This has to be one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through with my family. And to write this makes it even more real. It is devastating any way you look at it.
My mother, our Rock had a strange look, semi-dark, semi-raised & rough stain on the back of her right calf. When she showed it to me it looked strange, my first reaction was to tell her to go to the dermatologist. She made her appointment. The day she went in the Dr. removed that strange stain on her calf. The dr. sent it out for testing. We thought it was just routine. But what happened next would change our lives in a way that we had never imagined.
-Tuesday April 17. The dermatologist calls with the results. Mommy told my brother & my dad the news. I knew nothing.
-Wednesday April 18. 9a.m. My mommy comes upstairs and we have a conversation with her.I don’t even remember what that was about. Because what she tells me next blurred everything else out. She sits on the arm of the couch, looks at me & Juanito and says “my doctor got my results back from the skin removal. I have Malignant Melanoma.” Her eyes turned red & filled with tears. I turned to Juanito & said “it’s skin cancer”. The whole time with a blank stare on my face. Juan jokingly said “Don’t worry, you’re not going anywhere. We’ve got you around for many more years.” My mommy leaves & we walk out the door to drive into NYC. Silence & tears file the time to the embassy & back. Complete shock & fear.
That same day mom gets her appt. time & date with the specialist. Now a week of waiting to hear what the Dr. has to say. All that is running through my mind is cancer. I spend every day waking up crying, live my day crying, fall asleep crying. My eyes hurt. I don’t know how it’s possible to have so many tears. Fear of the unknown is the worst feeling that no one should go through.
Sunday April 22- After church when no one else is home my mommy & I talk about what’s going on with her. I try to be strong & not release one tear in front of her. She breaks down, cries & proceeds to tell me that I will need to take care of my grandmother & that I needed to help get her stuff in order. I try to tell her that she’ll be fine. Saying those few words took so much out of me. To hear her say she is going to die, just killed me. I left the house as soon as possible, to be alone & cry.
-Longest week of my life!!!!!!!!
-April 24. 10a.m. We take our train ride into NYC to meet her specialist at NYU Hospital. At 11:45 we are called into the Dr.s office. The Moment Of Truth! He doesn’t seem worried, concerned & he’s making jokes. We are freaking out! He examines her. And now he finally is explaining it. it’s only .85cm in diameter,from the lab repot. Doesn’t feel anything in the lymph nodes. So he says all he needs to do is remove some more skin around the affected area & remove the lymph node that is attached to that area of skin. AWESOME NEWS!!!! We are super excited! He will check her slides that he just got from the lab later that day, and so we schedule her surgery for a week later.
All sounds great, right?! Nope thats not the case =(
-April 25th. I’m at work & get a call from my mother. She’s crying. I don’t understand why. The Dr. called saying it’s not .85cm, it’s in reality 2.5cm! The lab got it wrong. How could they mess something like this up! Our hopes were high & now came to a crashing down. We need immediate testing to find where the cancer has spread to.
-April 26. Again off to NYC for testing. At NYU they did her X-rays, blood work, etc… All the routine stuff you get before a surgery. Then off we go uptown to Medscan. They bring us into a cozy room and prep her for her injection. They bring in this metal barrel syringe. They have to inject her with Radioactive Sugar. REALLY?! All to get a better scan. I’m freaking out the whole time. I’m trying so hard not to show it. About 2 hours later we leave and are on our way home.
We get off the train 1hr later. As we approach the car we get a call from her Dr. It’s a MIRACLE it hasn’t spread to the rest of her body!!!! THE BEST NEWS EVER! So we are back on the first plan the doc set in place for surgery on wednesday. What a relief this is on my mom & my family. We are so grateful to have such an amazing Dr.