This is a question I asked myself throughout my journey with melanoma, but particularly at the start of 2019 as I was half way through my immunotherapy course of ipilimumab and nivolumab combination infusions.
I recently finished that series of four combination infusions and I've come through it pretty unscathed. I have some very good results and I have now commenced on a single drug infusion programme with Nivolumab administered every 28 days for up to to two years. So far so good.
My journey with Melanoma started in November 2017, officially. Of course it started before that, sometime in late 2016 when the blemish that became a melanoma first made it's outward appearance.
I will create separate blog posts to describe the stages of that journey, and offer my thoughts on how to face the challenges, stay positive, be otherwise healthy and to accept and deal with the challenge of malignant melanoma. All based on my case of an increasingly worse outlook as malignancy manifested itself, up till the present time where the future is starting to look brighter.
But before going into that detail, I want to suggest taking account of where you are now, creating a pivotal point to consider how to go forward positively, and so this first blog post is dedicated to doing just that.
At this point, (early January actually) I thought, "Well this is a very strange and unsettling place to be so what are the do’s and don’ts to deal with it"?
You might recognise that gradual dawning of the reality of what melanoma can do to you, the panic about the future, are you as helpless as you think, or not? You have a challenge, do you have a will to work against it, how are you going to face it? What is the motivation to fight through it and where do you want to be? I'm sure these questions are common amongst anyone with malignant melanoma.
So, some key pointers – don’t look back, don’t ask unanswerable questions, accept that it is what is, because this is your start point, ground zero, where you’re at. Like almost anything you can’t really turn back the clock no matter how hard you try, undoing things isn’t always possible so don’t torture yourself with if’s, but’s and maybe’s. Instead it’s all about what lies ahead and what you can do now because you do have lots of choices.
Believe it or not you do choose what you do, or you should be the one making the choices at least.
What’s happened along the way to where you are now is your life history, good and bad, ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, wins and loses, it’s all got you to this point where you’re at, and everything has made you what you are, but it is also pretty much irreversible, so put it down to experience, to life as it happens, and accept it is behind you now, move on to your next phase of life and think now really what your next steps are.
Control your life by your actions and thoughts, don’t be a passenger where the story is dictated for you.
And good luck to you
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