My name is Mitsy McKee. I am 43 years old. Married to the love of my life. We have 2 amazing children. A 12 year old daughter and a 6 year old son.
On May 23rd, 2013, I went to my sons preschool graduation, had lunch, then went to the Dr.to get results from a minor biopsy. My world came crashing down around me. Cancer.
You can't understand what that feels like until you hear the words yourself. At first, I struggled daily with fear. I couldn't even look at my children without a pain in my soul that is indescribable. I felt like I was cast down into a deep dark tunnel with no way out. This past year, I have had multiple surgeries that left me with over 2 feet of scars. I’ve had 2 different drugs, with their side effects, fail, 10 rounds of radiation, and now with over 100, yes 100 tumors in my body, I've started chemo. An option that typically does not work that well on melanoma.
One year later, I'm still fighting and the cancer is getting worse. I wonder sometimes how long do I have to stay strong, will I ever have a day or a moment that is pain free? Either emotional or physical. The questions in my mind about my family are constant. I can’t write about the worry I have for my children, it’s far too difficult. Melanoma is not just skin cancer. It is a nasty, aggressive cancer that has very little treatment options in late stages.
Go to the dermatologist, don't wait! Who knew?
With all that being said, fighting cancer has given me beautiful moments that would not have happened before. First of all, I started relying on God and praying harder than ever before. I've always been a Christian but I would say I was "lukewarm". Went to church, believed, that's it.
My walk with God this year is something I would not give up or change for anything. I have been so low with pain and despair and Jesus will bring me up and give me peace. I am learning not how to pray but how to listen and let God work in my life. I only have strength that God has provided to me. 'When left on my own, I am a depressed mess full of fear again.
This year has opened my eyes to my community and friends around the world. I am a very private person and would normally never share such a personal trial. Opening up to people and sharing, has been a wonderful experience I never expected. Never in my lifetime would I have thought someone would pray for me, much less 100s of people. The words of encouragement, support, prayers...it is all so wonderfully humbling.
My husband and I are astonished every day at the love so many people have and give freely. I would not have had that had I kept things to myself. It also helps me to keep going. Through God and the support of others, I have been able to teach my first graders and finish out the school year with them. A small goal, but I made it!
I find that I enjoy time, get less annoyed with things. I treasure little moments. Do I still get afraid, absolutely! I'm still in this tunnel. Wanting out. But, the difference between now and a year ago is now I have hope.
I hope for 11 more years so I can see my children graduate.
I hope that a treatment will work. I hope that God will provide a miracle. I hope….
As for this dark tunnel, I know my family is walking through it with me holding my hand. My friends and community are at the ends shouting and praying words of encouragement and most of all, God is carrying me through it with promises of a better tomorrow. I don't know what the next year will hold for me. I pray a miracle and healing. But, I do know that I will continue to fight and pray and love as much as I can. I will continue to hope. If you read this, tell someone how much you love them and Praise God for all you have!