A place where I can chronicle my family's journey through cancer. A place where WE can discuss our concerns. A place where WE can inspire each other. A place for hope.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Linked!: Tanning & Melanoma

It's nothing that we haven't already heard of, but perhaps a little reminder...

Skin cancer is on the rise... According to the World Health Organization, 1 in every 3 cancers diagnosed is a form of skin cancer. As the article states, "Melanoma is the second most frequently reported cancer in women in their 20s, and it's third only to breast and thyroid cancers for women in their 30s". Melanoma, as you may know, is the most fatal type of skin cancer out there. However, it is totally preventable if we take the right precautions (sunscreen with a a MINIMUM SPF of 15, hats, sunglasses, etc.). Most days, your local weather network will have information on their website in regards to UV exposure at certain times throughout the day. USE THIS! A tan is NOT worth your LIFE!

I've posted a couple of links that may be of interest. Two are from the World Health Organization, and provide a good, basic outline of UV exposure, tanning beds, etc.

The other is an article I came by about a woman that was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 22. She passed away at the age of 26... SERIOUS wake-up call people!



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Revelations & Tribulations

It's a little late right now, but I can't sleep (oh who am I kidding, I can sleep like it's nobody's business). There's just stuff on my mind that I need to let out.

It's been a little while since I posted anything in regards to treatment or myeloma-related. Life has been pretty consistent lately, nothing exciting. But I guess boring is good for now, right? Last week was the end of cycle 2, which felt like it went by in no time! February, in general, seems to have flown by! Good news is, the Velcade/Dex regimen seems to be doing its job and will hopefully continue to do so! M-spike levels are down by about 30% since diagnosis, which is pretty great considering we've only just finished our second cycle! As far as side-effects go, we've been blessed. And I'm thankful for every little blessing each day has given us. Aside from the obvious, my mom (and our family in general) hasn't been this healthy in a LONG.ASS time! She no longer needs to take iron supplements and her blood pressure is sitting at a very optimal level (around diagnosis, it was as high as 180/110!!! Now it hovers anywhere between 95/55 to 125/75). Things are, undoubtedly, a lot better. Ironically, cancer has forced us all to change for the better. We are stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. Body, Mind, and Soul.

The other day, I told some of my close friends about the little situation that my family and I are in. A minor setback. I had told others, who are just as close to me, awhile back and it bothered me that I had waited so long to share the news... Which then triggered contemplation-mode. I had once wondered why my mom chose not to share the information with more people. I thought to myself, "if it were up to me, I would have tried to surround myself with my friends and family because I need their support through this". I know that she didn't (and still doesn't) want to tell many people because of all the commotion and stress it can cause on others (especially the grandparents), stuff like that. But it dawned on me the other day that the main thing that was pulling me back from telling my friends earlier was just simply because... It hurts. I'm not less-closer with these friends than the ones who already knew and am, by no means, in denial (I am trying to be as proactive as possible).But I realized that, for me, it all came down to the simple fact that it hurts every time I have to tell the same story. No matter how many times you tell someone that you or your family member has cancer, it doesn't really get easier. Every time I have to acknowledge that fact, it stings and it leaves a feeling of emptiness inside that brings you back to that "oh yeah" moment where you remember how serious the circumstances really are. It's like opening up scar tissue that has just finished healing. It's a wound that will never fully heal.

Despite that little revelation, I'm glad that I did it anyways. I'm not sure if this is how my mom feels, and I don't know if it will ever get any easier. In fact, this whole path that we've been shoved onto has been full of ifs, buts, and i-don't-knows. But what I DO know is that we've made it this far and are stronger than ever. I used to be a fairly pessimistic person, preferring to be safely negative than run the risk of being optimistic and disappointed. Complaining was something that I rather enjoyed, embarrassingly enough. But I've come to realize through all of this that there is always a good in every situation. How does that saying go again? You will always be able to see the light of a candle, even in a world full of darkness? My thoughts exactly. I'm taking baby steps here on what will undoubtedly be a long and arduous road. Will I ever be happy when I am complaining? I think not. And I want to be happy my friends, I want to be happy.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Come Onnn!

Well... Mother Nature sure seems to have a cruel sense of humour. Two days ago, there were people walking on the streets with shorts on, and today I wake up to see THIS. Its beautiful, but really? Was that really necessary? Oh Mother Nature, you tease...
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Monday, March 8, 2010


People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa