Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A quick thank you!

I was given this quote awhile ago from one of my awesome molemates and I just wanted to share it will all of you... Because honestly I would be LOST in this journey without the support of my family and friends. I have been having a rough few weeks with being sick, stressed, and a bit sad...but you all have been so wonderfully supportive whether it be through a quick text, phone call, email, or post that I cant help but feel loved <3. 
Just a short update I took my Dr.'s advice and stayed home yesterday to rest and sleep. Today I still feel exhausted but not as dizzy and nauseous. Straight from work I took a nap and plan to do the same for the rest of the week. If my body needs rest then thats what I have to try my best to give it. Plus I have a big night planned for this Saturday. It my bachelorette party and I am not canceling it!! I still need to live my life to the fullest I can and continue to create happy moments with my amazing friends. 
Well remember I love all of you guys and all your support needs the world to me : ) As my mom tells me all the time.. WE ARE IN THIS FIGHT TOGETHER!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Keep Smiling!!

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.  —–Unknown

I thought this quote fitting for how I am feeling today. I have been really pretty great these past few months in terms of my health and my positive thinking, but as we all know that can't last forever... because unfortunately life will always give you a reason to cry. I guess it's how you handle those moments that really matter. This month is what I like to call my "busy" month... When I am pulled back into the world of Cancer. Am I luckier than most of my warriors who aren't given a busy month because every day for them is "busy?" Yes but does it always make it easier.. not completely. 

Well my month started as usual with my skin check visit with my dermatologist, and I'm happy to say this was my first visit where we both felt I didn't need any biopsies. I say both because my doctor greatly takes into consideration my feelings on removing any marks/moles on my body. If I say I am worried about it, it's GONE end of story! 

Next I had my CT organ scans I have to say leading up to them this time I wasn't as nervous as usual(probably because I have been too busy with work and wedding planning to think much). However, when that actual day comes around it NEVER gets any easier. I wish there was someway to help my fears but so far I haven't found any way to make this day any less utterly terrifying. Straight from work last Wed., in the blizzard no less, mom and I made our way into the city just in time to enjoy my lovely chilled cocktail of scan juice..yuck. Nurse comes in and I tell my whole vein story per usual.. I can only use one arm.. my veins in that arm hate me.. the best spot is my poor used and abused hand..yada yada yada. Well lets just say he sure added to the abuse part of my hand because he ended up not getting a good line in, which led to the radioactive dye infiltrating the vein during the scan. NOT FUN! It caused me not only be in a lot of pain but to become very sick the next two days after. Oh the joys of tanning huh!! 
BUT being sick wasn't too bad when you get the call that the scans are still showing No Evidence of Disease. Then at least I was able to be sick with a very huge smile on my face : )

Lastly, is treatment day.. which was yesterday. This is always the most dreaded for me because on this day I am truly a cancer patient. I am that young lady in the chemo suite with an IV drip in her arm... 
Well it started out searching for a good nurse to take my 'multiple' vials of blood, which went very well.. thanks Krystal my new favor blood sucker. Next came usually my favorite part, if you can have one in all this, my meeting with my doctors because I usually come out of these appts. feeling very optimistic. However, this time was not really the case. First off my favorite research nurse, Nurse Motherly, is no longer working in this location.. Yes Im growing to like her replacement Nurse Gretchen but still she was there from the beginning : ( Secondly, Dr. Magical who always brings a smile to my face was replaced by Dr. Nice who I like but is just not as 'Magical' per say. And in our conversation he happens to mention how my scans looked good but my lungs showed a bit of inflammation though nothing we need to worry about right now! WHAT, have you met me.. telling me not to worry is like telling me not to eat.. umm its going to happen. So of course I told him I wasn't satisfied with that answer I need to know more, what does this mean, didn't I get the ALL CLEAR scan call?? Well I think he majorly regretted telling me this tidbit of info but the damage was done. So when my main doc., Dr. Wonder came in he knew I wasn't happy. He explained that this could just be a side-effect from the Ipi(chemo treatment), or its just spots that are on my lungs from being sick in the past, etc, etc. Of course he doesn't actually say or it can be signs of something to come. BUT of course that is all I am hearing because when you have Melanoma all you ever have in you is fear.. hope and fear.. So now I just have to wait for my next scans in 3months to see if the so called "spots" stay spots, disappear, or.. and I'll just leave it at or.
So did I choose this moment to cry nope Mom and I went straight to Bloomingdales, and I had a reason to buy this gorgeous.. slightly expensive necklace, because hey you only live once right!! After that I held my head high and went in for my chemo treatment and laughed and joked around with the wonderful people who work there, whom I've come very fond of for making a terrible experience a little less.. terrible. 

Ok ok so no one is perfect, I might have went home and shed a few tiny tiny tears. It happens. But as the saying goes for all the hundreds of reasons that life keeps giving me to cry it gives me a thousand more to smile. 
For instance, through all this craziness this month I was able to go to Key West, FL to celebrate a gorgeous wedding of two amazing and very dear friends of mine. I was given another three months, despite the inflammation, to live my wonderful life disease free. Also, I have the most amazing fiance in the world, whom I get to walk down the aisle with in two short months. I have a great job that is understanding of all my appts. and sudden sicknesses. I have incredible parents who would do anything for me, my mom who has never ever ever missed one of my appts. and holds my hand and my heart through it all. I have amazing friends who helped me raise over a thousand dollars to my Melanoma fight for a cure fundraiser. I unfortunately am unable to make it to North Carolina tomorrow for the walk because of my treatment schedule and feeling very weak and tired. But I am there in spirit with all my fellow warriors who have also raised tons of money and awareness!!! LOVE U GUYS : ) And lastly I am thankful for all of you that are reading this and always supporting me. 

Jody, Jen, Tracy, Pauline, Nancy, Irene, Cliff, Tim, Maspeth Lions, Diana, Richard and Lorraine, Ann Marie, Jules, Maspeth Knights of Columbus, and my parents. YOU ALL ARE HELPING US GET ONE STEP CLOSER TO FINDING A CURE AND FOR THAT I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL!!

