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Today I went for a drive

Today I went for a drive. In the seat next to me, the pathology results from a mole I had removed one week prior. Diagnosis; Malignant Melanoma. Yes, you read that right, I have skin cancer. 

What do you do when you find out you have cancer at 26 years old? You go for a drive! So, that's what I did with my 7 month old son, snoring in the backseat. 

I have a great appreciation for the great outdoors and today was a great day to take in the scenery. On a back road I passed a large gathering of Amish, I'm assuming it was for a wedding. I passed some of the prettiest and most unique homes I've ever seen. At a four way corner stood an very old convenience store that was surprisingly still operational, even though it was out in the middle of nowhere. I wish I could have stopped to take a picture because it honestly looked like an old photograph. The other great thing I witnessed today on my travels was the already changing leaves here in northwest Pennsylvania! Oh how I love fall. 

I'd say I've been pretty positive since finding out the news. I knew that's what was on my thigh. I just knew it. I'm the type of person that does a ton of research and likes to know what to expect for every outcome. I was the same way during my pregnancy. I don't like surprises and do better having an idea about what is going to happen. I like to stay on neutral ground and hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. 

While I am so hopeful that the only treatment I may need is a wide incision to remove the rest of the cancer cells, I am also not naive to think that treatment may be more than just that. I know there is a great possibility that it has spread to my lymph nodes and that scares me to death. It's easy for people to say "oh they will just cut it out and that's it," but they aren't the ones with itchy stitches from the biopsy on their leg.

I don't want anyone to treat me differently! There are way worse cancers out there that I can't even fathom. There are children fighting for their lives everyday and here I am with "just" skin cancer. I do however want everyone to realize that it may not just end with this one mole. I have many others that are abnormal also. I will be seeing a dermatologist multiple times a year to keep and eye on all my many many moles. My family planning "plans" may have to change or stop all together depending on the severity. So, while it is "just" skin cancer, it could change my life forever. 

I will be seeing a Surgical Oncologist next week to discuss the next steps. I'm ready to move forward and get this taken care of. 

Thank you for reading!

Love, Stephanie


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