I Have Cancer. Again

I Have Cancer. Again.

For the last fourteen years, I’ve been bringing up my history with cancer nonchalantly at places like parties and in line at the store.

“Oh, I can’t donate plasma for cash…you know, I’ve had cancer.”

“I see you’re buying SPF 15….yeahhh, I’m more of a 45+ girl.” **cough** “Cancer.”

I was a cancer survivor after having a simple surgery and lymph node biopsy. I got to wear the t-shirt and sleep soundly at night knowing I was lucky enough to catch my melanoma early enough to walk away with just a bad-ass scar on my back.

Little did I know….there were sleeper cells hiding out, waiting for the perfect “gotcha” moment.

HUZZAH! We’re back!

My official diagnosis: Metastatic Melanoma. What that means: those sleeper cells are nasty sons of bitches, growing and taking over my insides in the form of tumors. I could feel a lot of them, which was bizarre. I had a habit of playing with the ones in my neck. I named one George. They weren’t too painful at first — so long as I kept up my daily doses of morphine and anti-inflammatory meds. I got a sweet, little pillbox to hold my meds. It’s funny that I thought a small pillbox would be all I needed.

I got this at an apothecary shop

After my diagnosis, the big question was, “So, I have over 20 tumors. What now?” I felt simultaneously like someone pushed “pause” on my life and accidentally hit the fast-forward. My main priority was finding out what the best cutting edge treatment was and where to get it. My folks drove up from Florida and we turned my living room into Cancerfest headquarters.

Through all of this, I was trying to find a balance between being strong and milking this trial for all I could get. You don’t want to know how close I was to telling the parking attendant shooing us from the private lot that “I have cancer! I’m just running in to get a milkshake!!” I’ve decided to leave strangers out of it, but I wasn’t going to turn down anything from family and friends. Since my parents were in town, I had every meal cooked for me, my apartment cleaned and my dog walked regularly. Thanks to my boyfriend’s parents, I got a cute and comfortable new outfit on top of taking advantage of their wealth of medical knowledge, connections and research help.

I’m not usually one to get too sentimental, but it’s impossible after all of the outpouring of love and support that my family and I have received. It’s hard to communicate my gratitude appropriately. Nothing I type seems to be enough. I feel overwhelmed by kindness. It makes me realize how lucky I have been to meet such incredible people over the course of my life. Saying thank you deserves a blog post all to itself. All of your hearts will swell when you read about the incredible things people have done for me. You may find yourself slightly jealous, which will make you feel weird because you’re jealous of the girl with cancer.

When dealing with cancer, it’s helpful to lay down some ground rules. These were mine:

· Never apologize for sending me encouraging notes and messages (I love them all)

· Never post ugly pictures of me on facebook (c’mon…make me look good, guys)

· Don’t hold back telling any stories about me that makes me look good

· Never, under ANY circumstances, apologize for complaining about normal things in life. If you were sick, I’d still complain about having to cut poop out of my dog’s fur or that d-bag talking on his Bluetooth while ordering his coffee in line in front of me. There will always be people in the world who “have it worse”, but so what?…that doesn’t change what is affecting you right this moment. Plus — I want to commiserate. I love complaining about things. DON’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME!!