If you would still like to donate you still have time please visit the below link.. thank you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So be sure to get your PINK on!! And of course get those precious boobies checked ; ) 

Yes I know what your thinking.. Don't I usually go on AND on AND on about Melanoma, the BLACK beast?? Well guess what cancer doesn't discriminate on what color ribbon it brings into your life so why should I. What ever type of Cancer you have or support we ALL feel the same pain and experience the same fears. We warriors are all in this fight together because in the end we all have the same dream.. A CURE! So this month I show my support for those who are kicking this ugly 'pink' disease in the A$$, especially my amazing family friend Kathy Carione AND my incredibly strong and invincible Grandma, Esther Lambert. These two women are true survivors in all sense of the word. LOVE YOU BOTH!!

I also wanted to tell a story about an email that I received today from an old friend from college. His email truly touched me in many ways but it also made me realize how Skin Cancer is dramatically on the rise among young adults. It seems like everyday more and more people are hearing those dreaded words, You Have Melanoma. I don't want to go into too much details about our private conversation but I did want to say that because of people out there with wonderfully big mouths like us in spreading awareness where ever we go, to anyone and everyone who will listen we just might be saving a life or two. Because you never know who will be listening to our rants and raves at just the right time!! 


Thursday, September 13, 2012


Ok so maybe my break was a little longer than expected but I can say one thing, I NEEDED IT!! I'll try to fill you in on the last couple of months as short and 'sweet' as I can. I started my summer off working for a nearby summer camp for 4 weeks. I was very nervous at first because I would be outside for a lot of the day and as we all know I have been fearing the sun since my diagnosis, but if I was going to truly "Live and NOT Just Survive" I needed to get over my fears. So I put on a hat and lots of sunscreen and guess what I was fine, I was more than fine I was pale and I was happy : ) 

Then in the beginning of August I started my Cancer Patient role again. I first started with Dr. Hottie my Dermatologist, I had two moles removed and both were benign(yaaaaay). Next I had my scans, this time I had both a body CT and a brain MRI. The visit went smoothly, I was able to have both scans done in the same day. Scanxiety was at an all time HIGH but I am very happy to say that both test came back CLEAR!!! (insert happy dance!) Then I had my 3 month treatment, we had a few glitches with my blood and it turned into a nearly 12 hour visit, but in the end I was able to get my treatment and my usual pep talk from my doctors so all was good.

Now here comes the best part, the part where I was truly LIVING it up!! My Trip to Aruba... Yup me a Melanoma patient at a tropical island, I thought that side of me was over.. NOPE. Did I mention that I was living not just surviving yet?? After my summer camp job I felt a little more confident of my ability to be in the sun and stay pale and beautiful ; ) Well Aruba was no different. SUNSCREEN PEOPLE it works!! And for me I added in a large hat, a cabana umbrella on the beach, and "trolling it" under the bridge(there was a walking bridge over the pool that I liked to hangout under when I felt the sun was too much so we called it trolling lol). I even went quad riding on the insanely rocky, muddy, bumpy cliffs of this 'Happy Island'. I was scared out of my mind, almost died a few times, and dirty as all heck but it was worth the crazy amazing experience! A special thanks to my parents for taking us, it reminded me once again that "Life Is Wonder!"

NOW I am back at work with a new class of misfits, I mean lovely children, and just trying to live my normal life. While in the meantime praying my little heart out for my Melanoma Warriors, because there are still too many of us who don't get to jump in the sand. 

Love you all and remember get your annual skin checks!! 

P.S. Jax is also doing great and still continues to give me love and pure joy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A much need break

I decided to take a short break from Melanoma. Luckily, having just had clean scans last month, I am able to do this for a short while. 
This has been a very tough few months for my warriors. We sadly have lost way too many wonderful people recently and have had some very near and dear friends have their Melanoma rear its ugly head again. And to be honest, it is all a bit more than I am emotional able to handle right now. It upsets me to even say that because I truly wish I was stronger and able to continue to give my friends words of support, but hopefully time removed will allow me to do that again very soon. I love you all and continue to pray my little heart out for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!!
So as I said my last scans were thankfully all clear..big smile..and my three month treatment went somewhat smoothly (Im officially a year through, 2 more to go!) As usual right before I receive my treatment I am able to talk with my superb team of Dr.'s, during this time (as much as I tried to keep it in)I sort of broke down about my fears and my intense feelings of hurt and sadness for my fellow warriors. Dr. Wonder made me promise for my own health to pulled a way from Facebook and Melanoma groups for a short, but much needed break. He said I put on a strong "face" way to often and its ok to have these feelings but I need some time to focus on other wonderful things in my life. Thank you Dr. Wonder for always knowing the right things to say to help my family and I cope through these tough times. 
Well after I got home from my long but sort of FUN treatment day at Sloan(we visited the arts and craft center), I somehow convinced my mom to take me to  Pet Palace to just "look" at the puppies. Well needless to say the looking part turned into falling in love!!! They had so many adorable puppies there, but one of them seemed to be saying "Julie TAKE ME HOME." And thats how I got my first son, Jax.. and I couldn't be more happier. He has made me smile everyday since I held him in my arms. He is smart, cuddly, and playful as can be. I just want to thank my dear friends Sue and Anthony for making it all possible. I can't even express how grateful I am to have amazing friends like you. You have helped put some joy back into my life : ) 
My lil man!!

PS: Just because I am taking a short Cancer-break doesn't mean I am going to stop promoting awareness. I have been dishearten with the posts I have seen about "working on my tan" and "being so sunburnt it hurts," if I am talking about you please please please re-read this blog. I would give ANYTHING to know what I know today about the dangers of tanning. It might look good to you now being a little "sun kissed," BUT is it worth your life?? Even if you don't believe skin cancer will happen to you, OLD WRINKLY SKIN WILL!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Three Words..

First off I would like to remind everyone that May is Melanoma Awareness Month and I strongly urge those of you who might be still be putting off their skin checks to schedule them this month. DON'T wait until it's too late!! 

FACT: One out of five people will develop skin cancer during the course of a lifetime.

FACT: One person dies of melanoma every hour and it can be prevented if caught early enough.

