Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Skin cancer sucks...but it could be worse

It all started with an ugly mole, just above my ankle. I hated everything about the mole. The color, the shape, the texture and every time I shaved my legs I hated it just a little bit more. I had decided that I was going to get the thing removed and luckily I had a physical coming up. So when the Doctor asked, "is their anything that you are worried about?" I showed him the mole and asked if it could be removed, and the appointment was set for a couple weeks later.

10/24//2012 - Wednesday - I should of known from the start that it wasn't a normal mole. That day I was having him remove 4 moles. 4 shots of a local anesthesia to numb my skin and man did it hurt when he numbed "the mole." Looking back little red flags are all over place. After he removed all 4 moles my Doctor told me that he was going to send them to be tested. Normal stuff. He said I should be hearing from them sometime next week about the results.

10/26/2012 - Friday - My phone rang and I knew it was bad news. It was the doctors office and it had only been TWO DAYS!! My Doctors nurse told me that my results had come back showing that I had some abnormalities. That is not a good word. She wanted me in the Doctors office first thing Monday morning. I could not believe she was actually going to make me wait 3 days to hear what my abnormalities were. I mean at the very least she could of just called Monday morning and spared my weekend.

10/29/2012 - Monday - Somehow we made it through the weekend. You know that saying, "just try to think of something else" yeah that doesn't actually work. Sean and I arrived at the doctors office bright and early. Sean had read some stuff about skin cancer over the weekend. I couldn't. Sean told me that we were hoping to hear the word Basal skin cancer, not Melanoma. But as luck would have it, the doctor reported, almost immediately, that my test results showed a Melanoma skin cancer. He felt that we had caught it very early. He explained that if your Melanoma is 2 mm deep it will have likely entered your lymph system. Bad news. When he removed my mole he went 0.4 mm deep and the results showed that the very bottom layer of tissue was clean of cancer. Good news. It wasn't deep. He told me a lot of other stuff that day as well. Like to call all my siblings and have them make appointments to go in and get any sketchy moles removed, because we have the same skin type, meaning they are more susceptible. Now I get to throw that on my brothers and sister. Then he referred me on to a surgical oncologist at IMC. So as soon as we were in the car I was making calls to get an appointment set up as quickly as possible. I wanted to know exactly what we were dealing with as soon as possible. Well they couldn't see us for one week. Seriously. They really didn't want me to get any sleep.

11/5/2012 - Monday - Sean and I met with Dr. Hyngstrom a surgical oncologist at IMC's Melanoma Center. He did a full body scan, looking at all of my other moles. He asked about my "tanning history." Not much to report. I haven't had any bad sun burns and in all honesty I went to a tanning bed 4 times in the last ten years. When I was a teen, well that is another story, but the mole has only been around for 2-3 years so he wasn't concerned about that. He explained that some people just have a skin type that is more susceptible to the harmful rays and I guess that would be me. Then we talked more in depth about my test results. He declared my Melanoma to be a type 1A. VERY GOOD NEWS. He told us that what he wanted to do was to go in and remove more tissue around "the site" and also test my lymph nodes to make sure they are free of the cancer. An hour later we had thoroughly talked through every question we could think of.   Kind of boring stuff, so I won't bore you with it. We had set the surgery date and now all I could do was wait some more :(

Even the scab was ugly. 

11/20/2012 - Tuesday - Before I went in for surgery Dr. Hyngstrom wanted me to get a "Lymph mapping" done. So Tuesday morning I found myself in a chair getting 4 shots, around the site, of some radioactive tracer stuff that felt like liquid fire. (Sean was hoping I would turn into a SUPER-HERO). Not fun. Then came the big X-ray machine. We could watch the tracer as it moved up my leg through my lymph system. Then they marked where the tracer stopped, showing the doctor where to cut me up the next day.

11/21/2012 - The big day was finally here. After filling out my medical history for the millionth time, and putting on my scrubs and compression socks I was trying not to be nervous. But then they pulled out the needle for the IV and reality set in. I tried to think of the positive. One surgery and this could all be done. Please let it be done. They prep me, ask the same medical history questions a million more times, send Sean to the waiting room and cart me into the OR.  I am so glad that all I had to do was sleep. Poor Sean. We were told that I would be in the OR for about 2 hours. It was 4 hours. To follow the drainage path of the lymph system they had shot me full of blue dye, and well the blue dye (along with the X-rays from the day before) showed that some of the drainage spots were behind my abdominal wall. Yep they had to cut through my abs; my rock hard abs! ;) So it took a little longer that expected. After I woke up and got over a severe bout of nausea they released me and sent me home, with very specific instructions. I cannot lift anything over ten pounds for a few weeks, like say, Emmett. That is gonna be interesting.

