Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bad news with a little good

Let me just start out by saying "cancer sucks!"

Last Tuesday I had an appointment with my dermatologist and, at my request, had a mole removed from my left breast. The mole was looked at 3 months ago by my derm. and he didn't think it needed to be removed at that time. Last week; however, I insisted to have it removed and biopsied. Not that it was physically bothering me as it wasn't. It just didn't look right to me and my intuition told me to get ride of it. Anyway, the results came back yesterday and it was positive for melanoma.

The good news is that it is not a recurrence (it is a new primary) and it was contained only in the surface level of my skin (which is the best news). If this had been my first melanoma, no further treatment would be recommended. With being stage IV, I will have surgery to ensure there is no evidence of melanoma at the skin site as well as in my lymph node system. My surgeon (the awesome Dr. Sibley - she performed my first 2 surgeries in 2006) will ensure there are clean margins surrounding the removed tumor as well as perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy.

Medical Info - The sentinel lymph node is the first node in a group of nodes in the body where cancer cells may move to after they have left the original cancer site and started to spread. For more information, check out
http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/sentinel-lymph-node-biopsy (sorry, I don't know how to make this a link)

I have an appointment with my surgeon on Thursday and I will let everyone know when the surgery is scheduled. Also, in the next week or so, I will have my routine CT scan and MRI of brain. Of course, lots to do.

I am optimistic, but in all honesty, I am really uneasy about this diagnosis. I'm barely holding it together today. I feel like my body is rebelling against me and it is an awful feeling. I'm not in dispair or depressed, just having a hard time dealing with the news. I know from experience that this feeling will pass and I'll continue to do my best to nurture my body and ease my spirit.

Thanks for the well wishes, positive vibes and prayers I have received recently and throughout my journey. They truly make a difference.


OceanDesert said...

Tina, I'm so glad you know to listen to yourself!!!

This has got to be discouraging, but we are all WITH you... Sounds like you are in great hands with your surgeon... and it seems our life is always 2 steps forward, 10 back.. So I am sending healing thoughts your way that this is only a 1/2 step back :)

You are doing everything you can to take care of your body and it seems to be taking care of you as in having your instincts at the top of their game to have that sucker removed!


Anonymous said...

Hey Tina,

Good for you for taking action and not just listening to whatever the doctor says! This is a good lesson to learn by all of us.

Keep up all of the good work you are doing to keep your body healthy. Even though it seems like your body is rebelling against you now, I'm sure everything you are doing now makes a big difference and will help get everything back under control.

Anonymous said...

Tina, I am so glad to see that you have been keeping all of us posted as to your health. You and your family cross my mind frequently and I wonder how things are going. I am in good spirits when I think of you and your health. It seems like one thing after another keeps arising but I assure you that I am strong as ever for you and pulling for you in every way.

I know you have a lot going on, but when the time is right please let me know when I can come and visit.

Love you and miss you!!


Anonymous said...

Good Luck kid.

We love ya..
Buddy, Tracy and Mykaela

Anonymous said...

Tina, way to go on speaking up to the doctor! I know it's not easy to do sometimes, but you have to go with your instincts.

I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers your way!

Anonymous said...

You know my prayers and support are with you 100% - just keep taking care of yourself and let me know what I can do for you.

CB said...

Great job taking matters into your own hands. Continue listening to your gut ... you really do know best.

Let me know when have surgery set. I'd love to help babysit, help around the house after or just bring over a movie for some relaxing girl time. Just let me know!


Anonymous said...


Out of all of this, learning to listen to your body is one thing you've done, and it's helped!!

I know this is NOT the news you wanted to hear sweetie, but trust that you are in good hands with your surgeon and they're doing all they can to keep this contained!!

Know that you are always and continue to be in my thoughts & prayers!!

Love you!

Anonymous said...


You Mom keeps us up to date and it is wonderful that you have this blog and can speak out for yourself and others. You are a great inspiration for those undergoing such a huge affliction in their lives. God loves you, your family loves you and we love you - keep smiling - a friend.

Anonymous said...

Tina you have been so strong through all of this and your strength will continue because that's who you are. You are doing a great job taking care of your body and I don't know of anyone who could ever gone through all of this with your strength and courage.
Love Mom

Anonymous said...

I'll second your first comment....Cancer Sucks! But you are one heck of a tough woman and are fighting your way through this! We all need to learn from you pushing your derm to have that mole removed and remember we have to listen to our instincts. If you need to let out a good scream, Kelsey would be happy to come over and challenge you to see who could be louder! :-)

Please let us know how we can help. My mom will be here for a couple of weeks while I go back to work, so I can definitely come help with whatever you need on the days I'm off!

Anonymous said...


My family and I pray for you everyday. I am so sorry to hear about this news but like evreyone has said if anyone can fight rhgouh this it is you. Your strength and dedication to fighting this is amazing. PLease let me know if there is anything I can do. Let's catch up soon!

Love ya!


Anonymous said...

You are amazing! Way to go in listening to your instincts. Gotta love those Dr.s that don't double check or don't have the "better safe then sorry" approach. Keep it up, the girls and I are praying for you.

The Lasker's said...

Hi Tina,
I'll definitely echo the statement that Cancer Sucks! That said you are doing a great job and everything in your power to beat it. We are all thinking of you and wish you all the best!
Jason, April and Mollie