Today I had a faculty retreat, which is a day set aside to give teachers a day of much needed rest and reflection into themselves and their teaching. It was a very nice and calming day full discussions but it just so happened that at the lunch portion of the day I had my greatest reflection. The priest whom was leading the retreat happen to sit at my table, and while in a brief talk with my co-teacher about my upcoming scans and treatment he overheard and got a curious look on his face. So I turned to him and said I have Cancer. And as the words came out it almost.. hurt, I really don't know another word to describe it. I just seem to have a very hard time with saying those three words aloud. Its not that I have a problem sharing my story or having people know about my disease, I mean I write a public blog about it, but for some reason saying it to someone just pains me. Its almost like I don't want them to feel like they have to say the right thing, or comfort me in some way. Or maybe its that I am afraid of "the look," you know what I mean that poor you look.. or maybe it makes all of this just a bit more real hearing it escape from my own mouth. 
But whatever the reason I hope that saying those words will one day get easier, because I think that the best way to spread awareness is to talk about it. Something, among the many..sigh, I need to work on. Writing about it has been such a great release for me and it also helps me feel like I am doing something to help others learn about this terrible illness. But talking.. face to face, how can that not be so much more effective. Allowing people to not only hear my sadness and fear, but to hear the courage and strength in my voice. 
One day.. and on that day I want to shout it so loud that every 'tanner' in the world will hear it!!

And my heart will just break if one day you will too...

So since I may not be ready to yell it just yet, I will continue to write it.. in bold.. in caps.. with exclamations ; ) 

I would like to take this time to thank some very special people.. Jody, Tracy, Pauline, Cliff, Irene, and Nancy for supporting me in my Walk for a Cure event in November. It truly means so much!! 
And also say a very very sad farewell to Miranda who passed away this weekend at the age of 32, she fought this beast HARD for 3 years and leaves behind a young son, devoted husband, and lovely family. Miranda rest your head in peace among the angels!

Monday, April 23, 2012


For the last three weeks I have been walking/jogging almost every day and I honestly have never felt better(well besides the past two days but more on that in a minute).
There is this awesome trail that I found along the park near my house and it has truly become my favorite place to exercise. Surprisingly, it is even something I actually look forward to and enjoy doing. I come home from work relax for a little bit, wait until it is after 5pm(when the sun is not so strong), get on my sneakers, my ipod, and a bottle of water and off I go. This trail is not only a serene treelined spot, but it is also a place stock full of motivation. Every day I see people young and old walking, running, biking, etc. up and down this path; all with the intension of being a bit more healthier. Nobody is competing or all fancied up, like I sometimes see at the gym, they are just out there doing their own thing at their own pace. For instance, there is this older gentlemen that I see out there almost everyday running with such ease; seeing him out there is such a motivator... maybe one day I will be able to run this path like he does so gracefully. Though right now I am still on the speed walking, slight jog, but I know at this point it is the best I can do and I am proud of myself for doing it!

There is, however, a downside to this place that I have become so fond of escaping off to. It is only available "weather permitting". The weather in NY the last few weeks has been gorgeous, not too hot and not too cold and limited rain(except for the last two days), but this will not be the case for too much longer because summers here get very hot. And me and the hot sun just don't get along. Not just because I have Melanoma, I was always a person who did not do well in the sun. As I use to say I "overheat" very quickly. SO I am hoping to take full advantage of this for as long as I can : )

So like I said these past few weeks has been the best I have felt, energy wise, in over a year. Though, these last two days my body has been out of commission. This seems to happen to me every so often; my body just shuts down on me. I am not sure if it is treatment related or my whacked out immune system but when it hits me it hits hard. I woke up Sunday and could barely lift my head off the pillow and today was the same. Severe joint aches, chills, extreme exhaustion, no appetite. I actually just started feeling a little better but still very fatigue and achy. I am hoping that I will feel a lot better tomorrow because I DO NOT want to take another day off of work. It really upsets me when I have to take off of work, those little kiddies are what keeps me going some days and I have just never been one to call out of work, though I know I need to listen to my body and when it needs rest and sleep it sure makes me aware of it!!

BUT despite the weather and my sucky immune system.. I am not giving up on my getting fit routine! In the word of Lance Armstrong..

Like Lance and so many Cancer Warriors, "Quitting" is not in our vocabulary!!!!

I have a couple of warrior friends who need extra prayers this week, so if you can please keep Nick, Jennifer, and Miranda in your thoughts and prayers. They are all true warriors in every sense of the word. Thanks for reading.. <3

Saturday, April 7, 2012


When I look back over this year I have mixed emotions. Has this been the toughest year of my life, YES, has this been the worst, not by a long shot. 
This year I have experienced love and pure kindness like I have never experienced before. This year I found out who my true friends are and how they came to my rescue in ways that I will never forget. This year I said yes to the love of my life. This year I met so many amazing and strong people, who became part of my support team. This year...


I know that I have a long and hard road ahead of me to continue to beat the heck out of Melanoma...But this year I made it through and that's something to be proud of!! 

And my amazing family and best friends had no whims about letting me know how truly proud of me they were. They all really made me feel special this past week and I can't thank them enough. 

My week of fun started off with awesome tickets to the Ranger Game, courtesy of Chris and Lauren! Such a fun night : ) 
Next, a night out to dinner with Joe and a wonderful gift... My new Nike FuelBand which has proven to be really motivating for me, and has also, if even possible, brought Joe and I even closer by our daily walks and talks! I haven't had this much exercise since being diagnosed and I feel GREAT. 
Then, my best friends surprised me with a spa gift card(which I soooo desperately need). Love you girls!
Lastly, my sister and my mom took me into the city for a day of fun. The first stop, AGAINST my mom's wishes, was to the Wooster Social Club to get my new tattoo. Afterwards, we walked around and went shopping, and then went to the World Trade Center memorial. Here are some pics:


Guess what I wished for ; )-
After the city my mom made me my favorite dinner and my parents, Joe, and Jessica(my sister) surprised me with a cake and a beautiful cross necklace!! It was truly such a perfect ending to a crazy year. I love you all so very much and you have touched my heart so deeply. 

Ooooooh and yesterday the Derm called with some great news that my second biopsy on my stomach came back with clear margins. Which means they got all the pre-cancerous cells out with the second incision and the new biopsy was negative for Melanoma!! YIPPEE
On Wednesday I go back to Sloan to get my stitches out, so maybe next week I can add the gym into my new exercise routine : )

Thanks for reading and Have a wonderful Easter or Passover with your family and friends! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My New Battle Wound!

