Dear Melanoma has always been about sharing the rollercoaster that is Stage 4 Melanoma – the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in-between.
There is absolutely no denying that the last few months have had more lows than highs, and just when you are feeling that you are reaching the highs again you’re sent plummeting to reality.
Yesterday I shared my most recent scan results. They were largely positive after starting back on Keytruda and a dose of radiation to my ‘monster’ lesion that is just outside my pancreas. Everything appears stable. But one lesion on my adrenal gland has doubled inside and my LDH levels have increased again in the last 3 weeks. This lesion on my adrenal gland does not, and will not, respond to Keytruda, so our plan of action is to have some radiation in hope that it can be controlled.
Even though I am feeling really down, I want to stress that this isn’t a terrible scan result. I have been spoilt with almost two years of reduction and than stability… I am not accustomed to the set backs that I am sure are just part of Stage 4 cancer.
I think I am just having one of those ‘why me?’ moments.
Anyway, on a happier note, tomorrow is our second wedding anniversary!
For most people, two years really isn’t a big deal, but any anniversary is a big deal for Serge and I. Two years ago we had moved our wedding forward almost three months with the real concern that I wouldn’t have made it to our original wedding date, May 2nd.
Although our wedding was beautiful and special, it was bittersweet. In the back of my mind, as well as some of my guests, our wedding would be the last time they saw me. Our wedding could not be about a future together – no talk of growing old or having children. It was about the now.
I wrote a blog post shortly after our wedding about planning a wedding when you are dying and the struggles of writing vows. I continually go back to our wedding vows that I took from my favourite Twigseeds card:
This is my wish for you:
Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life.
This was my wish for our marriage, a marriage that lives on after I am not here.
For the last two years I have had all of this. Serge keeps me going. He lets me cry when I need to and, most importantly, he has the amazing ability to lift my spirits and make me laugh.
I don’t believe in a God (only Pavlova Gods), but I truly believe that Serge came into my life for a reason. Not many men would stick around when the person they have just started dating has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I am so lucky that I found my great love when I did.
Serge and I were only together 6 months before we were married… not enough time to learn all your partners bad habits! I am glad that I have had two years to learn all those bad habits, but most of all, I am so lucky that I get to wake up every day and live life together.
My cancer story is as much about love as it is about being sick. I am so lucky that I can look back on the last two years, what should be the hardest two years of anyones life, and have our love story shine bright.