Thursday, September 23, 2010

Behind the scenes of 2010

So, jugding by the two comments left on my last post, I know there aren't many readers out there which is fine because it's just kind of like a journal for me anyway. I know there are probably more readers that just don't comment...I'm not a good commenter myself. Anway, a lot has happened this year and although I know the year is not over, I'm writing this post optomistically hoping the rest of the year turns around for the better.

The year started off with me being in my fifth month of pregnancy with my little boy. I feel like the fifth and sixth months are pretty good cuz I get out of throwing up every day and the morning sickness stuff and I'm not too huge and uncomfortable yet so that was a good time. As the third trimester rolled around, it was getting harder and harder. Everyone knows how that goes. Emotions are running HIGH, nothing fits, you can't bend over, or even roll out of bed for that matter. The bathroom becomes your second home, nothing fits, your swelled to the brim yadiyadiyadda. So I finally have this sweet little baby and it was the best labor ever! I didn't feel a thing! TGFEpidurlals! I have really good, chill babies but I feel like no matter how good your baby is, it's still hard those first few weeks with a newborn. Actually, it seemed like my girls were harder than Finn because he would just lay there and the girls would just want to jump on him and destroy him. Every time he cried, Ellie would die laughing because she thought it was so funny and would never want to help put his binkie in etc. I thought they would be good little mommies but they wanted to kill him basically. They're getting better :)

When Griffin was about three or four months, he was sleeping pretty good through the night and I would jut lay awake all night. Also at this time, probably as most mothers do, I started feeling like all I do is be a mom which sometimes isn't super rewarding and it can get draining doing the same things every day especially in summer when there is no school etc. I decided to train for a half marathon which is 13.1 miles. The gym is just a good getaway for me and I wanted to make a goal and achieve something that I was proud of myself for but be realistic. Most of my family members have run a marathon and I haven't but I'm starting small and we'll where it takes me. Some things had been bothering me like no sleep, some neck problems and some moles that I needed checked out. When I was getting my epidural, my aneasthesiologist (sp?) told me I had some moles on my back that I should get checked out. I thought ok but I kind of disregaurded it. One of the trips we took in California, I was laying out trying to get tan and later that day, one of the moles on my back got charred by the sun and the middle part literally fell off and looked like a piece of charcoal. I thought for sure I need to go get this checked out.

When I made my appointment to see the Dr. for my laundry list of things wrong with me, my moles were just a little side note at the time. Dr. Greg Allen took a look and immediately wanted to schedule surgery to have two of my moles removed to be biopsied. I thought, no big deal. I've had like three moles removed already..."whatever when should I come in?" I went in the next week on a Thursday and Monday morning I got a call from Dr. Allen. At first I thought "that's weird, doctors never call their patients...something's wrongd" but he is a family friend so then I thought no big deal he's just being personable and nice. He asked me how I was feeling from surgery and I said fine and then he said the one thing you never want to hear from a doctor "I have bad news!" My heart sank. He told me that they found out in the biopsy that my moles were in the pre-cancerous stages of melanoma which is a skin caner. I wasn't sure if I should freak out or what. He was acting serious so I just listened. The mole on my right shoulder blade was moderate and the one toward the middle of my back was severe. He wanted my to go to a specialist and have them take off a larger radius and go deeper to make sure they cut it all out so nothing was left to turn into cancer. To add to the stress, I talked to Jake around 3:00 that day and he had an appointment at 4:00 to meet with a client but I didn't hear back from him after the appointment and couldn't get a hold of him for like six hours. I found out that he didn't make it to his appointment and I thought for sure he's dead somewhere and I'm dying of caner. It was the most aweful day. Clearly he's not dead but I didn't hear from him until about almost nine that night. I won't go into major details but the person on the other line said " This is the Mesa City Jail calling with a collect call from...Jacob Banner". Yes my husband was in jail!!! Basically he was driving on a suspended license and didn't know it and then tried to go to court but they didn't have record of his ticket so they said they'd send a new court date, so he didn't go to court and the next day his warrant for his arrest went out and a sherriff impounded his car and he spent the night in jail. That was on August 23 and today is September 23 therefore it's been the 30 days and we can finally go get his truck out of the impound. I'm starting to sound super white trash. It was all a huge mess and not fun to go through but that was just a part of our year ya know?!

Back to my moles... I had five more moles on top of that that he wanted removed. I had another surgery for four more moles removed with Dr. Allen the next week. He told me what to watch for with moles: ABCDE A is for a-symetry, B is for borders-if it's not a perfect round circle and it has jagged edges, C is for color (I think) look for it changing color and getting darker, D is for diameter if it is larger than the back a pencil on the eraser part, and E is for elevation (self explanitory) So, I checked myself and he thought there were only four left but I found one on my lower right breast. He asked if I laid out naked and all I could think of was tanning beds to whick he replied are worse than the sun. He said this new one was for sure being taken off because it looked the most sketchy. He would only do three at a time because if one gets infected, they all get infected. This left two more to go.

