Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The day I started all over again....

Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow
by WideAwake

I heard the news today. It came out of nowhere.
I wish I could run away,
but where would I go?
Is this my destiny? Something so unfair... What will become of me?
God only knows.

And they say the road to heaven might lead us back through hell.
Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, we will win this fight and bury this sorrow.
We're so alive, still holding on, not ready to die, so we LIVESTRONG.

My pride is left for dead, as my world gets shaken.
The thoughts inside my head are so hard to control.
I am staring down the unknown, but one thing is certain.
You could break my body, but you will never break my soul.

And they say the road to heaven might leads us back through hell, but we're holding on for more
than stories to tell.

Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, we will win this fight and bury this sorrow.
We're so alive, still holding on, not ready to die, so we LIVESTRONG.

Listen to the song and buy it from iTunes here!)

February 14, 2005 - I was sitting at my computer at work when my phone rang. The news I got on that day changed me forever... I'd like to think, for the better.

On Valentine's Day 2005, I was diagnosed with Nodular Metastic Melanoma. It would take 6 weeks and surgery before I would find out that the cancer had already spead to a lymph node. It would be another 6 weeks until I had a second surgery and was determined to have "No [further] Evidence of Disease" (aka N-E-D). I started 52 weeks of chemotherapy just 2 weeks after my second surgery.

Just one phone call ... and my life changed forever.

So today it is has been two years since my diagnosis and there is no doubt in my mind that I am one of the lucky ones. Will I continue to be lucky? Only time will tell... The reality of my diagnosis shows that at my stage (Stage IIIA), I have a 50% change of surviving 5 years. "Flip-o-the coin" odds, as they say. My chance of recurrance is highest now, in the first 32 months. So naturally reaching my 2 and 3-year "No Evidence of Disease" anniversaries (May 2007 & May 2008) will be a reason to celebrate.

But as anybody with any melanoma experience will tell you, nothing about Melanoma is predictable. Hey, let me broaden that statement and say that Nothing about Cancer is predictable!! There is no rhyme or reason why some folks survive and others do not. Your odds are greater, the sooner you are diagnosed - That is the truth regardless of the diagnosis.

So do yourself a favor, take a moment and call you Doctor and make that annual physical you have been putting off. Prevention and Early Detection are your best chances at a long and healthy life.

As for me, I am proud and happy today to be able to say that I am officially a 2-year Cancer Survivor. I have been given a second chance at life and I will live my life to the fullest for how ever long that may be. Of course being the optimist that I am, I expect that to be a good 40-50 additional years.

My name is Holly, I am a 2-year Malignant Melanoma Survivor and I live STRONG!


Nancy Toby said...

Whoa! What a post!


Melanie said...

You made me cry. Although I cried the first time when I found out your diagnosis. This time I cry tears of happiness. You're still here. You're amazing. You're an inspiration. You're so important to me. And I love you! YEAH!!! TWO YEARS!!! Nothing will sound better until I hear 3 years and 4. And 40 years from now when we're reminiscing, we'll be even more grateful. If that's even possible!

TriFeist said...

Yeah, Holly! Congratulations on 2 years. What a milestone!

Carver said...

Dear Holly,

I was so happy to read your N.E.D. post on the MPIP and then to catch up on your blog. You are a marvel! I admire your strength as an athlete, as a melanoma survivor, and as an advocate for all cancer survivors. I love the way you encouraged people to get check ups in this entry. So, so, so very important. Also, good to know about Sarah Gordon. There are so many amazing people your blog has sent me to.

Cheers, Carver

Steven said...

Excellent, excellent post!

Congrats on your milestone. I'm sure there will be many many more!