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 am just writing to update everyone.
It has been so nice not being in hospital two whole days! My fingers and toes are staying crossed that I can remain out for at least a few weeks – I say at least a few weeks because there is a chance that I will be having a surgery to have a permanent device implanted to help with pain.
I am still struggling to control my pain and fluid is building up again. Hopefully this can all be handled as an outpatient this week.
I am in hospital on Tuesday having treatment. Any slither of hope falls on this treatment shrinking my tumor and fast. Then, on Wednesday, I am tentatively booked to have a permanent drain inserted. I really wanted to avoid having this for a little while longer, but I don’t think it is going to happen, if anything I think I may need to have it earlier.
It’s World Cancer Day today and how fitting is it that I am in hospital dealing with this wretched disease… at least, trying to deal with it.
I was going to get on the bandwagon and put my own version of Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement, but I have chickened out and you only get the boring/disgusting photo – my pregnancy photo - beautiful oversized and fluid filled abdomen, with my amazing ever-growing bruise, topped off with a colostomy bag to catch the fluid that dribbles out. This is home to my babies. My tumours.
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.