Never in a Million Years

Approximately seven years ago heading out for a cruise out of Galveston, I stubbed my big toe on a heavy piece of luggage. Really bad bruise appeared and did hurt with flippers and shoes but never gave it a thought.

Jump to 2012 or 2013, went to a dermatologist for a full body dermatology exam and he may or may not have given me something to take for it thinking it was an infection from a pedicure.

April 29, 2014, I had an appointment with a podiatrist. Gave me an antibiotic which didn’t do much. On my follow up, approximately a month or so later, he took a fairly large clipping out of my nail and scraping and sent off to biopsy. Came back as a specific infection and required a specific antibiotic to which I was to take for 3 months. My first follow up from that, showed little improvement. Continued with the remainder of meds and my last follow up was scheduled for November 17th.

Sept 29 had an appointment with a urologist, due to constant urinalysis showed microscopic traces of blood. Had pelvic/kidney/abdominal CT scan and only thing it picked up was two enlarged lymph nodes in my left groin. Two days later and being concerned, I went to ER for an ultrasound which also confirmed a couple of enlarged lymph nodes.

The week I went in for my last follow up with podiatrist I mentioned swollen groin lymph nodes and if they could be related. He said no and keep an eye on any other toe nails. By the time I got home, he had called me to schedule an appointment to have my toe nail removed and biopsied. Said probably not related and rare if it is but would feel better if I removed it. That same week I went in to see a surgeon about the swollen lymph nodes and she scheduled surgery the next week.

The week of thanksgiving 2014, the podiatrist removed nail and the surgeon removed two lymph nodes. A week later pathology reports both confirmed melanoma.

January 13, 2015, Md Anderson did a partial amputation of my left big toe and removed 22 lymph nodes in my left groin.

My clinical oncologist recommended a treatment of Interferon. I opted to change my diet to a raw vegan, no sugar, dairy, carbs, alcohol, and caffeine diet and load up on specific supplements and CT scans every 4 months.

Almost three years NED until a mass was palpable in my thigh. Biopsy came back melanoma. Started Keytruda October 2017.

I fight for my husband, my brother, my friends who support me, but mostly because there are still so many things I need to do and see. If one positive thing came out of this, it's that I look at life so differently and don't sweat the small stuff one bit anymore.

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