Thursday, December 07, 2006

Curious, quite like George

So, you all know about me. I am so curious to "meet" all you cyber lurkers reading this blog. I get about 40-60 hits a day on this site (nothing compared to the 1-2 million gets!) and some of you I know IRL (in real life) and some of you I know from other message boards, and some of you have been sweet and courageous enough to introduce yourselves, but who are the rest of you?

This is your chance to come out of hiding. If you want to remain anonymous, that's cool, but just tell me a wee bit about yourself, like where you're from, if you have a similar story, or if you collect pet rocks. Just click on "comment" at the end of this entry and press "anonymous" if you aren't registered with

I know most of you are from the States, followed closely by my fellow Canadians, then I get hists from the Netherlands (shout out Janette!) and the UK, sometimes Africa and Asia, but that's all I know about you! Can't blame me for being curious. Indulge me. I dare ya!

I'll start by telling you the latest about me. I had surgery on Tuesday to remove that area that they told me was likely a seroma from past surgeries in the same location. WRONG! It was a tooma, small plum size like I said, with a small almond size one beside it. I thought I found something on my shoulder too the day before the surgery so I called the secretary to let the surgeon know, see if he wanted to bring an ultra sound into the OR. That didn't happen so on the OR bed I had to decide if I wanted him to cut into me not knowing if there was anything bad there or not.

The surgeon's comment was that, "You are usually right about these things", which isn't really true. I'm sometimes right, sometimes paranoid. So, I had him cut in, just cuz it doesn't really hurt afterwards, and my shoulder, arm, armpit are so butchered already, what's another scar? Turns out he didn't find anything. Good. I'd rather know NOW then wait and watch and worry, especially over Christmas.

So, I will still be ship shape for Christmas unless shit hits the fan, but lets be optimistic. It's unlikely shit will hit the fan between now and New Years, but I also know the reality from seeing how fast things have changed for some of my online melanoma friends. I know I am not exempt from this. I hope, but I am no more special or deserving then these wonderful people. We are all the same, just trying to get by, just hoping we will be on the good side of the stats. And we hope for each other.


At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
No, I can't blame you for being curious. Sorry the lumps turned out to be more toomahs as you say. Glad the other one wasn't. Geeze - you've had a rough year.

I found your blog on mpip bb. My husband was diagnosed with stage IV mel in July. He's doing ok right now. Starting a trial in January. We live in Pittsburgh and mostly eat, work, and watch tv. We're really homebodies. We have three cats and a dog. Quite a nice little family. We are both in our early 30s.

Thanks for your blog. Your spirit and humor help me put things in perspective.


ps: I think the bionic hand thingy is SUPER cool.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

I am the husband of smarties that you might know from one of the boards she is a member of.

After she told me about your blog, I started reading your entries. I am extremely impressed with your strength: keep hanging in there and hopefully everything will go well.

Smarties Husband

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah - I 'know' you from when you used to post on WB. I had a couple moles removed for testing back in June (maybe it was May?). Both were okay, but in my worried state I started Googling to see what I could find on melanoma...I found MPIP, read some stuff you posted and connected you back with postings from WB. Small world!

Anyway, I live in Cowtown now, but I spent the first 18 years of my life in London, ON. Again, small world!

Take care!

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

probably did a google blogsearch on something like "stage 4 cancer".

don't have cancer, but am interested in how people fight it (or don't).

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah - I had a melanoma scare back in May of this year when my dermatologist told me I had a bad looking growth on my leg. It turned out to be ok, but I found your site through searching and clicking when I was trying to learn about melanoma (which is what she told me she thought it was). I come back sometimes because I've been struck by your bravery in combating this disease. When I get sick (we all will), I hope to be able to face it head on like you have.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah.

I don't know you and you don't know me.

I was recently married and got into reading the Wedding Bells forums, though I never became a member.

In one post that got quite heated (I won't rehash it) you posted your blog. I felt compelled to click in... and I've been checking on you ever since.

I guess I felt a bit stalkerish all this time, and I wondered if you'd even care that some stranger was reading.

You're an incredible person, that much I know, and even though I'm a stranger, I'm here pulling for you, all the time.

I wish you the very best.
R (from Toronto)

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi; I have a friend with stage 3c melanoma, and found you through googling. I've felt a bit "stalkerish," too, but have hoped my well wishes and admiration make up for the fact I've got no "real" excuse for reading. I worry about you when you don't post for a while, and am pulling for your continued happiness.

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous charlotte said...

Hey Sarah,

I'm charlotte from H-! - After you posted your blog one day, I popped in and can't stop reading! I'm amazed at your strength, insight and determination. All the best to you. ((hugs))

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Carver said...

