Well, all my scans came back squeaky clean! I'm officially one whole year and 5 days NED(no evidence of disease--since you're never really and truly cured) and I could not be happier. Getting through this year has been difficult and I have had so much help from friends, family, church and lovely strangers, but this one, this one post I want to dedicate to my very special molemates.
I'll start with my melanoma mentor Tina Parker. She is such an AMAZING woman. She's a stage III. She is a single mom who did one month of high dose Interferon WHILE WORKING!!! I can't even imagine. She is constantly raising awareness and has even gone and talked to high school kids about the dangers of tanning. She is the kindest, friendliest, most generous, honest, tell it like it is warrior ever! She did her treatment a few months before I did and held my hand through mine every step of the way. When we first "met" on fb, she immediately messaged me her cell number and insisted I call her any time day or night. And boy did I. I would call or text and cry, complain and moan and she encouraged me at every turn. Just the sound of her sweet little Missouri accent would calm me down:) She gave me my mantra "it's working! It's working!" when I would be in tears over side effects. She has prayed for me and with me all year long. Even though we have never and may never meet in person, I consider her a lifelong friend who will be there for me always. I am incredibly grateful for her strength and faith. And there's always Vegas baby:)
Next is the beautiful little spitfire Chelsea Price. Chelsea is a 24 year old warrior who is also stage III. She is currently doing her second round of an IPI trial. In her trial she doesn't know if she's actually receiving the drug or not. That's right. She is selflessly helping researchers learn more about this drug in order to help future melanoma patients. Chelsea came into my life a short while into my own treatment. I was instantly drawn to her (I imagine most people are). I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to do for her what Tina had done for me. I was going to be her mentor and walk her through this whole new life with melanoma thing. But low and behold, this gal wasn't going to walk through, she was going to run full tilt with fists held high. She has become the new poster child for melanoma. She's raising money and awareness at every turn. She has inspired me, comforted me and I am in awe of her. You should check her out at www.myadventureswithmelanoma.blogspot.com.
And last, but not least is the wonderful and beautiful Erin Youngerberg. Erin befriended me on the AIM at melanoma fb page. She was stage III when I first "met" her. We were supposed to start Interferon treatment at the same time, but due to job changes, her hectic schedule and some reservations, she kept postponing. Then she had a scan that showed Melanoma on her lungs. We were devastated. Not our Erin. I remember I called Tina in tears. It all hit too close too home. But don't you worry about Erin. She healed herself:) Yup, at her last scan there was NO trace of the tumors!!! She's our little miracle molemate:) She is a jet setting, New Yorker and seriously fabulous photographer. She is always there with a kind, encouraging word for everyone. I am so extremely jealous that her and Chelsea do treatment at the same hospital and meet up every now and again and brag about it on fb:)
I consider these ladies to be my molemates. They are the gals who understand exactly what it feels like to face the c word. They get it when you're down, when you're up, when you're sick, when you're well and when you've completely lost your mind in all this madness. I am forever indebted to you ladies. Thank you for getting me through this year and thank you to all my other melanoma warriors. One year NED down and God willing, many many many more for all of us!!