11/25/2012 - The recovery hasn't been horrible. Kind of like my C-section. Emmett still doesn't understand why I can't pick him up. I have tried to sit down and let others do everything for me, but it is so much easier said than done.

 Jack likes to refer to the incision on my leg as moms "Frankenstein Owie."( FYI the reason he stitched it up this way was in case the pathology report showed that we need to go in for more tissue.) And no, I will not show you the incision he made for the lymph removal on my "upper thigh," that would just be embarrassing :)

11/27/2012 - Early Tuesday Morning (1 AM) - so now here I sit, can't sleep, due to the waiting for this round of pathology reports. Hoping that they show I am cancer free, and all I will have to do is visit a dermatologist and my oncologist on a very frequent basis for the rest of my life. I am also feeling very blessed for the massive support that I have been receiving through my family and friends, through their fasting, prayers and words of encouragement. I  feel very blessed that if this surgery did get it all, and that is it, then I had it easy. So much easier than so many others.

To summarize: Melanoma skin cancer, Stage 1A, I hurt like crazy because of my Frankenstein Owie, good news so far.

Oh and I NEVER want to hear of any of you going to a tanning bed!!! It's just not worth it!!!

My next appointment is Thursday the 29th. I will update you with the results as soon as I get them!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The fabulous month of May

We had a lot of fun in May...here are the highlights...

Jack got a new bike WITH pedals!! 

The retired "boot scoot" bike. We got a lot of questions from kids and parents alike about this bike, mostly wondering why it didn't have pedals. It is to teach the child how to balance on two wheels. The proof is in the fact that it took Jack less than 2 minutes to ride a bike with pedals, he is awesome!! 

Emmett with his Great Grandma Christensen...it always nice to go visit grandma!

Lyla, Christian, Jack and Ava enjoying a Popsicle 

Lots of park time!! 

Taking a ride on the boat...the water was WAY to cold!


Jack's soccer games

Emmett learning how to pull himself up to standing!!

Mommy turns 30!! 

Jack's Preschool Graduation

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Park City

We spent the last week of April up in Park City!! Even though the location was pretty close to home it was a great get away!! 

We went to the Park.

The only picture of me, I guess when you take the pictures you aren't in them :) 

We built caves on rainy mornings.

Lyla played with doors, much to Jacks dislike.

Jack made beds for everyone to rest on, and with no bedtimes their was lots of resting!

We watched movies.

We had friends come up and play.

We went swimming.

Lyla got really good at jumping to daddy, who had to be on the watch at all times because she would just jump without warning.

Jack actually started putting his whole head under the water and would swim around like quite a little fish!

Emmett got some good crawling practice in, he is such a good baby.

The activity center "The Mine" was a daily must. The kids loved the finger painting, cookie decoration, wii playing, bead necklace, and the shuffleboard!

I loved the contrast in this photo.

We had a lot of fun playing "find the sleeping Lyla". She would fall asleep anywhere and everywhere, anytime.

BBQ'ing at the pool.

Lyla received a new hat from the outlets. It is adorable.

We seriously had so much fun and really lucked out with excellent weather all week. Who knew that it could hit the 70's in Park City in April?!? 

Saturday, April 7, 2012


We had a very quiet Easter this year... 

We dyed eggs with both sets of Grandparents...and learned (thanks to Aunt Megan and Andrew) that Jack loves hard boiled eggs! 

The Easter Bunny came and left some presents and candy for the kids. The funniest part of Easter was when Jack got into bed with me and Sean bright and early, he said, "guys the Easter Bunny came!" I asked him how he knew and he said, "I saw some eggs on the stairs!" then very quietly he told me, "and I think that the Easter Bunny brought me a ginormous Finn McMissile!" He had totally went and checked out his loot!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Branch Primary Easter Egg Hunt

There is new park in our community that served as a great place to hold the annual Branch Primary Easter Egg Hunt. This is one of the most attended primary events we have. The kids had a great time!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

6 Months

I can't believe that Emmett is 6 months old!! He is so big!!

He is crawling around like crazy!! 

Jack had been trying to help him sit for weeks and then he finally did it!!