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I’m thankful today to sit in my porch swing, with the warmth of the beautiful sunshine on my face, watching the world pass by.  I can wear whatever shoes I want or even go barefoot without pain. No more frozen-chicken-breast-Marco-Polo bedtime routine or scaly feet either.

I’m thankful I’m not laying awake at night worrying about my cancer.  My dermatologist told me last week that my eye problem (iritis) is an immune reaction to Ipi (Yervoy) and a good sign the drug is starting to work its immune system magic. I don’t even know when my next scans are.  I guess I should ask Monday.

I’ve had some fatigue and a headache that comes and goes but my Friday bloodwork was ok, so I just enjoy doing what I can and slow down if I need to.  Saturday and Sunday we did some yard work. Alan calls me Edwina Scissorhands. Try getting those little pollen bits out of your eyes without eyelashes to grab onto. Not so easy.

I’m grateful to be driving, taking my kids to school, dr/ortho/optometrist appointments, and soccer practice. I’m even grateful to be able to do laundry and make dinner.  Because sometimes I can’t.  One of the most frustrating parts of cancer for me is accepting my limitations.

I’m blessed to be here. I don’t believe in the cancer statistics game but this popped up where I didn’t expect it the other day. “(Metastatic Melanoma) in its late stages, the average survival rate is just 6 months with a 1-year mortality rate of 75%, making it one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.”  I have always considered myself above average. Except in college where the Computer Science program kicked my *&&.  We wrote a program once all in ones and zeros – so useful.  Thank goodness the curve on that class brought my 40 up to a B. I guess I’m living on the curve too. Excellent.

I’m thankful for the difficult times which have made me a much more sympathetic person and brought me closer to God. I don’t know what He’s saving me for, but every day I try to let Him in so I’ll know what He wants me to do.

I just finished a fantastic book that I’ve been intending to read all year, Kisses from Katie.  Katie Davis grew up going to our church in Brentwood and taught Sunday school to #1.  This 19 year old homecoming queen gav­e up her American life to follow the call of Jesus to Uganda to care for orphans.  I urge you to read it – it will not only amaze but hopefully inspire you.  This is my favorite quote, “There is truly no greater gift than to give yourself away. The more we give the more He fills, and this is the fullness of joy.” She’s incredible.

I never intended to be a blogger or an author. I started a CaringBridge site as a way to simplify life for my family in 2010 because we were overwhelmed by so many kind friends simply wanting to know “How’s it going?”.  Here we are with 2013 just peaking around the corner and I’m continually shocked and humbled by the number of people who take an interest in us.

I still get tongue-tied when people tell me they read the blog, or compliment me, or tell me it helped them in some way. I am just a shy mom, trying to survive, fighting like you would if you had to, and hopefully doing a little melanoma educating along the way.

If you’re attracted to our drama because you’ve already seen all the current episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” then I will sorely disappoint you.  If it helped you in some way then I am very grateful that He continues to urge me to post and splay my personal troubles and faults for the entire world to see.

I got the nicest email back from the soccer club president.  He said any of the kids could wear shirts to show support for the causes they believe in during October.  No one on my daughter’s team bought a pink training shirt and she doesn’t want to wear her Miles for Melanoma shirt.  At least though, they will be more aware next year that some of us are pinked-out.

Ipi round 2 is next Monday Oct 22nd. We remain hopeful for the best although my oncologist tells me it’s much more likely to get interesting from there on out.  Possible damage to whatchamacallit glands, ulcerative colitis, horrific rash, weightlessness, werewolf transformation, loss of reflection in a mirror, etc.

I am not afraid. He goes before me always.

Thank You God.