My Melanoma Miracle, Part 1: Lisa Lynn
This is my very personal melanoma story. I'm not sharing this with you to scare you or depress you. I'm certainly not seeking pity or compassion. Rather, I want this to be an encouragement to someone today. A reminder that you have to keep your Faith Muscles strong and that with and through God all things are possible. With that said, here is My Melanoma Miracle.....
Except for annual exams, I don't like going to doctors. I make a conscious choice to put my time and energy into staying well and staying in shape so that I can avoid them as much as possible. Sometimes, all that time and energy isn't enough however. Sometimes, God has a different plan for us, and our body. Sometimes, He reminds me that He is my creator and my existence and that without His loving grace I am nothing more than the clay from which I was made. Thankfully, I know the potter who molded that clay.
Let me take you back to this past December, 2013. I had been watching, and worrying, about a mole on my calf for about 2 years. The doctor knew about it and we were in a monitoring status with it. Watch it, measure it, look for any noticeable changes in it - the routine one would normally take with any mole. But this past December things seemed "different". Had the mole changed? No, not really. Was it noticeably larger or a different color or outline? No, not really. So, what was "different"? All I can say is that I felt this "urging from above - a still small voice" if you will. Now I know what you're thinking - and yes, we've all felt that "urge" not to touch a hot stove, or not to stick our finger into a light socket. This wasn't that kind of "urge". This was an "urge" as if there was an inner peace gently pushing me forward to make a decision that I otherwise would not make. A decision not based on what I could physically see or touch. Rather, one based on what I was spiritually being led to do. That "urge'? Have the mole removed, and have it removed - now!
Reluctantly, yet with the courage from that "urge", I asked the doctor to remove it in January - right then. He said you're worrying too much about it. We've been watching and measuring it and it's fine to leave it. I told him; "No, I want it off now. I'm supposed to get it taken off - now". I'm reminded here that God's grace is always sufficient because had I not listened to that still, small voice and insisted on that mole being taken off I might not be writing this today.
"I've got bad news, and I've got good news". The trouble with that phrase is that once you hear "bad news" nothing else seems to register much beyond that. For me, I was floored when I heard the words "bad news", immediately followed with - melanoma. The "good news" - it was caught early. Remember that folks; it was caught early. That still, small voice - that urging from above.....
My courage to have the mole removed had prepared me for that, but melanoma - not in the slightest. Those that know me and know all about my LynFit brand know that I am a creature of study from experts in their fields to become knowledgeable. Assuming that this "melanoma" was just one of those basil cells that we all can expect at some point, but wanting to learn more, I did what I tell people not to do......I googled. Suddenly these words startled me; "the deadliest form of skin cancer and the second most aggressive tumor type, right behind pancreatic cancer". It's like the "bad news, good news" scenario - once you see what the dire circumstances can be you immediately shut off, or shut out, any positives that might be in there. Sad to say, this is a product of the internet. In order to get better internet 'search results' you'll often find sensationalized or dramatic copy first because that will make you click to read more. And, it generally works. Who's to say what is credible and what isn't?
So I'll save you the google searching and give you the facts. The very same facts, "bad news", I had to face:
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer
- Melanoma is the second most aggressive form of tumor type, right behind pancreatic cancer
- Sixty thousand Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year
- Eight thousand will die from melanoma
- In the United States, one person dies each and every hour from melanoma
- Melanoma is the number one killer of women ages 25-35
- Melanoma does not respond to traditional chemotherapy or radiation
- The only FDA approved treatment for Stage 4 MM (metastatic melanoma) is Interleukin or IL-2, which was developed over 30 years ago
All of those facts are important, necessary in fact, for all of us to face. I firmly believe that knowledge is power in enabling us to make the right decisions. But greater still is the knowledge that those moments of fear and doubt can be turned around faster than you can say 'weight loss'. And that my dear friend is what I want you to hear from me. Yes, you need the facts from reliable sources. Yes, you need to arm yourself with all the knowledge of your situation that you can. Yes, there are times you need to place yourself at the mercies of others to help you through a situation. But it's also at these times I am reminded of a song from long ago.....
I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.
In that 5th line of the song I chose in my heart and spirit to replace 'consulation' with 'consultation'. I relied on God for divine consultation. I relied on Him to place the proper people in my treatment. Not Google, not Yahoo, not Bing. I made a choice. I chose Faith. All these years of training people on the proper way to attain and maintain optimum fitness and health I suggest to you that there are even stronger muscles in our bodies - our Faith Muscles. I chose to exercise and strengthen my Faith Muscles in my personal battle with melanoma.
Fast forward to today - God is so good. He did put people in my life, including doctors, who shared those same Faith Muscles and had the advanced knowledge to treat me. I have a "Victory Scar" today and that is all I need to share my story. A story that I will share no matter what obstacles I might face.
I encourage you to watch the video below. Not only is it a great source of reliable information, it's a real source of inspiration and hope as to what the future holds in the treatment of this deadly disease.
Without research we would accomplish nothing. I'm eternally grateful for Dr. Narayan, who is featured in the video and was a Gift from God, for his undying and untiring research into stomping out this disease. Please help save lives and build awareness today by donating to the Yale Plastic Surgery and Melanoma Research Fund - HERE - Even the smallest amount could help save a life!
In part 2 of My Melanoma Miracle, I want to share with you how honoring and respecting your body in a whole new way - Honoring God With Your Bod - will not only change your body, but your whole life forever.
- Lisa Lynn