Melanoma and Me: Sharing My Journey

I’ve been on fairly a journey; extra like a curler coaster. If just one particular person reads this and takes motion to analyze one’s personal pores and skin, then I’ve helped.

I’m a lifelong pupil of well being, well-being, proactive care of physique, thoughts, and soul, creator of GROWING YOUNGER GRACEFULLY: Your Information to Getting older with Vitality, Resilience, and Pizzazz“, creator of GYG Natural Facial & Physique Serums, and architect of Yoga for Dwelling with Loss.

I’m normally immersed in the right way to age effectively, reside effectively, and be effectively. I all the time thought of myself to be vigilant about my good well being, even a little bit prideful that I take no drugs, stroll 5-10 miles with ease, educate and take a wide range of yoga lessons, and am bodily lively biking, swimming, mountaineering, kayaking, gardening, and filled with vitality and optimism.


I seen a small discoloration on my left, fifth toe and toe nail. Was it seaside tar from my many swims? Possibly my sneakers on my lengthy walks have been inflicting friction, so I acquired new sneakers. I didn’t assume it was trigger for concern.

In my yoga apply, I take every toe and transfer it within the six instructions of flexibility. I’m very related, conscious, touching, and massaging my toes and toes on a regular basis. My class commentary was that since my father was a podiatrist, my homage to my candy Dad was our consideration to our toes.

This discoloration by no means damage, by no means acquired larger, by no means acquired smaller, by no means bothered me. Was it a bruise? Was it simply discoloration? I touched it, studied it, tried just a few topical cures, and was ready for it to vanish. It didn’t.

On the finish of my annual bodily, I remembered to ask my fantastic physician what she considered this discoloration. She prompt I see a dermatologist, which I did two weeks later. I noticed a doctor’s assistant who checked out it with a little bit of alarm and that was once I sensed this was a little bit greater than I believed. He had me see one other dermatologist that very day!

Dr. M. took a biopsy, stitched up that incision, and gave me my first full physique scan. She took off just a few basal cells and stated the biopsy end result can be again in just a few days. I had by no means had a full physique scan from a dermatologist earlier than. We must always ALL be checked!


Three days later, my report was that I had Stage 2 melanoma!!! 4 days later, I had an appointment with Dr. T., a renown surgeon and Harvard professor with a unbelievable repute. Even the scheduler stated that he was extremely regarded and wanted so I used to be undoubtedly fortunate.

I spent the ready time researching all of the doable choices the surgeon would possibly current, attempting to not panic. I spoke with associates. I talked to anybody I felt secure round. I used to be very frightened, to say the least.

Assembly The Surgeon

Dr. T stated that with the intention to utterly take away the melanoma, he wanted a clear margin. He drew it out. The clear margin was a lot bigger than my contaminated toe. The toe would should be eliminated.


He instructed me that this is able to not have an effect on my actions, until I used to be competing within the Olympics on the steadiness beam. He stated to recollect three issues: 1. It’s curable 2. It’s curable 3. It’s curable. He would carry out the surgical procedure and take away lymph nodes in my groin to see if any aberrant cells had traveled. All I might repeatedly ask was, “Am I going to lose my toe?” He stated sure, then continued speaking of which I heard little after which repeated my query.

Sure, I used to be going to lose my toe. If the cells had unfold, there was medicine. We’d know that after the pathology report. What a shock! Inside just a few days, the surgical procedure was scheduled the very subsequent week.

I used to be additionally instructed that this melanoma was not from the solar. Could be genetic, or from a radon stuffed playground I used as a baby, or simply random.

Ready Was the Worst

So I had lower than three weeks from analysis to surgical procedure. It was all so quick, which was good to get it resolved. And it was virtually too quick to get my head round. I had Reiki, massages, a tremendous Qi Gong therapeutic, many tears, and nice fears. My scenario was not a secret however simply very personal as I used to be processing, processing, processing.

It was like a pebble in a pond, every ripple was a much bigger circle. I used to be very discerning about who I instructed as a result of I wished to guard my very fragile emotional state from any harsh, inappropriate (to me), horrified reactions.

The times of preparing have been a blur. I cried rather a lot. My husband cried with me. We have been scared. I spoke usually with my children, just a few instances with the grandkids, associates, and people who I selected to share my emotions with. My superb help system was there for me and so very useful in perspective and simply holding the house for my tears and fears.

The times have been counting down. I used to be deeply meditating and visualizing all my wayward cells have been all going to my toe to be eliminated upon surgical procedure. I talked to my toe rather a lot.

My meditation helped me tremendously. I encourage everybody to have some sort of targeted quiet time able to be launched once we want it most. You can’t be taught to be nonetheless if you find yourself most susceptible.

