness and compassion truly meant). But honestly at this point I was just a scared girl who needed her mommy!!! Though, I wasn't going to tell "mommy" that.. I believe I tried to convince her not to even come home for the surgery because according to the Oncologist I would be in and out and back at work on Monday! (Surgery was Friday mind you). BUT momma knows best and Friday morning with 5 pages of questions for the Dr. she was there holding my hand... and thank God for her knowing me more than I know myself!!! 

BECAUSE the surgery was nothing and I mean nothing like anything that I was prepared for, before the surgery started I was told I needed a Lymph Scan, in which they inject radioactive fluid around the melanoma site(this hurt like a few double hockey sticks!!) Then you go in a room to get scanned to see if any of the lymph nodes glowed, and my left under arm was glowing like crazy!! After they told me that I would have to have my sentinel lymph node removed and biopsied during the surgery. Ok so now I'm really nervous but the Dr. again told us he is almost positive that it is nothing to be concerned with. 

After the surgery I woke up in extreme pain and was very very nauseous and I just wanted to see my mom but the nurses just gave me more pain meds(which I did not want!) and told me to try and sleep that I had to wait, but I just kept getting more and more sick. It was a horrible experience because everywhere around me family members were coming in to see the other patients and as much as I begged and cried..yes cried.. they would not bring in my family. Finally after a few hours they told me if I can walk to the chair across the room they would let me see my mom. I was so sick and out of it but at this point I would do anything to see her so I did it. Come to find out the whole time they were telling my mom and Joe in the waiting room that I was still sleeping.. Until my mom finally got up and said if you don't let me in there NOW I will walk in myself. Later we found out that they gave me too much Morphine and wanted it to wear off before my mom saw me!!! Now my mom and Joe come in and the nurse tells them that I have a drainage tube in my back because they had to go deeper than planned and I would probably be on bed rest for a week. WHAT!! I was suppose to be in work on Monday and back to normal?? The recovery was hard and painful but the wait for the lymph node test to come back was by far the worst part.

Two weeks later my mom, Joe and I are back at the Oncology office to hear news that even my worst fears couldn't have braced me to hear ... to be continued on next blog post!! 


  1. your the strongest person i know, i love u and cant wait to read more

  2. I am SO glad that you are sharing your story!!! Can't wait until the next post. XOXO

  3. So proud of you Julie for sharing all this. I admire your strength and love you and am with you every step of the way. xoxo

  4. I want to hear more... My husband has to go at least every 6 months and have pre-cancerous lesions removed from his face and forehead. We both are wishing you well during this.