My name is Kaela and I'm 28 years old. I was inspired to start writing this after I read some other stories and although I've never been a great writer I will give it a try. The day before Thanksgiving I recieved the news I had melanoma. The funny dermatologist I had met and joked around with just a week before was now using "the doctor tone": Kaela this is serious, melanoma is very serious. At that moment I felt like I was preparing for a battle and it has been. She referred me to a Surgical Oncologist, who performed a wide excision on my left calf where my mole had been and also a Sentinel Lymph Node Bioposy about 2 weeks later. The bioposy came back positive on both lymph nodes they had tested. The news hit me like a ton of bricks, I will forever grateful for my family and close friends for the support and comfort they offered during this time.
The next few weeks were a blur and before I knew it I was in the surgery room again this time the surgeon did a lymph node dissection in my left groin. The surgery went very well and I was able to go home that same day under the strict instructions to keep my leg elevated and to bring "Flow" (yes i named my drainage tube...blame it on the pain killers). I'm still recovering and feeling ok they said it will be at least another 4-6 weeks before i can try to really run again but I can start going on short walks and gentle exercises. The first time i took a shower and took off the bandages and saw the damage it had caused I cried...a lot. How could a silly freckle cause all this pain and damage!?! What i'm learning though is it's ok sometimes that's all you can do...cry...and then call a friend and cry and then hopefully you can laugh until you cry some more.
I will be getting some "lovely" thigh high compression stockings for my left leg to help with the swelling and hope to be back at work here soon. Next up is the year long Interferon treatment...I asked my Dr why would I want to go through a year of hell just to decrease the chance of it coming back by such a small amount? She simply answered "Because you are strong enough to do it". ...so here we go!
While I would not wish this on anyone I can say that it has been a wierd blessing in disguise. I'm not even sure how to describe, it maybe it's a wake up call, a change of prospective, a real kick in the ass, or simply it's life changing. I find myself hugging my boys tighter and longer before dropping them off at school and I whisper a small prayer for them as they walk in. I have fallen into a deeper love with the people around me and feel so grateful for them. I have found strength, hope, a voice, and faith I never knew I was capable of having. I am thankful for everything, even this recovery period! It has forced me to allow my mind and body to have the rest it so desperately needed. It has made me realize how important it is to take care of myself and listen to my body. I could go on and on but I will wrap it up by saying I am just so grateful for today.