The Surgical procedure

The morning of my surgical procedure, I felt like I used to be going by the motions, however this was not likely my life. It was surreal. Then it was time… Stated goodbye to my husband, tearfully. I requested my surgeon to say a little bit blessing over my toe, thank it for all of the enjoyable of yoga, dance, walks, good instances and take all of the unhealthy cells with it. As I used to be asking the anesthesiologist a query, I didn’t end the sentence. I wakened in restoration about 4 hours later.

My husband tenderly organized a foam leg relaxation, my pillows, and gave me the meds I wanted. I cried as a result of my physique was so manipulated with heavy bandages on each my foot and my groin. I cried as a result of I misplaced my toe. I cried as a result of my physique was full of anesthesia. I cried as a result of I didn’t know what was forward. I cried for the lack of my wholesome physique and spirit of well-being I so cherished. I cried once I spoke to my household. I used to be overwhelmed by emotion and bodily discomfort.

melanoma recovery

Meals, messages, playing cards, and flowers began flowing in. I used to be utilizing a walker and Phil was by my aspect each minute, day or evening. I might hardly take a sponge tub as I used to be fairly motionless.

My residence workplace turned my ‘Restoration Sanctuary’. As so many individuals despatched flowers, my desk reworked to my ‘Restoration Backyard’. I used to be surrounded by therapeutic vitality.

My immobility provided me a deep dive into my therapeutic bodily, emotionally, and spiritually. I immersed myself in lots of religious teachings, meditated day by day together with lengthy journal entries to course of my emotions, experiences, explorations, and epiphanies.

Happily, my lymph nodes have been clear. There have been no irregular cells in my physique. HOORAY!

Grief Was a A part of It

My grief was a continuing supply of revelation and sorrow. I couldn’t take a look at my disfigured foot. The grief of loss of life of a household or pal may be very a lot within the thoughts and the center. This bodily grief was a lot totally different. I used to be completely in my physique and on the most susceptible, unhappy, overwhelming, and deepest place.

I skilled a mobile degree of bodily grief for my misplaced toe, part of my physique. Simply as tree roots help and ‘communicate’ to one another, I felt the identical factor. It was as if my cells have been grieving for the loss. It has been a really sluggish course of for me to really take a look at my foot, my fifth house, my newly designed physique. I’m slowly, with a prayer I wrote, with self-compassion, with a little bit pity celebration, and simply feeling higher, accepting what has occurred.

I wrote this prayer that I repeat day by day to my, as I now name it, Fifth House:

Pricey fifth House,

Welcome to my physique. We will probably be lovingly related. We are going to discover emotional and bodily steadiness collectively. You’re a present and I’ll proceed to obtain your providing.

Lovingly, The Remainder of My Physique

My loss, grief, and sorrow took up all of the house inside and round me. With every day of feeling stronger, that house is getting smaller, and I’m resuming extra of who I’m other than this most pivotal expertise.


With my grief has come my existential disaster. Is all of it random? Did I set off this? What’s my accountability for this? Is there some which means in all this? Is it simply unhealthy luck? Is there a message? I proceed to ask with these questions from inside. In my meditations, I name and thank my guides, my angels, the Divine vitality, my beloved mother and father, my sister Susie, and greatest pal, Kaiya to information me, defend me, and encompass me. I imagine that they do.

I’ve realized to take a look at this actuality from the within out moderately than the exterior world influencing my inside world. I’m a religious being having a human expertise, not a human being having religious expertise. That opens me to very extensive exploration.

Every day is brighter. I’m able to stroll extra, do extra round the home, really feel much less dependent and susceptible, and get again right into a productive and lively life-style. I’ll incorporate what I’ve skilled and realized as I transfer ahead.

I’m not positive how I can share my story and assist others in the identical/comparable scenario, however that’s my subsequent purpose. I’d create ‘9 Toe Yoga” or incorporate bodily grief as a part of my Yoga for Dwelling with Loss. That is my journey. Now, I’ll search to seek out which means from melanoma and me, and hopefully be of service to others.

  • PLEASE, please, please get a full physique dermatology examine.
  • Examine your self and let your doctor know of any small, insignificant adjustments to your pores and skin.
  • Don’t ignore something! Be vigilant.
  • Incorporate a meditation apply into your private software field.
  • Attempt journaling to specific your self, if solely to your self. It’s so useful.
  • If you’re assembly any of the challenges that I’ve confronted, please attain out to me. Possibly I can help you as I’ve been supported.

Have you ever skilled a well being subject that boggled your thoughts and created immense grief in your life? How did you deal with it? Have you ever shared it with others? What recommendation do you’ve gotten for girls in the identical/comparable scenario?