Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I'm sorry for going so long without posting an update on my blog. As most of you know, that's unusual for me. Some of you may recall me saying I had a nagging dry cough, and I thought it might be a case of late season flu. Turns out it was much more serious than that. The cough got worse, and I became increasingly more infirm. Finally on Monday, May 2nd I gathered all my strength and drove into town for my weekly supper at my mothers. When I got there I told my mother and sister that I was seriously ill, and needed someone to drive me to the doctor. After supper my sister drove me to Patient First, where I was examined and had blood work and x-rays taken. I had a mole on my back that out of stupidity and a good degree of fear and depression, I had neglected. It had started bleeding and became infected. The doctor at Patient First recommended that I make a bee line to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, so my sister drove me there, where further blood work and x-rays were taken. I was admitted to the hospital that night, and put on IV antibiotics. Two days later I was given a CAT scan, that revealed spots on my lungs, liver and spleen. The preliminary diagnosis was metastatic melanoma. The next day I had surgery to remove the mass on my back, leaving a 7-8 inch wound closed by 25 staples. I also had several lymph nodes removed from under my armpit. That wound was sealed with surgical glue. The wounds are healing nicely, and the staple have now been removed.

The pathology report confirmed the preliminary diagnosis. The oncologist said there is no cure, but there is an experimental drug that has shown significant success in shrinking certain melanoma tumors, and extending the life of the patient. They had to send my pathology from the hospital, to a lab in California to ensure that I had the proper mutation for the drug. Today I learned that my pathology does indeed conform to the drugs requirements, so tomorrow I'll be going the the Virginia Cancer Institute, where they will do a full body skin exam, and EKG, and some more lab work. If all is well, I will begin treatment the following day.

Being so acutely aware of your mortality, makes you take stock of yourself, and I have not been happy about the way my blog and many of my comments have turned. It went from bright and friendly to downright combative. Perhaps because I love you all so much, and felt the need to protect you and myself from so many of the negative posts and comments that have shown up this past year. Well, I'm done with that. I will now leave the fighting to others. In reality there is no need for any defense. We all know who and what we are, and the subjective judgements of others truly are irrelevant.

I will try to keep you updated and occasionally leave a comment on some of your blogs, but because I have so little endurance right now, they may be few and far between. Much love to you all!

Melissa XOXO


Unknown said...

Goodness gracious me! That's quite a bad time for you!

I hope the treatments help.

Carolyn Ann

Becca said...

Melissa, i am so sorry to hear this - makes all my little moans and frustrations pale into insignificance.

My thoughts are with you


Elizabeth said...


Get well. Melanoma is very dangerous.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Cynthia Jane said...

Oh my word! Melissa, so sorry to hear this. I will definitely be praying for your specific needs now, especially the treatments and not just things in general. I have only recently found out that my brother has lymphoma. This world just keeps throwing more and more at us. Always look to the Lord with prayer.



Halle said...

Dear Melissa,

Even though it is natural to wonder about what you might have done differently, now is a time to muster your energy and considerable talent for being upbeat to get on with life as a patient for a while.

Positive thoughts going out for the success of your treatment!


Angel said...

Wow, that's scary! I lost my mother to cancer.

I hope that this new drug helps you!

Terry said...

Yikes! No wonder you've been so silent. May all go well with your treatments and get you back to good health. Stay positive. You can beat this. hugs, Teri

Lucy Melford said...

Thanks for telling us all, Melissa. I think you can guage how the community feels: you sre much loved. Drugs can be very, very effective, and I so much hope that this proves to be the case with you.

Keep posting when you can!


Anonymous said...

Is it some remnant of our male persona that keeps us from going to the doctor? I was guilt of the same thing until it became life threatening. I'm just glad you will be able to treated...hopefully successfully. Whether you like it or not, I'll be praying for you. :)Suzi

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to you, Melissa. I'll keep you in my thoughts (as will we all).

Stephanie said...


Dru Marland said...

Yes; leave the argifying to others and accentuate the positive. Thinking positive thoughts for you here too.

Anne said...

I am sincerely sorry to hear this. I do hope you will find a way to get through this.

I will pray for you.


Leslie Ann said...

Oh, Melissa, I am so sorry to hear this. You've always seemed to be a tough bird, though sweet. I'm confident that you still have several years with us. Please know that I will be flinging many positive thoughts into the cosmos on your behalf. Take good care of yourself, girlfriend.


Kay & Sarah said...

I am so shocked to hear this. So glad that your family took quick action to get you help. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Glory in each sunrise and sunset from your porch. Be patient and kind to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. I hope the treatment proves effective and is not too nasty. Sending the best positive vibes I can cook up!

Jenny said...

I'm extremely sorry to read this, Melissa. Our thoughts are with you, please take care and the best of luck with your treatments.

The Sweet Echo Jones said...

I so adore you and you're in thoughts. -Joni

Stace said...

I really am so so sorry to read this.

Please take care of yourself!

Thinking of you,

Calie said...

Wow! I just read all of the comments. What a wonderful group of friends.

Melissa, this is serious stuff. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you.

Take care, girl.

Calie xxx

Kay & Sarah said...

You are definitely in our thoughts and prayers. Sorry that things with the blog turned negative. You are loved just as you are.

Billie said...

I'm a bit late on a reply to your dilema but I didn't know you even existed! I'm new to blogging but have had bouts with medical stuff, hope you win all of yours!

Simone said...

Sending you lots of healing energy Melissa! ~ w/Luv, Simone

Anonymous said...

Dear Mellissa,
you are in my thoughts my dear, keep strong and fighting.
Claire Hallam

Rachel said...

So sorry to hear you are unwell. Hope you are feeling better soon and that the experimental drug does you some good.

Thinking of you

Rachel xxx

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the late reply.
I hope your back on your feet real soon.
Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Jenny x