The following week was when I met with the specialist who was going to be basically digging out my back to cut out anything that was left behind from the first surgery. By this time I was getting kind of sick of doctors appointments, finding a babysitter, freaking out that I might have cancer, copays and dealing with insurance, surgeries, and not being able train for my marathon because of the pain and not even being able to shower etc. The Dr. numbed me which isn't pleasant and started digging away. I felt like my back was a piece of meat and they were just shredding it to pieces. The one closer to the middle of my back, as they got deeper and deeper, I started feeling them cut me so they had to stick me again to make it numb. I was so nauseos from the pulling, cutting, digging, sewing...this was my third surgery in two and a half weeks and I threw up on the pain meds they gave me so I was just done with it.

That last surgery was brutal and kept me from running for about two weeks. On Monday of this week was the first day that I really started feeling good to back to working out because it just felt sore and if sweat got in it, it just felt like when you have a wound and add salt to it it burns. I went back to Dr. Allen to take all my stitches out and he wanted to set up another surgery for my last two moles. I pleaded with him to wait and let me heal. He advised me to take pictures and watch for change and see him in six months or so. I was so releaved. However, I still hadn't heard back on the results of my other surgeries. Of the three that Dr. Allen did, two came back normal and the one on my right breast came back in the mild stages and they cut it all so those didn't need any more digging. The last two I just got my results back on Monday and my right shoulder blade came back normal but the one on the middle of my back had started working it's way lower and that's what happens and starts on the surface and builds lower and lower until it attacks your body. So this one had started going deeper but they cut it all out in the surgery so I'm cancer free! It was such a relief to hear that.

I know that was so long to read but I just want to raise awareness about skin cancer and melanoma and advise everyone to get there moles checked out. I wanted to leave out the hard things about getting surgeries and it not being fun at all but at the end of the day, if I hadn't gone through that little part of checking and removing and suffering for two months, look at the long term suffering and I would have gone through and ultimately death. There are no symptoms of melanoma. Anyone could have it and have no idea. I wasn't sure why people needed to get there moles checked or what the deal was with skin cancer but it's time to stop thinking that it couldn't happen to you because it can happen to anyone. Trying to be tan is not worthe it! It's so bad for your skin number 1 and it's expensive and hard to maintain staying tan. It's so much more fun to sit under an umbrella and chat with friends and family and preserve your skin and health. I am so happy that I got this taken care of and I didn't disregaurd getting mine checked out. I am in full force training for this half marathon in November and I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped and supported me through all this and for my dad running with me in this race. He is a little intimidating but I know he's good motivation for me so I'm excited to push myself and see what I can accomplish. I'd like to bear my testimony...jk I won't do that right now :) I really am grateful for good friends and family though and...that's all I have to say about that.


McMemories said...

Kels!! oh my gosh, that is all crazy! I'm glad you are ok, and you for sure made me want to go get checked. Most of my family has had melanomas, so scary! And Jake in Jail!!! oh geez! Hope the rest of 2010 is drama free!
p.s. I got a new phone and lost all my contacts, email me your number so we can catch up:)

Greg and Michelle Andersen said...

Kelsey, I'm so glad everything is ok! I just went to the dermatologist this week to get a few moles checked out. I finally came to the realization that I am a whitie and not meant to be tan! Too bad all of the laying out/going to tanning beds in high school ruined me. To make up for it I always lecture my little sisters about tanning. :) Anyway, your family is adorable. Tell Jake I said hi!

Michelle (Dyer)

The Brinkerhoff's said...

Hey!! Well I hope the last half of the year is better for you guys! What half are you training for? I am doing the one in Nov. Plus I am in a little running group if you ever want to come train with us it's fun in a hard sort of way

TJ and Jen Sherwood said...

what a good post Kelsey! I am sorry to hear about all of your stresses and hope things start to get better soon.

Josh & Tara Wilkey said...

Thanks for doing my hair yesterday...Love it!

Here is my new Blog BTW:(i think you might have it already but just in case)

Brooke Colvin said...

Oh, Kels! Even though I knew all of the things you have been going through, it still made me sad for you to read it again. I am glad though that you are posting about melanoma and getting your moles checked out. That has inspired me to spread the word too. If only we knew all this stuff in high school before we ruined our skin!! Good luck with your marathon training! I am glad it's you and not me - I think being 9 months prego is a good excuse not to go running, right? Love you sis!

Jen said...

Holy Moly! ha ha no punt intended:)
But seriously i'm so sorry. How scary to be dealing with this.
And the jail thing, ya i would have been freaking out too not being able to find my hubby and then hearing he's in jail. Glad you finally have the truck back.

Keep us updated and my prayers are with you.

Clarissa and Mark said...

Oh my gosh, I am so glad you are ok! I am glad you finally posted :) Your kids are getting so big and they are so cute!