Yesterday I added a new doctor to my growing list(dermatology surgeon) and a new battle wound to my growing  But seriously, the surgery went as well as expected, they did a very small wide excision about 2inches in length and 8-10 stitches in total. The worst pain was the multiple and I mean multiple local anesthesia needle pokes, after that I didn't really feel much. I think my mom was in more pain than I was... thats how I know how much she truly loves me. And even though we like to joke around with her about the amount of questions she asks my doctors and how overprotective she can sometimes be, I seriously would be lost without her. She has never ever left my side through any of this. She is the strongest person I know and I hope one day that I will have the chance to be at least half the mother she is!!

Last night I had a lot of pain and extreme itchiness but today I am feeling much better, just a bit sore. But I have been in good hands, thanks Joe for helping me yet again! I also plan to be back at work with the little ones tomorrow. I just have to be very cautious, the "lil people" like to hug and hang on me a bit, but I think they will be good about it. 

I should get the results from the new biopsy in about a week but Dr. is very hopeful that they will come back all clear!! So now I just continue on with my crazy great life, with my cool new scar and keep hoping that this will be my last. But since is more likely than not, that I will continue to add 'battles' upon my skin, I will embrace them all as a symbol that I am a fighter.. because, "every scar I have makes me who I am."

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read my last post and called or messaged me to tell me that you have made your dermatology appts. Especially someone very near and dear.. You make me very happy : )

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My phone rang..

So you know that dreaded dermatology call that I was hoping wouldn't come.. Well it did. On Tuesday at work I saw the missed call from Sloan and knew this would not be good news. At lunchtime I was able to listen to the voicemail and I heard nurse May, in a very cheery voice, say that I need to call the office as soon as possible, my heart just dropped.

When I was finally able to call back she said that one of the moles on my stomach came back abnormal, pre-cancerous. I was like ok so it NOT melanoma its not cancer. I can handle this.
Then she said well we think it is all pre-cancerous but I need to have another minor surgery ASAP to go in a little deeper to make sure that they got it all out and all of the margins are clear. At this point I honestly didn't know how to feel. I was glad that we hopefully caught it in time but I was still upset.

I was upset because I have heard this before, that we caught it in time and it will be nothing to worry about. 
I was upset because my stomach had just finally begun healing from the first biopsy, and I wanted very much to start working out again and feel better about myself.
I was upset because this meant yet again more time off of work. 
I was upset that I was even upset because I know so many people struggling with news far worse than mine.

And finally I was upset because.. and this was the toughest one.. 
This mole is PRE-cancerous because I caught it in time. I knew what to look for, I knew to go to the dermatologist right away, I knew what melanoma can do if left untreated.

I JUST ONLY WISH I KNEW ALL OF THIS BEFORE MY MELANOMA SPREAD.. and then the What If's started coming back into my mind. What if I caught my first mole in time....

Please, please, please.. Anyone who is reading this, anyone who knows me, and especially anyone who truly cares about me. GO GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED!! 

Don't wait for your what if's...

My surgery is scheduled for this coming Wednesday. I unfortunately won't know how deep they have to go until the day of when the dermatology Surgeon is able to look at it and get more pictures. Of course I am hoping that it won't be so bad, a couple of new stitches, a new small battle wound, and I'll be back to work in a day or so ready to teach some little ones : ) Prayers are always welcome.
Also if you can keep in your prayers a friend of mine's brother, Rob, and their family. They are all going through a very tough time and need all the positive thoughts and prayers they can get!! THANK YOU I love you ALL!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dr. Cutie

Sorry I have to start most of my recent blogs with, "I'm sorry I haven't written in awhile," but life does sneak up on you! Especially since its the 'teacher dreaded' report card time.. ugh But I did want to fill you all in on what's been going on in my journey. 

On Monday I took off of work to head back to Sloan for blood work and Dermo appt. Usually I don't mind going to my dermatologist because he is kind of on the HOT but this visit I had quite a few strange moles that I wanted him to look at so I was a bit anxious. After looking them all over in great detail he decided to remove two of them on my stomach that were dark in color, one of them almost had a purplish tint. These were the first moles that I had removed on my stomach and they were also the first ones that involved stitches, excluding my melanoma site of course. Well let me just say that stitches on both sides of your stomach is a bit painful. I never realized how much you truly use your stomach muscles. 

Today I am finally feeling a lot better but its honestly not the pain that bothers me.. its the waiting! Waiting for the results of the biopsies is the truly difficult part. I would say that I am anxiously awaiting his call but with Dr. Cutie its the opposite, since they only call if there is something they are concerned about, I am anxiously waiting for my phone to stay silent! 

I do have some good news to share.. at the end of the month, March 31st to be exact, is my one year Cancer-versary! Its funny because in a way im like..Wow I can't believe it has been a year already.. but on the other hand, I feel as if I can't remember my life without Cancer. Either way for me it's a milestone and I definitely want to do something memorable to celebrate so I decided to get a new tattoo! Yes Mom I am getting it, sorry I love you but this is something I really want to do. So in a few weeks I will be getting it done at the Wooster Social Club(yup from the show NY Ink). Its a little more pricey but heck after the year I have been through I deserve it : )-

And on exciting news.. wedding planning has been going pretty well.. We have the date, place, church, photo/video peeps and I got my dress!! Everyone hated it but me, so in other words it's PERFECT! 
Wedding date is going to be January 19th, 2013.. My own winter wonderland.. SO excited.

BUT now that all the semi-fun planning is done (aka the dress), I am taking applications for someone to plan all the experience needed!

Well everyone thanks for reading, have a wonderful and safe St. Patty's Day. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm at the right place!

As you all know Melanoma has brought upon may tears for myself and my near and dear, but luckily this time they were tears of joy! I continue, as my new mole mate friend puts it, to be a Cancer Veteran.

