Having children is always something I wanted..longed for..I think most women can understand that. Having you own baby in your arms is an unbelievable experience of true unconditional love(so I'm told and can only imagine). And my main Drs. know how strongly I feel about this so they suggest that I go see a Dr at Cornell about freezing my eggs. This gave me some hope, yes I could freeze my eggs for a surrogate!!
So a week or so later I go to see this very nice Dr. and they run some tests, they decide that yes I can freeze my eggs but I don't have that many with only one ovary and it may not work. I left there very confused about what to do and then I went to see my surgeon. And he said freezing your eggs.. umm NO not an option. He said if there is cancer in your ovary it is not good to go 'poking around' in there because it could lead to the cancer spreading. Ok so not confused anymore just sad, very very sad. He also agreed that the ovary should come out, that he is about 70percent sure it is melanoma. After hearing all this I didn't leave the house for a while. This was just all getting to be too much. I didn't want to live like this anymore, all this heartache. How can one person be put through all this pain and be ok. I was NOT ok. Yes I broke...My fighter face just couldn't be found. And I am not a 'talker' I didn't tell anyone I broke, I just cried to myself at night. I said I wasn't feeling that well to my family and friends. I didn't know or maybe I didn't want to know how I could share this pain I was feeling with other people..not even my husband who I TELL everything too. I thought he was hurt by me too. I was sick of hurting people with my problems. Plus on top of all this one of my best melanoma friends was dying because of the melanoma in her brain. I just mentally gave up.
It was now September and I went back to work and ended up having a very big class of 27 students. I felt like I wasn't good enough to handle all these kids everyday, last year I only had 18. How was I going to do this, get up everyday and live like I wasn't in my own bubble of struggle.
And then she died my dear friend died...yes I had many friends die of melanoma over the years that was very hard but this one was my support. I don't know many people with brain cancer and she was the one I went to with all my questions, my hopes, and my biggest fears. She was my rock. I knew if she could do it then I could too. Oh Brandi how I still miss you so much. So one night I just had a I guess you could call a severe panic attack, I called my mom and just cried and cried and said I don't know what to do. I told her everything and how I can't move forward. Luckily Joe was home and came up from the basement in hearing me crying and tried to calm me down. I was shaking and couldn't even focus my thoughts. My mom told me to take a Xanax immediately and she was coming right over. I told Joe how sorry I was for ruining his life and how he deserved better. It was all just terrible. My mom came and gave me the biggest hug, Joe told me he loved me more than life and I finally snapped out of it. I looked at them both and I KNEW they would do anything for me. And I realized once again how strong the amazing people around me made me. After that night slowly but surely my strength kept coming back.
I had my surgery on Friday, October 10th. And by then I was feeling a lot better. I think I needed to break, I needed that night to let it all out, I hardly ever cry or complain or yell or scream. I never say why me..but maybe I needed to. I also broke down to my oncologist and told him how I had been feeling and he of course gave me even more strength, he told me to get off FB and social media for awhile and just try to live my normal life.
AND that I have been doing. I have been going out and hanging with my friends, I went to Boston with my sister and my two wonderful cousins for a long girls weekend. I just got back from Disney World with my hubby and we had such a FUN time. I got my body scans back right before Christmas and there is no cancer to be found(maybe a little bit in my spleen still but its probably just dead cells). I had an emergency brain MRI in November because my left arm went numb and I had to be rush to urgent care and that looked great, cancer still shrinking and no new growth!!
I had alittle stumble with having severe iron anemia, having a bad reaction to my treatment and getting kicked off my clinical trial, but my iron levels are getting better and I am on a new very similar treatment that is more spread out(once every 3 weeks instead of once every 2 weeks). And so far no crazy side effects from it yet. My class I turned out to love, all nutty 27 of them! I AM HAPPY.. I AM LIVING.. I AM LOVED.. I realized A LOT this year. I now know its ok to fall apart and to talk to people about my fears. I know that this journey probably will continue to be long and hard. I know that through everything I have the best doctors, a WONDERFUL family, and the most amazing friends.
Thank you all for reading this, your support truly means so much to me.