My Mom

August 19, 1947 to February 24, 2010

My mom and I were shopping for dresses for my upcoming wedding in April 2009.  We picked out a bunch of dresses for her to try on because she was to walk me down the aisle because my father had passed away 10 years prior.  When she asked me to help zip her dress up I saw a very suspicious area on her back.  She did not know how long it had been there.  We went to see a family friend who is a dermatologist.  She said it looked very suspicious for melanoma but did not take our insurance so referred us to a dermatologist that did.  It was removed and sent to pathology. It came back melanoma stage I.  We were so happy and thought wow how lucky to have found it so early.  She was to have follow-up in 6 months.  On December 26, 2009 she awoke with pain in her mid-abdomen.  We went to the ER thinking it might be her gallbladder.  After a CT scan the Dr returned to tell us that she had multiple lesions in her liver.  We saw an oncologist the next week.  She was set for a liver biopsy and multiple scans like PET scan and bone scan.  The results were not good. She had stage IV metatstatic melanoma.  It was in her liver, scapulas, ribs, spine and pelvis.  I then found out how insidious melanoma is ....we went to UVA to seek treatment with a clinical trial.  But mom was already too sick to get treatment.  The Dr said that if she got the treatment it could kill her.  So we just took things day by day.  Her platlets dropped and they sent her home on hospice.  My mom lost her battle with this horrible disease on February 24, 2010.  She wasn't there for my 1 year wedding anniversary.  I never knew much about the disease until my mom got sick.  I have become very educated since.  I have annual skin checks and take precautions in the sun.  I miss my mom everyday...she was a wonderful person with a big heart!!  I will always remember her smile and how she was the best mom anyone could ever have.  I hope with research that a cure or even a more wide range of treatments can be found.  NO ONE should suffer with a disease like this.