"Cancer is part of me now. It’s part of all of us who’ve experienced it, whether we call ourselves survivors or continue to grope, as I do, for a word that makes sense of this new place. How can I call myself a “survivor” when I will spend the rest of my life monitored and tested, a veteran who knows all too well that another deployment could be as close as the next CT scan? We cancer vets live daily with our cancer — in the scars on our bodies, the memories of the people who were kind when we needed help, and the way that we can never again take for granted what a gift it is to make plans." ~Mary Elizabeth Williams  

Last Thursday I started my day like all the rest, waking up early, going to work and missing my bed oh so dearly. But in the forefront of my mind, as much as I tried to block it out, I knew.. today is Scan Day! It's the day that may change my life...
Now usually I get my scans done in the morning but with my myriad of doctor appointments, unforeseen hospital visits, yes the occasional days that I feel to sick to get out of bed I didn't want to miss yet another day of work. 
So after work I picked up Joe, went to my mom's, and got our usually taxi driver(AKA my dad) to drop us at the nearby subway station. After a short train ride we arrived at, what feels like my second home, Memorial Sloan Kettering! After a short wait I was giving my chilled "cocktail," which seemed to just not want to go down..ugh! Then I was called in get changed into my lovely gown and get my IV put in. Well we all know how my veins feel about this part of the day, they go running for their lives... Even after all the usual methods of hot water packs, brutal tapping and searching those puppies just didn't want to show their face. So the nurse suggested we wait a bit and a least get me into the scan room to lie down. I truly do feel bad for the nurses that get me sometimes; what seemed like almost an hour later still no luck. Finally, he tried this small tiny vein and bingo we got blood flow hurray! Since it was so small he needed to hand pump in the dye but it worked : ) After the scans I was of course starving as usually so we went and got something to eat and then headed home. I probably got home around 7:45pm and to my surprise 5mins later I get a call from Sloan. My first reaction was did I leave something there? Why are they calling so late. But as soon as I answered I heard the most amazing sound.. The happy and cheerful voice of Dr. Wonder!! He got the results sent to his office and thought I might want to hear the great news before I went to bed worrying. SCANS ARE CLEAR! I literally wanted to jump through the phone and kiss him.. He gets it. He gets what its like to be on the other side of things and this is why I truly love my team! 

Then this past Thursday I was back to my home away from home with momma in tow for my 6th Ipi/placebo treatment. I was sad to see that my favorite assistant, AK, was transferred to a different Dr. but everything after that went very smoothly. I was able to get and IV placed right away with no problems, vein in hand was working great, 12 vials without even breaking a sweat(yes I do mean from the nurse)! Then I was sent in to meet with my team. But this time I was the one about to ask all the hard questions. They started off of course by congratulating me on my scans and asking about Joe and my wedding plans, about my birthday and snowboarding. Went it got to asking about how I was feeling a got out my list of questions.. Starting with simple, was this or that normal, showing them by rashes, talking about my last urgent care visit and then I got to my last question...

The question that had been on my mind from day 1 but I think now I was finally ready to ask it. I needed to know more about statistics, I needed to know about life expectancy, in the long run, and not just 5 years, I needed to know if it was even a possibility that I would have a chance to grow old, and probably the most painstaking for me, I needed to know are children realistically part of my future. 
Because lately, and I'm not sure if this is just a coping mechanism that I adopted but I have come to terms with some of these issues. I have almost in a way accepted the fact that my life is not going to be a long one, and the dreams I have always had for my future are not a reality anymore. And I was, as difficult as it is to even type these words, Ok with it.. 

However, my Doctors were NOT. They told me yes no one knows your future but there is no reason for us to think at this stage that you will not and I quote, "get away with not having to deal with the joy of wrinkles!" They would not whip out a statistics chart because they simply don't believe in them. Instead they gave me a pep talk!!! Haa "a pep talk" that was not the answer that I wanted... but wow it sure as heck was the answer that I NEEDED!!  In terms of child birth they feel it is still an option, and one they would like to revisit after my treatment(in 2 years). Adding in today's day and age there are so many possibilities in that area. And if that wasn't enough they introduced me to a fellow mole mate in stage IV, who is at the moment on a clinical trial that has her cancer free!! She was honestly such a breathe of fresh air and an extremely inspiring person. Finally I was off the chemo suite to get my injection, which also went extremely smoothly. 

I left there with a new perspective.. you just never know what great things are to come.. And hope is always an option!

As my mom has written.. 
"I just can't say enough about her Dr. and his team. We are bonded as a family and we have so much trust in them.  They really show how much they care. They cry with us, they laugh with us, they give us a hug when we need it, and always share their heart. Their personal treatment and their professionalism makes our tough journey so much easier." 

So true mom.. so true!! 

I have been exhausted these past few days since my treatment but even though my bed as become my new best friend, I just hear the simple words of my fellow warrior friends saying.. ITS WORKING!! Love u all : )

Monday, February 13, 2012

Birthday Blues.. NOPE NOT THIS YEAR!!!

Sorry I havent written in a few weeks; I was sort of taking a little break from "Melanoma world." But since it is scan week for me I have no choice but to be pulled back in. On Thursday I will receive my 5th organ CT scan and I am trying very hard not to freak out..

AND then I remind myself it's ok to freak out because, well because I have Cancer and I think that anyone in my situation is allowed to freak out on the week you are going to find out if this awful thing has spread to your vital organs!! So this week I am giving myself the "Official Cancer Card" pass. 
YES!! It's an actual card.. LOL!! (thanks Nick)

This week I am officially allowing myself to do whatever I want to do, say whatever comes to my mind, and EAT whatever the heck I want!! Sorry in advance for anything I may or may not do ; )-

Ok now on to the FUN stuff I have been doing while on a brief hiatus from the Big C. First my birthday was probably one of the BEST birthdays I've had so far. It started off with dinner with my dad and Joe at Connolly's on Thursday. Then Friday straight from a half day at work I went up to the Pocono's with my snowboarding/skiing buddies. And despite the fact that I had been feeling nauseous all day, me Joe, Joey and Josh were able to go night skiing(my favorite time to go) at Big Boulder. Ok yeah they might of had to deal with me throwing up a few times, thanks guys!! But even though I felt pretty sick it was an amazing time. I honestly haven't felt this great mentally since being diagnosed. 

I have to admit I was a little nervous about going snowboarding, since I haven't really done anything this physical since my surgeries but I am so glad I went. For me, being on a snowboard gives me this sort of indescribable freeing feeling. When I was snowboarding I wasn't that poor sad girl with cancer, I was a cool carefree boarder chick..hehe but its true, I was doing something that I love to do and I was doing it with a confidence that I have sadly been lacking for awhile. 

