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Angela’s Story

Today I will trust that the events occurring in my life are not random. My experiences are not mistakes, and my God is not picking on me. I am going through exactly what I need to go through to learn something valuable, something that will prepare me for the future. My Journey began April 13, 2011 with the Diagnosis of Melanoma Skin Cancer, Stage 3.

For anyone that don't know me, my name is Angie Broussard and I am 41 years old. I have been married to my wonderful husband Edward for 17 yr, but together a total of 20 yrs and together we have 3 beautiful children, Kade is 16, Kaleb is 7 and Kaitlyn is 2. We also have a very special black lab that has been with our family for 15 years and her name is Lady.

My story began on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011. I had a mole on my lower left leg (behind the knee area) in which I needed to have checked out by a doctor. I will be honest, I had never once noticed this mole until after I had our little girl, Kaitlyn in 2008. So I made the appointment. That day has came. Me and my wonderful husband met at the dermatologist office, since I was planning on returning to work. The nurse called my name so we got up and followed her. Got into the room and answered the normal questions they ask you when you go to an appointment for the first time. She asked me if I had any family history of skin cancer. I told her, No. We went over the areas of my body in which I wanted the doctor to look at. I had 5 moles that I wanted him to look at. She handed me a print out that was explaining moles and what to look for and gave the different types of skin cancer. She walked out of the room and just then the doctor knocked. His name was Dr. Eaton.  He came in, introduced himself and also asked me if I had any family history of skin cancer. Again, No I don't. So I go on to show him those 5 moles.

When he got to the one that is located behind my left knee, he made a statement like "Oh this one has to come off today." On the print out the nurse gave me of what to look for in a mole, he asked me "Do you feel like you qualify for any of those pictures?" I said, "Please don't think I am crazy, but I do believe I fit type A description." He got the little booklet out again and started with the type A. He said yes you qualify for A. But you also qualify for B, C, D and E. I didn't know what to say.  So he explained to me about taking the one off behind my knee. Got the needle out, me not expecting to get a shot, and I am normally ok with them, but I thought behind my knee, ouch that is going to hurt. I said Do you mind if I lay on my stomach and have my husband hold on to my lower leg because I would hate for my leg to respond to that needle by kicking someone. He just laughed and told me it would be ok. :) He then gave me a shot of numbing medicine and took what I thought looked like a razor blade and removed that mole. It was really nice and neat. Kind of looked like maybe he only took off the first layer of my skin back there. He explained to us that he would send this on to pathology and when he got results he could contact me. Explained that it sometimes can take up to one week.  So all was good, he got it off and we left. I went back to work and my husband went back home.

I get to work, the very next morning and get to my desk. I don't think I had  clocked in yet or if I did, it was just minutes later my phone rang. The lady on the other end was like, Good Morning Angie, this is .... Dr Eaton's nurse. I wanted to call you and let you know that we got your results in from what Dr Eaton removed yesterday on your leg. I was like Ok..and she says, but you are gonna have to come back in to see the Dr in order for him to give you those results. At first, I thought wait...he told me about one week probably for results, but your calling me the NEXT DAY Wednesday, April 13, 2011, then I said Ok, so she scheduled me to come in that same day at 1:00. 

In the meantime, I called my supervisor and explain to her and told her I was going to take a late lunch and meet my husband back up at the Dr's office. She said that was ok. Seemed like next thing I remember, it was time to go. We get up there and the ladies at the front desk were super nice. She said, yall just have a seat and I will let them know you are here. The nurse called my name seconds later. We get to the back and she said, the doctor will be in shortly. Again, here he came knocking on the door lighting. He pulled up his rolling chair close to me and said he had received those results STAT. We are calling you back in today to explain to you, the mole in which I removed from behind your left leg came back from pathology as Melanoma Skin Cancer, Stage III. I also wanted to inform you that I am going to have to refer you to a Surgeon that specializes in Oncology. We discussed different locations as where we were going. We chose Concord, which is only about 15 minutes from here. 

As of today, Thursday, July 14, 2011, I am recovering from my 2nd surgery, one month ago on that leg. I will finish this story soon before I start my one year of Interferon Treatment, July 25, 2011. 

Latest Journal Update

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Good Evening Everyone!  Hope this day finds you all doing well.

Its been quiet some time since I have longed on here. I honestly think about it everyday, but just don't sign on to the lap top much.

