July 21, 2022

What a Cancer Diagnosis taught me in 3 Days.


Life has been smooth as butter and full of joy…until now.

The dermatologist just called. “Your biopsy shows that you have early-stage melanoma. You need to come in right away for excision surgery.”

I hung up, stunned. Melanoma? What’s that? Why does such a pretty-sounding word kill you if you don’t take care of it right away?

Later. Journaling my feelings.

I feel numb, paralyzed, shocked, scared to death, and mad as hell. First the pandemic, and now this? I can’t stand it. Bad timing, too. Why doesn’t the universe realize that I have celebrations coming up? My birthday, a milestone anniversary, and finally going away to Cape Cod. It’s just not fair.

Do you hear me, God? This isn’t fair.

In the middle of a summer filled with hummingbirds at my feeder, walking the beach at low tide, and finally seeing my kids and grandkids after two years—there it goes.

Poof. Life changed on me. WTF?

Wednesday. Consultation with the surgeon.

When I have something wrong with my body, I empower myself by walking into the doctor’s office with my phone’s voice recorder on, notepad and pen in hand, and an extensive list of questions.

This time, I had nothing. Not even the me of me. No center. Just fear.

Later. Journaling my feelings.

The energy around me today felt blurry and thick in the doctor’s office. I was confused, frightened, and traumatized. I wanted to run away, take time to digest the information, and then decide what to do. I couldn’t make sense of the doctor’s words. All I knew was that she was giving me three seemingly bad choices and I was supposed to choose which procedure I wanted.

There was an energy field of thickness that I just couldn’t plow through.

Same day. Emergency surgery.

In my article, “What’s in a Name? Everything.,” I shared one of my spirit names. Cheyenne.

She is courageous, strong, and confident. While I waited for the surgeon to come in, I took a deep breath and visualized that I was now the embodiment of Cheyenne.

She could do this. Be fearless. Transcend her pain for the greater good. Access her first chakra and allow its energy of strength, empowerment, and courage to spin to its maximum. (Of course, it didn’t hurt to have my husband’s hand to squeeze while they were numbing the section that needed to be excised.)

Later. Journaling my feelings.

Focused, yet I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Surrendering, yet clinging to my husband’s hand. Trusting, yet skeptical that this will be my last surgery. Letting go, yet wanting it to be over as soon as possible. Scared, yet brave. Shaking, yet sure that this was the right decision. Disbelief, yet acceptance. 

Thursday. The day after surgery.

Here I am in bed, right leg elevated on pillows. I’m waiting to hear if I need to go back to the doctor’s office to have them cut out more cancer. Here I am in bed, right leg elevated on pillows, learning more lessons in the school called “Life 101.”

Today’s Life Lessons.

>> Don’t take life for granted.

>> Expect the unexpected.

>> Life is change.

>> Be adaptive and flexible. Move with the changes. Ebb and flow. Flow and ebb.

>> Life is impossible to control. Let go. Surrender. Release.

>> Feel all your feelings and validate them. Write them out to get rid of the toxicity in your body, mind, and spirit. Your feelings are real, and at the same time, they will shift. Acknowledge what they are right now, and yet know that they have fluidity. They will change.

>> Find something to feel grateful for. Even when life sucks. I’m grateful that the dermatologist may have found melanoma in time. The cancer is self-contained and on the surface. No lymph nodes are involved.


My iPhone rings. It’s the doctor’s office. There is an uplifting tone to the nurse’s voice and I already know what she is going to say. “They got it all, Melody. No trace of melanoma. You don’t need to come in today.”

Later. Journaling my feelings.

I am grateful, hopeful, relieved, reborn.

The challenges and blessings of reaching out for support.

I like to give, but it’s hard for me to receive. This time, I decided to shift my behavior. I reached out to my family and friends and asked them for good mojo filled with prayers of strength, healing, and hope.

I also reached out to my Facebook community, “Shift of Heart,” and asked them to form a circle of healing and strength around me. As the founder and moderator of this beloved group, I eagerly form healing circles around members who are going through tough situations. This time, it was me who needed one.

It has been a life-changing experience to shift my behavior and be the receiver of so much love, light, care, healing, and validation.

I am forever grateful.

Caveat for my beautiful readers.

When I was young, no one realized that the sun was dangerous, and no one knew about sunscreen. I know I sound like a dermatology commercial, but remember to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses. Do you know that melanoma can land in your eyes? I didn’t. Now, I do. Make sure you get your lower legs, feet, and ears, too.

As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”

Use my experience as your personal “wisdom whisper” and use my difficult experience as your personal warning. It’s wrapped with caring, compassion, and love. I want you to be on this earth for a long time.

What is your “life is change” experience? I’d love to hear from you. We learn from each other, and we are all one heartbeat of challenges, life lessons, and victories.


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