The next day Saturday I was feeling much better and me, the J boys, and Tara went to, Camelback, another nearby ski resort. It was such a wonderful day!! I did end up falling right on my lymph node dissected arm, while trying to land a jump, oops sorry mom. I promised I would try to be careful but I was in the groove.. well so I thought.. lol And even though it hurt like hell and I was afraid it was going to start swelling any second, I was FINE!! Afterwards we came back to the house we were renting, and had a wonderful home cooked meal thanks to chef Amy : ) Delicious!! Then we all went out to our favorite townie bar SHENANIGANS! When we came home everyone surprised me with a 'Giants' themed Bday cake : )

On Sunday we drove home early to rest up for Meghan's big super bowl party!! I was so friggin nervous watching this game... I mean this whole season alone has given me enough grey hairs but this game was intense. AMAZINGLY they pulled off another huge Superbowl win and happy couldn't even describe how I was feeling!! I actually cried yup I cried.. hey I deserve some happy tears once in awhile.. 
Now whats funny is my older sister is going to read this post and say how can someone care this much about a stupid football game but my younger sister is going to say yeah I know, I almost cried too : ) Jess this is why your my mini me.. and Jill I don't know how we are related.. jk Love u both!!

Well the next day was finally my actually birthday and by then I was just simply pooped! But I some how made it into work probably still on a GIANTS high! The kids all made me cards and were so excited that it was my birthday, but they wanted to know where my cupcakes were?? (Usually every year my mom would make me cupcakes to bring to share with the class ..yes I AM FIVE.. and yes your just But this year she was in Florida helping my sister) Well I tried to explain to them that I didn't have any time with my long weekend and the Superbowl when I hear a knock on my classroom door.. And standing there was my wonderful Joe with balloons and cupcakes for the whole class!! Thanks MOM : ) She called Joe and had it all planned out. Have I told you yet that I have the best mom and finance ever. The kids were thrilled and ok so was I!

Later that day I could barely move so me and Joe just ordered chinese food and watched a movie... 

BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! Thank you to all my friends and family for making it so special.

And thanks for reading.. I will update again after my scans! Please if you could remember on Thursday to maybe keep me in your thoughts and prayers.. LOVE U ALL!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blast from the Past

Ok so this is going to be my last "blast from the past," blog post. I am going to keep posting and spreading my message but in present time : )

Month 8 thru 10 - November, December, January

In the middle of November I had my second scan since being in, I guess you can say 'remission', though us in the Melanoma world refer to it as NED(no evidence of disease), because with Melanoma you are never really rid of it. When you are NED it's just not showing its ugly head little at the moment...BUT we will take it, and cherish it, and be utterly thankful to hear these lovely words for as long as we can! 
So as you can imagine the time right before scans can be very stressful and down right scary, your mind is just consumed with thoughts of what if the Dr. doesn't say those lovely words. And since I will unfortunately have to go through this torture every few months until well... ALWAYS I am hoping with time it gets easier, but right now I just can't see that happening. Knowing that it can come back at anytime whether it is a few months from now or a few years from now just doesn't put me at much ease. 

This time, unlike my last scans, I didn't receive my results that same day, which actually made me a lot less nervous. Dealing with the craziness of getting the actual scans AND hearing the results all at once is just too much. The day went pretty smoothly, well besides almost passing out when the nurse put in the IV line for the dye contrast and getting yelled at for not telling her before hand that I get queasy with needles.. umm I do NOT get queasy with needles.. someone with cancer learns very quickly there is no room for queasiness or a low tolerance for pain. So I was a little bit offended by her reaction, usually the nurses at Sloan are a lot more understanding. I mean did she ever consider that maybe I almost fainted because I haven't been able to eat for the last few hours, or that I had to drink a "cocktail" mixture of who knows what, OR that I am nervous out of my friggin mind!! So after some ice packs behind my head and putting my feet up for a while I was able to get on with the scan.

AND then the following day I got the call that everyone wants to hear, "My scans continue to show no sign of Melanoma!" WHOOHOO My family and I were so thankful to get this news, especially knowing that we would be able to truly celebrate the upcoming holidays : )
Two weeks later I was scheduled for my 4th treatment injection, which has been a long time coming since I wasn't able to get my last one in Sept. But of course since nothing seems to go according to plan with me, the Monday before my treatment my earlobe started to hurt. Not really thinking anything of it I went to work the next day. Throughout the day it started to feel more and more irritated but it was such a busy morning I didn't even have time to check it out, so when I went down to the teacher's lounge for lunch I couldn't understand why everyone was starring at me and telling me they think I should go home or to see a Dr. ASAP. I literally looked like DUMBO!! I immediately went home and went to my general Dr. who said I had a bad infection probably from an earring or something, gave me antibiotics, and said I should be better by Thursday for my treatment. However, it got even worse and the next day I was sent home from work again. Since I was so eager to get my 4th treatment I didn't tell my Oncologist and showed up for my treatment like it wasn't a "big" deal, no pun intended.. but literally it had gotten so bad that the glands in my neck and shoulder were swollen and the infection started spreading from my ear to my neck. Dr. Wonder took one look at me and said not only would I not be able to again receive treatment but I needed to be admitted into the hospital ASAP for IV antibiotics!! I ended up having to stay there for three days : ( NOT fun.. though they did have bingo and some pretty cool arts and! Luckily, it started clearing up and after ten more days of oral antibiotics I was finally able to get my treatment on Dec. 15th. Yipee..

Thankfully with all that drama over with, my Christmas and New Years Eve ended up being amazing, and besides some very itchy skin, extreme exhaustion, and a small but painful trip to Sloan's urgent care due to a virus or side effects I have been doing pretty good! So on that note I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone for following my story of my last crazy 9 months!! It has been a very tough journey but writing this blog about what I have been through has been extremely therapeutic in helping me cope with my new life. Please keep read, sharing, and spreading awareness. 
This weekend I am heading to the slopes to go snowboarding or with this weather "slushboarding" to celebrate my birthday weekend and then coming home to root, root, root for the home team GO GIANTS : ) 
Thank you God for allowing me to enjoy another birthday, life is a gift remember to cherish each day... Especially BIRTHDAYS!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The four letter word...

