Last June I was diagnosed with stage 2b malignant melanoma. This was my second cancer diagnosis. My first was ductal carcinoma breast cancer in 2010. Luckily, the breast cancer was caught very early (I've had a history of breast issues since age 19 so I get annual mammograms) and surgery and radiation took care of it. The time between scans, biopsy results, surgeries and more test results are always gut wrenching.
Since I had already been through this once I knew the sleepless nights and worry ahead. My friend and coworker Lisa Lawson passed on her strength key to me. It had been given to her during a particularly trying time in her life. With all of that behind her, she felt it was time to pass it on. It was perfect timing for me to receive this wonderful gift of encouragement. I wore it or held it in my hand through every test, every doctor appointment, every test result. My husband held on to it for me when I had my surgeries. It was the first thing I wanted in the recovery room. And it comforted me a great deal.
My surgeries were successful and the lymph nodes they removed were clear, so it had not spread.
Once again I was very lucky.
It has been more than a year now and although I am still dealing with residual issues as a result of the surgeries, I am doing well. So now I feel it is time for my strength key to go to someone who needs it more than I do. I think I have someone in mind, she has advanced stage cancer and just saw her youngest son graduate high school. Hopefully this strength key will bring as much comfort to her as it did to me.