Merry Christmas! I’m Totally (Not Really) Fine!

Today is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. So I thought it would be fitting to write a blog post that is all over the place and full of my rambling feelings. Because nothing says Merry Christmas like being in an emotionally precarious state when you have to keep it together so your family can have the best Christmas ever! Isn’t that how parents feel about Christmas every year? Matt Damon and the cast of SNL seem to agree.

Something I didn’t include in our Christmas cards this year even though it’s pretty significant change to our lives is that just after Thanksgiving I found out I have melanoma. Merry Christmas! I have cancer! It puts a damper on people’s holiday cheer so I left it out. Even though I can’t stop thinking about it.

I have cancer.

Skin cancer. And I’m only 36.

I’m angry. And terrified. And upset. I’m short with my kids who don’t know what’s going on with me. I cry at nothing. And then pretend I’m fine.

I’m fine.

I’m fine.

I’m fine.

Maybe if I say it enough times I’ll trick myself into actually being okay. Sometimes I actually feel mostly fine. And I’m not even faking.

Just kidding. I’m not fucking okay. Thanks for asking.

I’ve continued my normal routines like a boss. I’ve gone though various events and fun times this holiday season, and had fun. Really. I promise I did. I can compartmentalize and ignore the voice in my head shouting “I HAVE CANCER” without ruining everyone’s party. I’m fine. I’m drained. I feel loved.

I feel so very loved. Really, I have the best family and friends. I could go into their amazingness in excruciating detail, but it would get embarrassing…that’s how awesome my people are. I’m keeping their love and support to myself because I need it all. Sorry not sorry.

Meeting with the plastic surgeon definitely helped me feel more at ease with the situation. My melanoma was caught early and should be easily removed. It is on my hairline so it’s in the best possible spot for removal with minimal scarring. It will be like a mini-face lift on one side.

I feel extremely fortunate that my cancer can be cut out and that its removal should be the end of the cancer in my body. I won’t have to have chemo or radiation or anything like that. But part of me is terrified it will return. Because I’m more likely to have another one now that I’ve had one already.

I’m especially scared because my FIL has been dealing with melanoma for 9 years now. I’ve seen him cut up again and again, watched him deal with experimental therapies that harmed his body as much as they helped, and observed him not being himself as he received treatments.

January 10th I say peace out to my melanoma. I hope and pray it’s for good. Although if for some reason it’s not, I’m going to fight. Besides, if the Notorious RBG can come out swinging against Round 3 of cancer, I can certainly do likewise (although I can only hope to match her intense exercise regimen).

6 thoughts on “Merry Christmas! I’m Totally (Not Really) Fine!

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate the honesty of this post and your bravery in sharing your experience. This post also brings awareness/reminders of melanoma.

    1. You’re welcome. Apparently melanoma often doesn’t even look like melanoma, especially in younger people. I only got checked because I met my deductible already for the year and was going for a first preventative visit. I also have to basal cells that will be removed after the melanoma. My point is, if you grew up in Florida and have fair skin, you should probably get checked by a dermatologist if you can afford it.

    2. I know the feeling I was 26 and on Christmas Eve I was told. You have cancer. Not fun. Let me know if I can do anything for you. I’m not that healthy myself but whatever I can do, I’m willing.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Our prayers are with you and your family. I am going to have Steve read this as it runs in his family from his dad. Hang in there. You will be fine, you are in God’s hands. He loves you and your family. Prayers are for you all.

  3. it’s refreshing to read things that are so honest and real. praying for you and for a complete and easy recovery.

  4. Leslie, my brother Jeff had a melanoma on his back. They cut it out and he gets checked every 3 Months. They have not found anymore and it has been 3 years. You should be checked more often but you should be fine. Randy and I love you and pray it goes well. Love you, Leslie Lockwood

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