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...
I wrote this a few days ago mid meltdown (see my post over on facebook to hear all about it!)
In December 2014, 12 months after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma, a terminal prognosis, I wrote about my struggle with living life in limbo. I had gone from meeting with palliative care in January 2014 and planning my death, to December when I was responding to treatment and feeling well. Yes, I still had terminal cancer, but I was faced with the potential of this new immunotherapy treatment extending my life by years.
My husband and I had spent months ‘living in the moment’. Serge stopped working to spend as much time as possible with me. We got married. We went on holidays together. We just enjoyed our time together as much as we possibly could.
This time last week I was recovering from the month of planning that led to an amazing evening of fundraising at 'Through the Looking Glass'.
To be honest, I wasn’t just recovering from sleep deprivation and a few too many wines, but I was experiencing ‘post event woes’. They hit me hard after our wedding and then again after 'Through the Looking Glass' last year. I was expecting them big time, definitely considering I really didn’t have something to move my attention to (we hadn’t locked in our few days away or found out (thanks to all of you) that we would be planning our kitchen renovation). I depend on having something on the horizon to keep me going and avoid falling into deep depression that I cannot budge.
With 2 weeks until Through the Looking Glass, I am so excited to share with you where the funds raised from the night will be going.
One of my favourite things about working with Melanoma Institute Australia is the freedom I am allowed to choose where I want the money to go.
Without further ado, researchers and doctors at Melanoma Institute Australia are developing a unique clinical trial that will use existing drugs to target rare genes in melanoma patients who have exhausted all other treatment options.
I feel like a bit of a fraud.
I have prided myself in writing a blog that is heartbreakingly honest – you will definitely cry with me, but in-between I promise you will find yourself laughing.
This is probably the most boring post I have ever written with very little emotion or passion mainly because I am not letting myself go to that place. So, a short post to update you on my health.
I think I have been in the frame of mind that if I don’t write about it, I don’t have to deal with it.
I finished radiation to the lesion on my adrenal gland two weeks ago and I was super lucky in that it didn’t make me very sick (except for some very hilarious vomiting incidences – lets just say, thank goodness for the empty soft drink cup in our car!). I finally feel that I am getting back to my normal self, back to work, the gym and pilates. I still have a lot of back pain, but that will take some time and lots of massages!