Sorry I sort of fell off a bit with writing, I haven't been feeling so well these last few weeks. But finally getting some of my energy back and thought I would take advantage with a blog update...
Ok so I left off on Month 7 - October

This month for me was very very special.. I have mentioned a few times that I have wonderful boyfriend but I am not sure that I talked about why he is so wonderful. Joe and I started dating at the end of October of last year.. now not going into too much detail but I have been through a lot of ups and downs in my past relationships and when we met I really wasn't looking to get into another one, but as you can see he won me over. And the day I knew he was "the one" was unfortunately the day I was diagnosed with Melanoma. I have talked about all the terrible things that this disease has brought into my life but the kindness and compassion I have received(and DO receive) from others continues to be my shining light, and Joe just happened to shine one of the brightest. He has truly shown me how to love and be loved unconditionally..
As I have stated before Joe and I had only been dating for around 4 months when I was diagnosed, we were just beginning to get to know each other when the person that I was, good or bad, would be changed forever. I can honestly say I am not the same Julie I was before cancer, then my biggest worry was...hmm I cant even think of a worry worth mentioning, now that I guess I have seen what real worry is all about.. those of you who have or have a loved one with cancer or a terminal sickness knows what I mean..But this worry like it or not we are stuck with, facing it head on.
So finding myself in a situation that most guys would run from and run fast, I understood that this may be the end of my new romance. The fun loving, carefree Julie that Joe started to fall for, quickly became sad, scared, and well lets just say not so "fun"anymore. Over night he found himself dealing with a heck of a lot more than he had ever bargained for. However, Joe didn't leave, he didn't go running... Joe didn't even blink an eye. But instead he held my hand, looked into my eyes and said this journey we are fighting together. And as much as I pushed him away and begged him to go, go and have a life that I may never be able to give him, he stood his ground. He made me a promise the day I found out that my cancer had spread, and though it was maybe the saddest day of my life, Joe made me find a bit of hope.

And on a Sunday morning in October 2011 almost a year from the day we met he kept his promise. He got down on bended knee and asked me the one question that I felt with all of my heart I was ready to answer without a single doubt in my mind.. Julie Ann Abramaitis will you marry me?

Joe you are and continue to be my light in all of my sorrow, you allow me to cry on your shoulder in the middle of the night, you allow me share my deepest and darkest fears and worries.. Joe you simply allow me to be me.. the new me! YOU are my gift from God and I love you with all that I have...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I love my job!!

I just want to start this post off by thanking so many of my family, friends, and acquaintances for not only reading but sharing my journey with others...when I hear how my story has touch your lives or even better has gotten you to make an appointment to get a skin check, I truly feel happy. Now when I am feeling down or sad and , yes at times, wondering why me..I have an answer. Maybe God has given me this terrible illness for a reason, maybe just maybe this is my purpose in life, to help educate others.             

Because skin cancer is NOT just skin cancer!!

One of my favorite posts:
"I'm sharing an enlightening story about one of my sororrity sisters who was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma!! I truly admire her strength and bravery through out this whole process, as well as appreciate her sharing her thoughts and life on this matter!! If I can send any message at all, be proactive and get a full body scan every 6 months!! Thanks to Julie I finally made an appointment with the derm today and did infact have a questionable beauty mark that was sent to the lab. Life is too precious to waste on tanning salons and or thinking your invincible!! We have health insurance for a reason, use it wisely. Thank you Julie for opening up my eyes wide!!" 
~Cory Brody

Month 6 - September
Speaking of educating, before I knew it September rolled around. And for the first time I wasn't dreading the end of summer; I was actually happy about going back to work. For me this was a chance to actually start living again. I just had gotten my clean scans, which means I am at least Cancer-free for the next three months, and my next treatment would also not be for another 3 months(since I was now done with the intensive treatment). Three months may not seem like a long time to most people, but at this point I was taking it as a new lease on life. I had spent the last 6months in "cancer-land" and I was ready to take a much needed break. Now I had something else to focus on...being a good teacher! Im not going to lie I was very happy and excited to go back but also a little nervous. What would everyone say, did the parents of my new class know, would they question me about it, how would I respond, would they question my ability to teach, would my principal and co-workers treat me differently..and the list goes on. 
However, NONE of this happened. I was welcomed by all with open arms. The parents who knew told me that they were there for me if I needed anything and how happy they were that I was back and feeling good; and not one person said a word about it affecting my teaching. My principal was extremely good about me taking days off for my various Dr. appointments. And before I knew it I was back to my old self and back in my old routine.. ok yeah I was more tired and worn out at the end of the day than I use to be and I did have to cut back on doing after school teaching and tutoring. But just being around these wonderful children was probably the best medicine I could have received. They didn't see me as being different, they just see you as being their kind and great(hehe) teacher! And my class this year is very overly affectionate and, yes maybe a bit clingy and needy at times, so in other words they are EXACTLY what I need. When I am in the classroom I have no time to worry or even think about myself, I have 25 little people taking ALL of my time and full attention : ) 

AND this is why I truly LOVE my job and my school for always being kind, supportive, and very caring!! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Month 5- August

For my third lovely trip to the blood suckers and chemo suite Joe was able to come with us and finally experience all the FUN first hand. It started off ok with the blood suckers, they took the blood from the top of my hand, which turns out to have my best vein! Then during the 3 hour wait for the mixture I finally got a chance to meet my friend Chelsea, whom I have talked about. Since she is from a different state this was the first time we had a chance to meet in person. She happened to be getting her scans done at a near by Sloan center, yeah not the most fun place to have our first "date" but as I tell my kids.. you get what you get and you don't get upset! And upset we were NOT, it was like we had known each other for years. We talked non-stop with her and her mom(because we both are lucky enough to have amazing Mommas who wouldn't even think of having us go to any of these appts. without them!). It was just so nice to finally be able to talk to someone face to face that can relate to exactly what I am going through and feeling. Plus we got to help distract her from the nasty scan juice that you need to drink before your scans. Even though we only had an hour to talk, it was by far the best hour I have had at Sloan EVER!

And thats were the fun ended.. after that we went back to the chemo suite for my treatment. Since the blood test was taken from my hand I was very happy to inform the nurse that I saved my arm vein all for her, however, she insisted on trying to put the IV in the side of my wrist. Well lets just say that didn't work out so great, as soon as she put in the needle I felt a pain like I have never experienced before(and I have been through ALOT of pain). I immediately started screaming on the top of my lungs "GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT," the entire chemo suite heard me but all the "not so bright" nurse said was its ok I have good blood return. It was so painful that I couldn't even talk to tell her what was happening so I tried to point at my hand. As soon as I started to point the assistant nurse came flying over and grabbed my hand down, thinking I was reaching to try and to put out the IV on my own. I was finally able to explain through tears of pain that my hand was pounding and blowing up(which no one could see because it was still wrapped from the blood test). OMG what a scene it was, nurses rushing in, Joe and my mom thinking I lost my mind, me screaming bloody murder! As it turns out she went through the same vein as the blood suckers did and hit a nerve.. I ended up having all the nurses in the chemo suite calling me "The Wolverine" and maybe permit nerve damage to my wrist and hand...ooh the FUN just never ends! 

