Welcome to Dear Melanoma
Hello there! My name is Emma Betts and I'd like to welcome you to my life and Dear Melanoma.
Dear Melanoma is an honest account of my 24 year old life with Stage 4 Melanoma, which is a terminal diagnosis. It's all about the hopeful and happy highs, the heartbreaking lows, and everything in-between. Yes, you'll probably cry...but I'll make you laugh, too. Pinkie promise!
Please join me. I want you to be part of my life. Celebrate the wins. Comfort me when the not-so-good happens.
Most importantly, I want you to join me to make a difference. I want you to practice sun safe behaviour. I want you to teach your children to be sun smart. I want you to be an advocate for increased access to treatment options. I want you to help me raise money for research.
I want your help.
No, actually, I NEED your help.
I'm in this for the long haul. Are you with me?
My latest blog posts...
You have been asking for it and I am finally ready for you! You have been asking to see me half naked and looking somewhat glamorous (rolls and all) in my new SunSoaked Swimwear.
I am not a Style Blogger and want to give you a little disclaimer. You are not going to get beautiful model shots, but instead just me awkwardly posing for my not so professional insta-hubby photographer. These swimmers have been gifted to me, but I have not been paid to write this post or for any of the ‘fashion style’ posts I publish. Why do I always support SunSoaked and the beautiful Kate, founder and designer of SunSoaked? I support her because I genuinely love the designs, they are ‘oh my god’ flattering, and the whole range is based around an emphasis on the need to be sun smart. There is nothing in this for me, except some great swimmers.
Early in the year, someone close to me, someone that should know better, someone that should be one of my biggest supporters, sent a text saying something pretty horrific…
‘You have been dying for two years, it is no longer an excuse.’
Ok, everyone, pick your jaw off the floor and get out those awkward giggles that come out when you just have nothing to say.
This horrible comment was said in the context of their unhappiness with Serge and I not visiting THEM enough or not calling THEM enough. Obviously I can only put my side of the story forward, but this is someone that seems to have forgotten that they have a car and phone.
It is hard to believe that it has been three years since I was told that I had Stage 4 Melanoma – terminal cancer.
Within a few short months I had gone from a young woman, diagnosed a year prior with Stage 1 Melanoma, to a 22 year old with Stage 3 Melanoma, to finally hearing the worst news possible – I was Stage 4.
I was 22 years old and had already explored and worked in some of the most isolated places in the world and with the most exciting future ahead of me, to a 22 year old stripped of all my hopes and dreams and left to face my mortality.
This week has been bittersweet… definitely more sweet, than bitter.
For those of you that follow Dear Melanoma on social media, you would know that I FINALLY started the clinical trial that I have been speaking about for months! After such a rollercoaster of feelings and having the trial almost taken away from me because of issues collecting viable tissue, on Tuesday I was able to breathe easy. I was in the treatment chair ready and raring to go. It was not difficult to see my excitement, but was super special seeing the relief and complete joy felt by my oncologist, the clinical trial’s team, the nurses, the receptionists and all of YOU!
I definitely had a whole lot of people praying to the Pavlova Gods for this trial.
I haven’t been blogging of late – a combination of laziness and the craziness of life (I know, the contradictions!).
For those of you that follow the Dear Melanoma Facebook Page, you will know that I am in the process of starting a new clinical trial. I say process because I am currently jumping through a million hoops to secure my place. I have signed the consent form, but I still have to have a million and one tests/scans etc to tick all the boxes before I am officially eligible for trial.
As you can see, the clinical trial process is complicated.
I am not new to the world of clinical trials. In February 2014 I started a clinical trial for Keytruda (now on the PBS) and was on the trial for almost two years.
I didn’t really blog much about my feelings and experience of being on a trial, but I have decided that I am going to start a little blog series called, ‘The Musings of a Lab Rat’.