Monday, June 16, 2014

Cancer and Cards Almost Two Years Later an Update

It has been almost two years since my ordeal with Cancer began. This was my blog post at that time. It was not the end of the story, but just the beginning my journey to continue to be here to enjoy my family. My story continues at the end of this blog post:

I’ve been staying busy using my wonderful Sheena Douglass stamps in another style of greeting cards. These stamps are so versatile and fun to work with. Check these out:

I’m going through a very serious health issue, which could, in the future limit my blogs. Right now I’m recuperating from a melanoma cut from the bottom of my right foot. Plastic surgery was performed reconstructing the bottom of that foot. It’s healing and I should be walking on it some time soon. But that isn’t the end of the ordeal. A pathology report shows a microscopic amount of melanoma in a lymph node that was taken out at the time my foot was operated on. Now, we are deciding on the next course of action which looks like a lymph node dissection and it might include a year of interferon treatment. At this time I am gathering information to make an informed decision.
Please be aware this issue didn’t just happen to me…although for some people it could be the case. But I was a beach bunny since I was a child. I went with friends to the beach often and to the town pool working on a good tan. Now, we know what that leads to. When you read your book on the beach lying on your belly, the sun gets to the bottom of your foot! Now I live in Florida originally because we love the beach…I haven’t been on the beach for 3 years and I only live 7 miles away!
Please be careful with your own exposure to the sun. Take the right precautions!
  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.
I decided to update this story now because it is summer, the kids are out of school and the sun is out and it's hot! In years past my husband and I would be getting ready for a glorious day at the beach, still only 7 miles away! Now a days we take those precautions that I mentioned earlier.
Well after the surgery and meeting with the doctors who took care of me, I was of course dreading the future with what they said would come next! Then my children suggested a second opinion!
I made an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and saw Dr. Joseph. From the moment he walked into his examination room we had a good rapport. He had read the reports, he believed that it was not the stage that the original doctors said and that there was an 85% chance there was no cancer left to treat. He also believed and showed me charts that the interferon, the other doctors recommended, did not work! He recommended periodic sonograms, CT scans and blood work to watch for any signs the cancer is there. Dr. Joseph at the Mayo became my doctor and it will be two years the end of next month since the beginning of the ordeal began.
If it had not been for my children, I would have believed that all doctors used the same guide line...well they don't! They do not use the same charts and they can read the reports and see things differently. If you learn anything at all from this updated blog post, always get a second opinion. By the way, I have had many scans and blood work and there has been no Cancer found. I will continue to be monitored until 5 years is up. I'm here enjoying my life and my wonderful family...who saved me from making a bad decision.


R. Howard said...

Quite informative and scary.. Do hope it all turns out ok... Go know what we did a long time ago could come back and Haunt us! Good luck and thanks for the informative info... R. Howard

Christine said...

The cards are wonderful!!

I'll be thinking of you Sweety!! xoxo Thanks for the info!

Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

Charlene@A Pinch of Joy said...

Carla, the cards are lovely as always! Thanks for sharing your story and the very helpful tips. Best wishes as you research your options and then follow through!

Michelle Day said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery! I've been preaching sun screen to the kids since birth! As usual your cards are beautiful. Where do you get your stamps from? I'm a stamper and just haven't had the time lately but I love the last few you've used. Thanks again for linking up your fabulous work. Have a wonderful week.

Carla's Cards said...

Michelle and everyone, Thanks you for the good wishes.
I first saw these stamps at:

MLM247 said...

Do not get depressed. I have lived with various non-melanoma forms of skin cancer for forty years. With complications. And this is in spite of a lifetime of sunscreen use. Melanoma is not caused by sun exposure, but it is activated by it. This is not actually your fault. You are genetically predisposed to it and so are your children. Melanoma can grow anywhere once it happens the first time, even in your internal organs. Talk with your family and seriously consider moving to an area where sun strength will be less. Rainforest? This is for your children's sake. You have an excellent doctor. Trust him. Budget to see that doctor regularly. Read the melanoma research from reputable sources. Become an expert in this one tiny field.