Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016

In honor of melanoma awareness month, I couldn’t decide if I should pay tribute, provide encouragement, or offer warning. So I think I’ll do all three.  And I’ll start with this:

To my loves who live  on in our hearts, thank you  Thank you for the privilege of witnessing your fights. Thank you for showing us all what it means to be strong. Thank you for the laughter, the smiles, the expressions of love that eased all of our pain. You have shown us all how beautiful raw humanity can be, and that when you peel away the layers of life’s unimportance, you are just left with love.

To my warrior brothers and sisters in the midst of battle, keep going. One step at a time. One surgery at a time, one treatment at a time, one nightmare-filled restless night at a time, one desperate agonizing wait for scan results at a time. You can do it.  In the midst of the pain and the fear, stay focused on the hope.  Keep your eyes open to the love you are being shown, the clear sense of life’s priorities with which you’ve now been gifted, and the fact that you are now, and will forever remain, the strongest people I know. The nightmare will end and you will be free again, I promise. And when you are, you will revel in the beautiful lesson you’ve learned, you will be constantly amazed by everyday life, and you will know, with certainty, what true happiness means.

To my survivor soulmates, celebrate. Celebrate and advocate. Keep those amazing lessons close to your hearts, and never forget that now is the time to thrive. Thank you for your continued friendships and support. Thank you for picking me back up on those days where my own lessons are just out of reach. And please, spread your wisdom and your love to others who are not as far along in their own journeys. They need you just as much as I do.  The world is a better place because every single one of you is still in it.

To the doctors who are saving our lives, gratitude does not even begin to cover it. It is only because of your commitment and dedication to finding improved treatment options that we are still here. It is you to whom we pray. They are your faces we see in our minds as we beg desperately to remain. It is your every word, every touch, every encouragement to which we cling. And it is you who are delivering us from evil.  Keep going, never be satisfied; we are making great progress but there’s more work to be done. We need you. Our children need you. And we are thankful for you with overwhelming awe every single morning we open our eyes.

To my amazing friends and loved ones who fit none of the categories above, you’re the best. It is you who give me a constant reminder of what it means to be alive. It’s your laughter and light and fun and love and everyday conversations that kept me from traversing that fine line between hope and despair. It is you who brought me back from the breach to live again. Thank you for your strength, your shoulders, your guidance, your love, and your unwavering hope. It is you who are my greatest delights.  And to my sweet Jeff and perfect baby Kai (who is now 5!), you are the reason for everything.

To everyone reading this, check yourselves and protect yourselves. Check for irregular moles and lesions – even let a dermatologist do it for you, at least twice per year. Always wear sunscreen, and especially protect those little ones.  Just one blistering childhood burn doubles your chance of developing melanoma. Stay in the shade, and protect your skin. Stop tanning!  It isn’t beautiful, it’s deadly. Learn more here: www.melanoma.org and here: www.curemelanoma.org and here: www.melanomainternational.org. Find information about clinical trials here: www.bethesdatrials.cancer.gov and here: www.clinicaltrials.gov. And if you or anyone you know needs help, reach out.  I’m here for you as are hundreds of others, and we would be honored to know you.


It’s been 5 years since I was told I had 6 months to live, and it’s been 3 years since that first amazing scan showing no evidence of disease. But it is only recently that I have truly been brought back to life.  It is only recently that I’ve remembered what it feels like to be really alive.  The years of living with a self-preserving disconnect between body and mind are starting to dissipate, and I am becoming whole once again. And all the parts of me that went to sleep during the past 5 years are starting to wake up.  All the time I spent hoping against hope just to survive, has been answered 1,000 times now that I also remember what it means to be alive.  And for that I am thankful. Melanoma, nobody wants to meet you, but for those of us who do: for every single life lesson you've taught me, and for every beautiful being I am blessed to know more fully because of you, I am thankful. 

12 comments:

  1. thank you for sharing your words and thoughts today. i have been fighting melanoma for 6 years and am about to start aggressive treatment as it has come back again in my lung. i needed your words today on the NED. thank you. a fellow fighter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alli, Stay strong! Is there anything I can do for you? You got this, my friend, I'm sure of it!