Fourth Treatment
Three weeks later me and mom are back again for the fourth treatment round. After the drama last week AK(dr. assistant), told us to try and see if we can get an IV line put in before the blood test so that we can use the same vein for blood and treatment. What a great idea because there was no way anyone was going near my hand or wrist, which was still in severe pain from the last time. The nurse's said they would do it and this time I only had to give 4 vial's of blood, yes I asked them if there was so mistake, but they say thats what the order read and I was NOT arguing. I had actually been up all night with really bad stomach pains and diarrhea and was still having it that day so was unable to eat or drink the massive amount of water and gatorade I usually need to drink before a blood test. It was all going so smoothly, I was so happy! So when I went in to meet with Dr. Magical I was in a pretty good mood, and after a little chit chat I told It was that I only had to give 4 vials today and good thing because of the diarrhea I have been having.. AND at the word "diarrhea" she was like what Diarrhea!! And then at that second the research nurse walked in and Dr. Magical was like oh you just came in for the good part she was just telling us about her diarrhea. I thought ok haha funny, but then the research nurse was like, Diarrhea!!! And im just sitting there like what is so friggin exciting about my Diarrhea, then it clicked, Diarrhea was the main side effect of the wonder drug....which meant I was probably getting the GOOD STUFF, and not the placebo!!! However, it also meant I was unable to get my 4th and last intensive treatment because it would make me really sick and it could cause colon disease. It was very bitter sweet, happy that there was a good chance I was getting the drugs, but not good because I didn't want to miss a round of treatment of something that may help me live longer. I didn't have a say in it either way so after taking my wonderfully placed IV line I was sent on my way..though not without A LOT of meds..ugh! AND I was put on a BLAND and I mean BLAND diet of only bread, dry pasta, bananas, plain chicken, and plain potatoes for 3weeks, along with two types of steriods and about three other stomach medicines. They said without all that the diarrhea would continue and get worse and worse. Yup another delightful trip!!

A week later, I'm back for my scheduled organ scans, the first one since I began the treatment. AND I was so frigging nervous, not only was I getting my scans done, I was meeting with my head Oncologist a few hours after to get a physical and the scan results. Usually you don't get your results that same day, and you would think it would be better not to have to wait overnight or a few days for the results but I tell you those few hours waiting were HORRIBLE. Just knowing that the Dr. would be looking you in the eyes in just a couple of hours and tell you your faith is just completely nerve-racking. All I could think about was how he would do it, would he come in and examine me first and then put out the 'terrible news file' like my last Dr. did. Would I be able to hear it in his voice or read it on his face, would he look at me with pity, etc., etc. 
Ok I getting ahead of myself let me first explain what happens during a scan: you can't eat or drink anything for a few hours before the scan and then you have an hour to drink this large delightful "cocktail" that tastes awful, then you need an IV line put in for the contrast dye, and lastly you get to lay still in a tube and feel like you peed yourself when the dye flows through your veins. So this experience to begin with is not so pleasant. After all that fun stuff we waited extremely impatiently, I might add, for the results. And they ended up taking much longer than expected, so of course I immediately thought it meant bad news. When they finally called us in I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint(it didn't help that I had nothing to eat all day because of the scan drink and my stupid bland diet). After what felt like HOURS sitting on the table, though probably only five minutes, Dr. Magical(my most favorite Dr) walked through the door  and immediately gave a THUMBS UP! Honestly what at a great way to give results, I didn't even have time to read her voice or her face or stare at that file wondering what was in it..We were so happy and relieved that we all started hugging and crying!! But of course I cannot have a trip to Sloan without some sort of drama, so then she says well the wonderful news is there is no sign of Melanoma and, of course there's a AND, the small tiny not so good news is that the scans showed a possible blood clot in my groin area. Huh? A blood clot seriously? Well good thing she and Dr. Wonder thought the same thing, that it was very weird and extremely unlikely that I could have a blood clot there because I am young and very active. That they think it is just a mistake on the scan..pheww, However, she said since we are not completely sure you need to stay and have a full MRI with dye contrast done, and the earliest we could get you in is 6pm, mind you it is only 3:30pm and we have already been there since 8am! So back to the waiting room we go with still no food because now I couldn't eat anything again for the new scan. There was also another huge problem.. where in the heck were they going to put this new IV line, hand and wrist still a big no, I had to take blood that morning through my arm and had the first IV in another vein in the arm. So they decided to call in the head chemo nurse to do the IV instead of one of the scan nurses. Ok Im thinking well she my best option lets do this, of course she could not get the IV in and after MANY tries she ended up putting a smaller butterfly or something line in, now off for the scan I go. But when I get there the technician tells me that there is no way that they can get the dye into that IV and I need a bigger one.. umm what.. they just got the best nurse to put this in and there is ABSOLUTELY no veins left! After him yelling a bunch they decide that they are going to hand pump the dye in, I still don't even know what that meant, I was so out of it and drained at this point.. I go in for the MRI and it was looongest scan I have ever had, it look almost two hours. And if any of you know about MRI's they are terrible because of the pounding noises and the constant.. deep breathe.. hold it..breath..crap you have to do over and over and over. I really thought I was going to pass out laying down. Finally the scan is over and NOW, duh why didn't I think of this, we have to wait for the results before they would let me leave. It's about 8:00pm at this point and pretty much EVERYONE at Sloan is gone, just me, mom my and my amazing team of Dr.'s. Picture me and mom just sitting with these Dr.'s eating crackers just waiting and waiting. FINALLY at around 10:00pm the scan comes back... yet this time is shows I have two blood clots one in both sides of my groin. Ok pretty much IMPOSSIBLE.. So Dr. Wonder says I can go and he will have to scan re-read tomorrow just to give me the definite ok, but he is about 99percent sure I am fine. And tired as tired could be but HAPPY as ANYTHING that there was NO SIGN OF MELANOMA, mom and I get on the subway and head HOME!!

Never a dull moment in my journey.. love you all!!