I'm sorry the seroma was actually melanoma. I was so hoping it wouldn't be. I do dearly hope that this is it for you and melanoma. It could happen! You are great at rolling with the punches but I'd like to punch Mel out for continuing to jump in where he's not wanted! I hope you have a peaceful Christmas and that NED will be the only crasher in town. As ever, Carver

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

I also found your blog when looking for melanoma information - especially the human side of it. I was diagnosed with early melanoma in February.

I'm 30 and live in North Carolina.

Thanks for having the courage to post!

Carolina Girl

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Hi Sarah!

I'm Melissa V from MPIP, although I don't post there often. I've been reading your blog since you started it. I was dx'd in April stage IIIb, had WLE, SNB, and left axillary LND and now about 6.5 months NED.

I'm ashamed to say I check for updates on your blog almost daily and I've never said hello! Sorry about that!

I wish you the best and hope your holidays go well!

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Chellezilla said...

I too clicked your link when you posted it on H!, and have been checking in ever since.

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I found your blog via Miss Melanoma, and found hers through MPIP. Like some of your other lurkers, I check on you daily and I worry when you haven't posted for a while. In a strange kind of way it does feel as though you are "family" and I need to be reassured that you are doing okay.

My husband has Stage IV melanoma, and like a lot of men isn't that big on communication, and your blog (and those of other brave people who bare their souls to the world)really help me to know what he is going through, how I can handle things to help him out, things to think about that he hasn't mentioned but that could be bothering him.... that sort of thing.

He is brave like you, handling all the treatments and procedures and pain, trying to be around as long as he can for me and our children, and dealing with each day one at a time and trying not to mourn the future he had planned.

I wish you all the best Sarah, and I hope you don't mind if I keep "eavesdropping" on your life.

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Irene said...

Another one from H! I have you on my RSS feeds, so I know when you post.

While I don't know anyone who has cancer, I'm curious how someone who does have it has to cope with this disease and what they have to cope with.

I can't imagine how hard it must be for you, but I am glad that you are looking at things positively. You really help me put a lot of things in perspective.

Keep strong!

At 12:23 AM, Blogger grass said...

Hi Sarah,
I found you on WB too. You're a great writer. What can I say - I'm not sure what brings me back, except that I enjoy readin about a very strong, brave, smart woman and I'm rooting for you.

At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello sarah icame across your site by luck.i was on and watched a video about imogen potter from the uk and picked up a link with your self. i have myself had a roller coster of a ride but mine is a shadow of what you have had to are a breath of fresh air to us all.have a look at site and see me.huggs and many thanks andrena benning from the uk.

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, inspired by your writing, Sarah. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas - Pennylane

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

I found your blog via the mpip bulletin board. My husband was diagnosed with Stage Ia Melanoma. His original biposy was a year ago today. Happy Anniversary! He's also survivied widely metastatic testicular cancer...including one relapse.

I am very sorry to hear about the latest "toomahs". I truly admire your grace and determiniation in handling all of this.

My husband and I are in our early 30s. We live in Ottawa, ON. No kids and one cat.

Take care!

Carolyn B.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

Hey Sarah, I "cyberknow" you a little bit from a couple of emails a while back. An in-transit met near my skin graft bumped me from 1b to 3b in April. Quite a shock when the doctors were so confident that I would never see the ugly face of melanoma again. Early on in your blog you mention that your docs said that they could continue to cherry pick your "toomas" and that did and still does give me a lot of hope. Your whole attitude actually gives me a lot of hope and I truly thank you for it.
I live in Alabama, USA for now. This is our 6th house in 15 years of marriage. We have 2 beautiful Beagle girls, Abbey and Emma, who have no idea they are dogs 'cos we never told 'em. I taught school (7th grade math, mostly) for 13 years until we bought an old house (1850's) in Ohio and I quit to restore it. We are a couple of states passed that one now...We enjoy many outdoor activities(not so great for melanoma people, but you gotta be happy). Latest on the list is sailing and we have recently completed some course work and I am glad to say I passed! YAY!
Happy Holidays, Sweet Girl, to you and Derek. Thanks for being you.
Love, Kim

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous kungfookitty said...

hello Sarah!

I can't remember how I came across your blog. I clicked on it one day and started reading. You are an inspiration of dealing with a health crisis. Your sense of humor and strength floor me.

I am a nurse in the bay area of California. I recently got married and we have a fur baby named Jezebelle. (a six toed kitty)

I wish you the best holiday season free of any pesky tooma's!

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

I'm from Oregon and lost my sister to Inflammatory Breast Cancer in January. She didn't share many feelings in the four years that she was fighting cancer, and I felt so far away from her sometimes! I was also confused about some of her choices (not going in for follow-up treatment and ignoring indications of recurrence). I knew that was her right, but I can't say I wasn't frustrated and absolutely terrified for her and our family.