      Delete


    2. WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Robert Mary
      I’m a citizen of United Kingdom, My younger sister was Sicking of
      breast cancer and her name is Robert Jane, I and my family have taking
      her to all kind of hospital in UK still yet no good result. I decided
      to go to the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I
      find a lady called Sarah peter she was testifies to the world about
      the goodness of a herbal man who has the root and half to cure all
      kind of disease and the herbal email was there. So I decided to
      contact the herbal man for my younger sister help to cure her breast
      cancer. I contacted him and told him my problem he told me that I
      should not worry that my sister cancer will be cure, he told me that
      there is a medicine that he is going to give me that I will cook it
      and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how can I
      receive the cure that I am in UK, he told me
      That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can
      transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid
      for the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the
      courier service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to,
      before the week complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a
      dream to me not knowing that it was physical I and my family were very
      happy about the miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5
      million us dollars the herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad,but I don't know why he did not accept the offer,he only said
      I should tell the world about him and his miracle he perform so am now
      here to tell the world about him if you or your relative is having any
      kind of disease that you can't get from the hospital please contact
      Dr.ogididanspelltemple@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2347067393105,message him on instragram dr.ogididanspelltemple for the cure, he will help you out
      with any problems you have.To get more information you can message me via email robertmary8947@gmail.com

      Delete
  2. Wow. Amazing. You have put into words precisely how it's felt for me the last 7 years! Thank you from a fellow stage 3C melanoma warrior!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU! And share that story! The more hope out there the better!

      Delete
  3. Jamie, so grateful to read of your wonderful NED status...and my husband too...also NED! Praises be, and I so know the gratitude you feel. Our quickie Melanoma Monday update is here: http://twinfatuation.blogspot.com/2016/05/only-1365th.html

    Continued love and health to you...for many, many melanoma free years ahead! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy to see you again Cheryl! And so happy for your husband! :) Continued love and health to the both of you as well!

      Delete
    2. Hey Jamie -- ages and ages since we talked. We worked together at the Republican place which shall not be named but I wanted to say I heard about this and wanted to say how glad I am that you are doing well. Take care.

      M in Toronto

      Delete
  4. Jamie, I was recently diagnosed with Melanoma and would love to ask a question off-line. Is there a way to send you a pm or email? I hope you are well and thanks for being such a wonderful resource for others starting down the path.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, diagnosed with malignant melanoma 3 weeks ago, had a wide local excision 5 days ago. Unfortunately I have no real family to turn to. I am estranged from father, stepmother, 1 brother and 1 sister. They know, yet still choose to be estranged. Have a husband who for all intents and purposes, I may as well be single and a 17 year old daughter whom I don't want to worry so I am not telling her much. So, basically alone and that stinks.... I read alot of blogs, it gives me comfort, this is the first time I've commented. Good luck to all!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jaime,
    I was just reading an article in Smithsonian Magazine about checkpoint inhibitors and thought of you, your family and your journey which I read in your blog all those years ago.
    So happy to find this post and hear of your update even though it has been some time since this post.
    Take care,
    Jacquie

    ReplyDelete


  7. WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Robert Mary
    I’m a citizen of United Kingdom, My younger sister was Sicking of
    breast cancer and her name is Robert Jane, I and my family have taking
    her to all kind of hospital in UK still yet no good result. I decided
    to go to the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I
    find a lady called Sarah peter she was testifies to the world about
    the goodness of a herbal man who has the root and half to cure all
    kind of disease and the herbal email was there. So I decided to
    contact the herbal man for my younger sister help to cure her breast
    cancer. I contacted him and told him my problem he told me that I
    should not worry that my sister cancer will be cure, he told me that
    there is a medicine that he is going to give me that I will cook it
    and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how can I
    receive the cure that I am in UK, he told me
    That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can
    transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid
    for the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the
    courier service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to,
    before the week complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a
    dream to me not knowing that it was physical I and my family were very
    happy about the miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5
    million us dollars the herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad,but I don't know why he did not accept the offer,he only said
    I should tell the world about him and his miracle he perform so am now
    here to tell the world about him if you or your relative is having any
    kind of disease that you can't get from the hospital please contact
    Dr.ogididanspelltemple@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2347067393105,message him on instragram dr.ogididanspelltemple for the cure, he will help you out
    with any problems you have.To get more information you can message me via email robertmary8947@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete