Monday, January 24, 2011

In a Nut SheLL

In 2000 after getting a pre college physical, my primary doc referred me to a dermatologist to get a strange looking beauty mark checked out. Dr orders...I went right to the dermatologist thinking that it would be nothing. The Dermatologist also did not like the looks of it and decided to cut it out and get it tested. Sure enough it was stage 1 melanoma. Young and naive I had no idea the seriousness of it until i did a little research and realized melanoma = cancer. I had a wide excision surgery where they took the cancer and a big chunk that surrounded it out. I went on to college and continued on with my life. I was careful in the sun and I always had my SPF. And of course I went to the dermatologist every 6 months to get a full body exam. Through out the years I had multiple precancerous beauty marks that had to be removed. Getting scraped and nicked every time I went to the skin doctor became the norm.

In Jan 2009 while checking out my new and improved arms ( I was working out alot during that time) from my gym routine, I noticed a large lump under my arm. I completely freaked out. I'll never forget it my parents were at their condo in Florida and Mike (my boyfriend at the time) was at work. I called Mike in hysterics. I just knew it was related to the melanoma 9 years ago. I made an appointment right away and sure enough it was stage III melanoma. As strong as I am I was in shock and scared. I didn't know how things were going to turn out. I knew that melanoma was one of those cancers that they have not made much headway with as of yet. Within weeks I was scheduled for a lymph node dissection. The surgery was not that bad. The pain killers were more of the issue....they made me emotional and have me more stomach issues then I already had. Out of the 18 or something lymph nodes removed 1 was only effected but it was large in size. Due to this I was a candidate for radiation to my right auxilla( where the enlarged lymph node was found). Lucky me....off to radiation I went. All I could think was wow this is not bad at all. Couple of seconds under a beam of lights and boom your done. And then moths later it hit me.....I began feeling exhausted and had trouble moving my shoulder. Between the lymph node dissection and radiation I developed HORRIBLE frozen shoulder. Despite all the cancer being "gone" my doctors suggested Interferon to prevent the melanoma from coming back. Sure why not? Anything to prevent it from coming back. I went every day for a month (lucky me weekends off) for interferon IV. During it I was a fighter but hindsight it was horrible. The weakness, chills, and fevers were unbearable. My body hurt so much and all that energy that used to beam off of me slowly dwindled. My hair began falling out in clumps despite being told by my doctor that it wont effect my hair. I was so happy when the month was up. At this point it was about April 09 and I was trying to get my energy back and get on with my life. Oh did I forgot to mention that on top of radiation, surgeries and drugs my boyfriend of 8 years proposed. So I was also trying to plan a wedding during all this craziness.

February 2010, I was finally starting to feel better. My scans thus far have not shown any new spots and things were looking okay. Then BAM my February scan came back showing tumors in my spleen and hip bone. F**k ...not again!!!!!!!!!!!! I defiatley got the "why me" blues at this point. I officially decided I hated February.  The doctors at Sloan Kettering threw every option possible at me. Time to research and see how I was going to proceed. Then I went to acupuncture for my horrid frozen shoulder and my acupuncturist informed me of a product (will talk about in later posts) that I must try that has very good success with reversing people's cancer. I got this product and took it religiously. Sure I was a skeptic but reading all the literature and speaking to people who it actually worked for was hopeful and I figured it was worth giving it a try. I told my doctor and he thought I was crazy and tried to put his "this is serious" face on in hopes that it would change my mind.  It didn't...it was a scary decision but something told me it was the right one. From their I just kept on coming across more and more holistic natural means to fight cancer. I began seeing a natropath, Dr. Sharon Stills, and I was getting vitamin c IV, mistletoe injections, B12 shots, taking handfuls and handfuls of supplements, I was on a strict diet and finally feeling better. I had great energy, my hair was growing back, and I was actually back at the gym able to feel energized during a workout.

Summer 2010, with my wedding approaching (September 5) and still having "spots" I got scared and decided to do it all. I continued the natural stuff and signed on for the clinical trial of ipilimumab. I read alot about this drug and it looked as though it was the "in" drug that was showing good results. I figured I would give it a try. I sat for the drug 4 times intravenously. This was another drug that initially I didn't feel a thing and then weeks passed and I got horrible diarrhea and months passed and my energy was zapped. I'm still very tired and achy and I believe it is from taking the "ipi." If I had to rewind a couple of months I don't think I would have taken it.

Currently my scans are mixed....some areas went away completely, other remained the same, and 2 got slightly larger. I decided to step up my "A" game and really start researching and doing whatever I had to in order to make this melanoma go away. If other people did it I could totally do it. And this, my friends,  is what the remainder of my blog will be about.

Sorry....this was one big nut shell of my background. :)

PeaCe, SmiLEs, and sTrEngTh,

LisA

9 comments:

LiSa said...

OH cool!! You guys can leave me a comment :)

gabriella said...

Thanks for sharing Lisa! So great of you to start this blog to keep us all updated on everything going on and of course to help encourage others to stay strong and positive and to always keep on fighting! So proud of you! LOve you!!

Jen Ross said...

I am loving this blog Lisa... informative, positive, helpful and a great way to stay in touch. hope you are enjoying in between the hypothermia and cow infusions ;) hugs. Jen Ross

Erica said...

This blog is amazing, just like you! What an inspiration you will be for so many people!! We love ya!!- Erica and Steve

LiSa said...

Thanks Ladies!!!!!! I appreciate the kind words :)

brianna said...

Ahhh Lisaaa i love this bloggg ur such a strong women and as my cousin i truely admire and idolize alll the things ur going thru and how well ur handling alll this chaos! im sooo happpy the hot box went soo welll for ur first timeee u had me smiling while reading that<3 i loveee you sooo muchhh and u amaze me all timeee cause i honestly dont kno how u stay soo strongg but if u can do it theres no reason how anyone else cant with anything there going thru also. your a truu fighterrr and a role model to soo many people esp meee:) I know god is watching over you right now and watching you kick thiss stupid asssss shitt at urrr bodyy!!! butt its going too happen i have no doubts in that<3333 I just cant wait for you too come home soo we cann have a girls nightt<33 im always praying for u babe and i loveee youuuu sooooo muchhhhh<3

S Kauf said...

Love this blog and the PEACE SIGN with all the veggies!! ;) And I love you!! You are amazing and I miss you and I wish I was in Switzerland with you RIGHT NOW!! :( Be prepared for HUGE hugs when you get home! :)

snicker155 said...

Hi, LiLi, I finally figured out how to get into this log, I am looking forward to reading your blogs.

Love you lots,
Marie

Christerbjorn said...

Oh you poor thing, you are so gullible and stupid. Sad face :-(