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...
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’.
Introducing my darling husband who most of you feel like you already know - Serge. Serge is guest blogger tonight! Woot! Woot! Get your tissues ready because I needed them. The reason why Serge is writing this is to help prepare him a little for his Smiling for Smiddy Challenge, riding from Brisbane to Townsville, and to also help you understand why he wants to raise money for cancer research. Details for donating will be at the bottom of this post.
This is my first time doing something like this. Sharing my story isn’t my strong point – that is Emma’s forte. I feature regularly on Emma’s blog and know that she writes about our relationship, often the saddest moments, but we both thought that it is time to share my perspective. It is not often that you hear the thoughts of the partner of a cancer patient - their role as carer, chief cheerleader, comedium, and ultimate cuddle buddy. Warning alert...a bloke may talk about his feelings.
A few weeks ago, in the midst of total physical and emotional exhaustion, I found myself binging on Netflix. I have no idea how I managed to live life before Netflix? What did I do with my free time?
I got through the most recent season of Pretty Little Liars and was really struggling to find something else to watch. I stumbled across Chasing Life, an American show about a 24 year old with cancer. I normally avoid shows and movies about cancer, but I was desperate and thought I could justify it as research for the blog. I was expecting to pull it apart and criticise how ridiculous it was or I was setting myself up for lots of crying. I was so wrong on both accounts.
This afternoon my husband and I had a good old fashioned cry – I was more a blubbering mess and Serge was more controlled with the number of tears let loose.
This afternoon we went to see 'Me Before You' at the cinema. Serge had no idea what he was in for, he simply heard the word ‘movies’ and decided that he must accompany me. However, I had planned to see 'Me Before You' since I heard that it was being made into a movie.
I had read the book by Jojo Moyes twice – before my cancer diagnosis and after. It is a bit of an epiphany writing that because it is quite right, my life is now defined by life before my terminal diagnosis and life since – life since living knowing that I am dying.