Mothering Thru Melanoma

My walk through the scary world of cancer while caring for my family.

Within 2 months, it’s in my brain! May 18, 2013

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I had an unremarkable brain…until 2 months later when it had over 20+ spots of melanoma. My IL-2 was cancelled and radiation and Yervoy became the new “to do”. I have 2 more whole brain radiation episodes left and can’t wait to get off the steroids!! My 2nd round of IPI is on Tuesday with those finishing off in July. Here’s hoping.

At this point, my hair is just about out and I am done looking “sick”! I preferred the tiredness of the interferon but still feeling like me. I hate people staring at me!

Tomorrow we have our Glenna Kohl Piggy Trot and I am psyched!!


And the monster returns with a vegence! April 11, 2013

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Well, my one year post-Interferon PET did not yield the positive results we were hoping for.  My melanoma has now spread to my lungs.  Stage IV!  Wow!  How incredibly unbelievable to hear those words out loud.

I am recovering from a wedge resection on my right lobe and prepping to begin Interleukin-2 in May.  The next few weeks will be spent with my boys having fun and making memories.  I am going to try to chronicle my journey with IL-2 but who knows what sort of condition I will be in.  I will do my best!


Has it been a year already? January 30, 2013

Filed under: Life — mamabeaumo @ 2:40 pm

Wow, hard to believe a little over a year ago I gave myself my last Interferon shot!  I do not miss those days whatsoever!!

The past year has been one of letting my body get itself back into working order. My skin is still super sensitive but I seem to have been blessed with some fabulous immuno waves (my version of chemo curls) that are just absolutely out of control.  It is amazing the changes that take place during and after treatment.

Unfortunately, I cannot quite blame treatment for the wonderful hot flashes that are waking me every few nights and leaving me laying in a sweaty mess!!  Yuck!! So not a nice feeling.  I wish I could say for certain that this is just another way of my body reclaiming its healing abilities but I tend to think I have just hit that age where the “change” is fast approaching. Let’s face it,  I was of “advanced maternal age” upon Buggy’s arrival on Earth and I certainly ain’t getting any younger! LOL

I have a CT Scan coming up in a little over a week to follow up on a lump that has mysteriously appeared on my right lung (discovered during my one year PET Scan).  I am hoping that this is just scar tissue caused by the on-going bronchitis I have had since beginning treatment.  The nice thing about having to go to Boston for a short scan is that the family can come and we’ll spend the day at the Museum of Science!


Just keeps getting better! April 19, 2012

Every day further from Interferon, the better it is.  My hair and skin are definitely showing improvement.  I still have some autoimmune issues but not nearly as bad as before.  I have much more energy to play with the boys and get stuff done.

Buggy is on school vacation this week and has been hanging out with Dad.  Bubba just got over walking pneumonia and has returned to daycare.

We are very involved in many different causes right now. I think I need to be careful about overbooking myself. LOL  Today is National High Five Day and Buggy collected 55+ high fives on my college campus to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

On Monday, April 23rd, I will be a Giver for World Book Night! I am so excited about this as it is always a thrill to get people into reading!!  Reading opens worlds and doors and everyone should know that joy!!

In May, it appears I definitely overbooked myself!!  We have two walks going on… The 3rd Annual Glenna Kohl Fund for Hope Piggy Trot to raise awareness and money for melanoma research and The Great Strides Walk in memory of my good friend’s niece, Bethany.  Both of these events are taking place on Sunday, May 20th.  I have not quite figured out how to manage both but we’ll take it as it comes.  It seems that I have nominated myself to take part in every charitable event possible this year!!  Not a bad thing, right?


More fun! March 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamabeaumo @ 8:31 am
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I have been fighting a cold since this weekend. It seems it either came from Buggy or has jumped to him. We are home today with swollen tonsils. I figured my immune system would have worked itself out by now but I guess it’s gonna take a bit longer.



Feeling more like myself! March 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamabeaumo @ 2:57 pm

I have been off treatment since January 10th and although my immune system went completely wonky for a while, I am feeling more like myself!

Strange little after effects…cold, sinus infection, strange red swollen spot that doctor had no idea about, swollen right nostril, etc. I have written them all off to the Interferon leaving my system. Whether that is correct or not, we’ll see.  I have my first 3 month check-up next week and I am both excited and scared.  After discussing it with my oncologist, we decided that I would not get scans every 3-6 months.  We will most likely do every year and then hopefully progress to every 3 years and so on.  I am happy about this as it limits my exposure to radiation but it also terrifies me!  What if we miss something and it becomes “too late”?

I have discovered over the past couple of months that this is basically something I will live with for the rest of my life.  I will always question a strange spot that suddenly appears, a knot that doesn’t seem to go away quick enough for my liking, a headache that never ends.  As much as I stay positive there are moments when it does get scary.  People don’t seem to understand that.

As I said to my husband, people really don’t want to know the truth when they ask you how you’re doing.  They want you to tell them that things are great.  That way they don’t feel bad and then you don’t have to feel bad for making them feel bad! And I understand that but I shouldn’t have to protect your feelings!  I’m the one with cancer!!

Buggy is definitely noticing the difference.  I think he likes that I am more active but isn’t enjoying the adjustment to my not taking the Celexa (“happy pills”) anymore.  He blames it on the lack of “happy pills” when he is being reprimanded for something he shouldn’t be doing.  LOL  I am completely off any medications that I had been given from the beginning.  I had been on stuff to help with the upset stomach, stuff to keep my moods in check, stuff to help me sleep and stuff to keep me calm when in and out of MRIs and CT Scans.  I am proud to say it’s all gone now!  A glass of wine never tasted as good as the one I had on January 14th!!  That was more than enough mood enhancement for me.

I am looking forward to the arrival of spring and participating in the Glenna Kohl Fund for Hope 5k in May. I was hoping to actually be able to run it but I am happy just to be able to walk it!


I am sooooo not a blogger! January 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamabeaumo @ 12:31 pm

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post.  So much has happened!

I stopped treatment on January 6th and am feeling more like myself every day.  My energy is returning and I am getting back to my usual routines.

Bubba has turned 2 and is definitely finding his own voice.  He certainly lets us know what he likes or dislikes!

Buggy is a thriving second grader who has taken on my love for books.  He has a Kindle now so his books can travel with him.  It a wonderful thing to witness.

Hubby has been promoted at work and we are all extremely proud.  He has been my rock! Not only thru the ups and downs of treatment but follow-up excisions, removal of bandages, stitches, etc.  I would not have been able to get thru this without him.