Your words help me understand some of her actions and the feelings she probably had as a young woman with cancer. I loved my sister, and I have to respect the decisions she made. But I like knowing that some people handle cancer differently--namely by doing every. single. thing. they can to get more time and/or to make their lives as meaningful and enjoyable as possible. I think you're one of those people, Sarah, and I'm glad you're sharing your story.

Hoping, hoping, hoping for you!


At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

I am Kathy ("K in AZ" on the MPIP page). I am 36 yo and lost my husband this past May (he was 31). We were married for less than 3 years. Mike was diagnosed with stage III melanoma, no primary site. However, like you, he had a mole removed 11 years earlier which was considered "non-malignant". He survived 10 months after his diagnosis. I can't let go of the MPIP board or you as it turns out. You guys are like my extended family and a part of my life that I never want to forget.

I also have two kitties which I adore (Emma and Lucy) and funny, they look a lot like your two shmittens! :) They give me great joy and something to smile about.

I am trying to adjust to this new life. I take it one day at a time (or one moment at a time) and try not to over-think things. I am holding my breath through the holidays.

I admire your strength and I thank you for sharing a part of your life with us "cyber people". The ability to reach out and connect, support and share emotions (joyous and painful) with one another is so amazing and beautiful.

I wish you all of the best and send you all of my love.


At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I "know" you from MPIP, which I've been frequenting for several years after having lots of atypical moles removed in my 20s. I don't post much, but when I do it's usually under the name Lala. I'm 33 and live in Georgia, USA. I've been following your journey and my heart aches for all you have been going through. I check up on you almost daily and am pulling for you.

I know (as I'm sure you do from some of the posts on the MPIP board) that there is always hope and there are some miraculous stories out there. One step at a time!

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tis me, Karin! I check your blog regularly, to see how you're doing and cuz it's extremely well-written, passionate, inspiring and i'm a net-junkie! Hope to see you soon, maybe at J's bday in January?
Hugs to you and Derek,
Karin xx

At 10:42 PM, Blogger doctor T said...

Hey Sarah -- I came across your blog before you actually posted about it on H-! -- still can't quite remember how. I check in all the time and I'm always in awe of your attitude and what a cool person you seem in general. I am also a mole-y person and fear skin cancer but thanks in part to reading your blog I've realized I can't spend life obsessing over the "what ifs." You rock.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Heather said...

What do you mean introduce myself?? I don't read your blog, never heard of it!!


Curious George is Jamie's favorite show, by the way!

Soooo another toomah bites the bullet, huh? Hopefully no steroids this time and easier healing time for you. You ROCK, girl, talk about taking it all in your stride. I am so impressed by you and honored to call you a friend.

I also SO want you never to have to think about this crap again!

Wishing you love, happiness and hope as always...


At 4:59 PM, Blogger Couz said...

I'm originally from 'H..." as well, but now I'm just a Sarah fan. :-)

At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

Found you a while back via the MPIP. I go by mlittle; my name is melissa. I have several melanoma blogs bookmarked in my favorites folder. I like to check in and see how everyone is doing, even though I rarely comment.

I am newly diagnosed, just since August/Sept 2006. Stage 1, two primaries. Waiting on lymph node biopsy results due next week.

I am cheering you on, although VERY quietly. And am grateful to all melanoma warriors who bravely fight AND also bravely allow us a peek into their world.

I had the opportunity to meet several mpip warriors at the texas bash in October. What an amazing experience! Every last one of them, just good, gracious, the very best people you could ever meet. I am honored to know them, and you, and all who journey with us.



At 4:01 AM, Anonymous JanetteT said...

Wow Sarah,
I'm feeling kinda special and famous here, you mentioning me in your blog and all. Blush, blush..
Whew..another are so long overdue for a cancer-free break.And to stay! I know you will be on the good side of the stat's..I can feel it. Silly as it sounds I just know it, and I beleive it. Really.(!!!!)No kidding.
I really hope that you have lots of fun this holiday, you deserve it(!) I hope that you have some of that laughter that brings you to tears,you know, the kind with loads of silliness.
You SHINE girl, you've touched so many of us,( and helped us too).
Sincerely, JanetteT from the Netherlands (real windy and rainy here,crap weather)
P.s..I guess I owe you a foto, I am on to that! My Xmas gift to you,eh?

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I am another one from H-!
I first read your blog when you mentioned it on the board, but then came back to it after I had a cancer scare myself. Thankfully it turned out to be benign after further testing, but I am now hooked on your blog for good.
I would like to remain anonymous, but to relieve your curiosity I am a southern-Ontario fan.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Ms.Smarties said...

I am one of those who check your blog everyday ;-). You know who I am !

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Alex said...

I found out about your blog as well from WB. Once I heard your story I felt compelled to keep checking in to see how you are doing. I admire your amazing strength! I hope you have an amazing Christmas, and a happy new year!

