Once I was brave enough after my diagnosis to research melanoma a little, I knew from the start what I was up against. Afterall, melanoma isn’t called the Black Beast without reason. Yet, despite that knowledge, I somehow still fooled myself into thinking the road on this journey might be straight and smooth.
Cue the curve ahead sign, how sharp of a curve is still to be determined.
When I didn’t get a call about my last scans,nor any word on blood tests at the end of the day, which has been the norm for me, I became suspicious. When I sat in the exam room longer than normal waiting for the doctor, that suspicion increased. I tried to convince myself it was because my appointment was at the end of the day. This is one of those times when no news is not good news.
That yellow curve ahead sign came as two small nodular densities on my left lung, with the largest coming in at about 5mm. Melanoma patients, and any cancer patient knows, metastasis has to be considered, thus the need to redo scans again in seven weeks.
While the neck scan came back clear, that little punch from those two small spots caused a deeper intake of breath as I absorbed the news. News that was followed by an elevated thyroid blood test, which might point to an autoimmune issue, causing the thyroid to possibly “burn out.”
I would be lying if I said I walked out of the clinic that day skipping and dropping flower petals, although the weather called for such action. I walked out instead re-calculating the journey ahead, wondering if easing up on dietary restrictions, or not getting enough rest, or anything I might have done could have allowed an infiltration of the enemy.
As I finally begin to sense recovery from ear surgery (stapedectomy – that’s for another post), it’s hard to discern what ill feeling came from the surgery without wondering if some of it could be connected to the newfound intruders.
Granted, this has caused me to pull to the side of the road a bit as I wrap my head around the latest news, yet, what choice is there other than slap on shades, roll down the window and continue cruising down the highway?
The curve might be sharp or gentle or result in a minor detour. Whoever said the ride would be smooth?