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Hey, I can't blame you one bit for being curious!
I found your blog through MPIP--I post as ShannonC-IIIC there.

Wow...To say that you have been through a hell of a rough time is an understatement...Here's to hoping and crossing fingers (hard!) that you never have mel in your organs! Better yet...that you have beaten back the last of it!

I am a fellow melanoma patient-Diagnosed in Aug. 2003 at stage IB, then advanced to stage IIIB with in-transit recurrence a little over a year later. More Sub-Q's and a node put me up to IIIC, but so far, no organ involvement! I live in Delaware and am a young mother to two kiddos. Got two cats too :)
Mostly I like to paint, camp, read, jam to music...lots of stuff.

I check your blog once in a while to see how you are doing. Your strength, guts, determination, and honesty are nothing short of admirable (and your writing talent is too!). Thanks so much for your willingness to share your journey as a way of reaching out to so many of us.

Keep fighting hard & wishing you only the best of luck~

At 3:45 PM, Blogger King (Kathie) said...

Hi Sarah,

Now, you have lots of reading to do - look at all the responses you got!!

Another MPIPer here. I love your Blog and feel like I really know you. A dear friend of mine (Patrick) lost his battle with melanoma in June 2006. He lived in Ontario. Believe it or not, I bookmarked your blog for that reason. Now I'm hooked!

I'm a Stage IV patient. I live in Florida with my husband. Hey, I also have 2 cats and just love pets. I am an active volunteer at the local non profit animal shelter.

Very sorry that you've had so many surgeries lately. This disease just isn't fair.

Stay Strong


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Shaghayegh said...

Dear Sarah

Although I always read your blog almost everyday but I have never posted any comments.
I always admire you because I feel you are so strong.
I have sever PTSD which I am battling for past 15 years but I never find myself as strong as you are (I am so jelous).
I commited suicide when I was 8 because my family blaming me for their fight. I was raped when I was 13. My girl friend and only friend that I had drowned herself when I was 16. I went to military service at age of 22 and found out myself in a war battle and lost so many friends in a short period of time almost in front of my eyes.
I finally got married with the hope of brighter future. I was at hospital for six months last year and six months ago I saw my wife with another guy on street kissing each other.
I came acroos your blog while I was looking for a clue to find my friend.
I wish you the best in your life.

Canada, Toronto

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I read your posts often, and I came across it through Heathers. I read the MPIP all the time and am in awe of both of you honestly. I pray I never progress past 1b but know it happens and if it does, I would feel so blessed to be even half as brave as yourself.
Keep up the fight, your very inspiring.
Happy holidays! Julie

At 7:59 AM, Blogger A proud granddaughter said...

Hi there - I found your block when you posted it on H! Your strength both inspires and amazes me.


At 7:00 PM, Blogger A girl said...

Hi Sarah,
I found your blog by following a link off one of the blogs that I am checking occasionally. And I am glad I did. What a brave and insightful woman you are. Best of luck. I will be checking on you.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I've been checking your blog since you posted it on H!, and I continually find it a moving experience. Reading about your journey through this illness has made me stop and think about my own life, and appreiciate it for what it is, rather than what it's not. Thank you for letting us join you.

Terri aka Knotty

At 1:31 AM, Blogger carms said...

Hi Sarah,

I've only recently found your blog and am enjoying reading it. It really sucks that you gave had to go through so much crap. I admire your strength in sticking up for yourself and demanding best possible treatment.

I'm in Sydney, Australia and was diagnosed with Stage II melanoma on my right hand a few weeks ago. I've just had my Wide Local Excision and Sentinel Node Biopsy and am waiting for another week for the path results.

Thanks for your openness and courage. It is great to read a story of hope.


At 8:29 AM, Blogger caroline said...


i am so unfortunatly much too late in posting this, you have passed on to somewhere i hope better.
but i know you in real life (IRL).
we played soccer together in highschool, drank together at u of t and joked around in between and after.
i am really sad reading your blog but i will read every word. i haven't seen you in years, but i remember your smile and miss you.

my thoughts are with derek and your family
carol shaheed

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Midland, TX. My friend Robert Cudd (36), a kind-hearted father and husband, received life altering news on May 4th, 2008 ( For those of you who do not know, Robert had a melanoma on the upper back portion of his neck removed in 2000. On the morning of May the 4th(this year), while experiencing unbearable headaches he decided to drive himself to the emergency room in Midland. When reviewing his history about the previous melanoma they decided to do a CAT scan. The results of that scan revealed multiple brain tumors. With him going through this, I felt it was my duty to research and read as much as I can so I can be as helpful as I can. I wanted to understand when to step up and when to step down. Your stories help me do that and I thank you for your honesty and spirit. Your story still matters. You are still significant. Lance


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