I will just start by saying, we moved back to the Lake Charles, LA area mid May 2013 and stayed there for a few months. From there, I saw my old OGYN Dr in Lake Charles and was referred to MD Anderson in Houston, TX for that large whelp that developed on my upper left leg/thigh area. I honestly LOVED everything about MD. My heart was all smiles.  I had saw 3 different doctors in the Baton Rouge, LA area to see about the whelp and all 3 seemed that everything was ok. Dermatologist done a fine needle biopsy and said all was well. When I went to Dr. Darbonne in LC, he told me he couldn't tell me if it was ok, but he could tell me it wasn't normal. That's when the appointments at MD started. First one was with a Dermatologist in Houston, that specialized in Malignant Melanoma. Done 3 complete head to toe mole checks were there and also a skin biopsy that was sent to Pathology.  My next appointment was with my new oncologist, whom again specializes in Malignant Melanoma ONLY. ((Just the kind of oncologist I have dreamed of)) She reviewed everything I have gone through, from day one of being diagnosed. Looking over my Baton Rouge paper work from the doctors, she told me she just couldn't understand why I was put back on treatment for 6 more months. (Remember I completed 19 months of Interferon on August 31, 2013.) She told me she honestly didn't know what to say about that and she is very thankful I completed the treatment with nothing serious happen to me. From that day, she scheduled me for labs and got my next set of scans scheduled. They found a new mole on my upper left eye lid and wanted to refer me to a ophthalmologist dr (eye) there at MD to take a look at it.  Pathology came back from the whelp on my leg and it shows it WAS lymphedema. I was told in BR, it was not. So then she got me schedule for lymphedema therapy. We chose to keep my care at MD Anderson in Houston and I discontinue my oncologist and dermatologist care in BR. I was scheduled to go back to MD October 23, 4 and results 25th.

In the meantime, my husband applied for a management ER position again back in Baton Rouge. He went back for 2 interviews and received the call that he got the job.  So our family packed back up and moved back to BR.

I am VERY thankful I have had insurance throughout all of this. At this time, I haven't worked, since I was "let go" from that law firm in North Carolina. I started applying and did get calls for interviews. 

On September 17th I was offered a full time job at an orthopedic dr's office here in BR. Excited, I was. And still am. I am very thankful these people have given me a chance to go back to work and put my cancer dx aside. (I was upfront about it all) Hubby started the new job. Which means, new health insurance. A week before my scheduled appointments back at MD Anderson in Houston, I get a call from them telling me they had received a letter from our new insurance stating my care there was not approved. My care could be done in BR. I was HEART BROKEN.  Which means, I now have to start all over again and find new doctors and also have to trust that my trust here in Baton Rouge with these dr's would get better.

I was recommended to an oncologist at Eds' new hospital. Saw him for the first time the last week of October.  At that time, I had been hurting really really really bad in my left upper shoulder/back area. So when we went in for my 1st appointment, he really took his time working with me explaining what I have had to go and what I have gone through. (again looking through my records from day one to present). He looked at the whelp on my leg and told us, it didn't take a scientist to know that it was lymphedema. It was a week or so late for my scheduled scans in Houston, so he got me set up. Instead of starting with the normal CT's, he went straight ahead and got me scheduled for a PET. Went and done labs and got the scan done, and he called me himself to tell me the scan looked good (stable), other than activity in the A6 ribs area. (the area in the back which had been hurting really really bad)  He told me he would call the radiologist that read my scans and see if they could do a fine biopsy, then called me back.  He told me at this time, we will call out some anti inflammatory meds and antibiotic's, and if the pain continued he would then get me scheduled for a bone scan. I am excited to say, that back rib pain area has settled down. Hurts only if I move the wrong way. The radiologist said it could be a broken rib, from all the coughing/sneezing I had been doing. As of today, that area is feeling well.

I go this Tuesday for my 1st appointment with my new dermatologist. For my complete mole check. I will go back to oncologist December 10th. He will follow me every 6 months.  I started my 1st appointment with the lymphedema clinic this past Friday. They are going to show me ways to control the swelling in my upper left leg. From that consult, I will be doing this therapy 3 times a week for 2 months. And if I need more time, she can get more time approved from my insurance.

So today, one day at a time, but things are really looking up for us. I am so excited about my job. I LOVE it. :)

I promise I won't wait so long to update next time. My body is still adjusting to working that 8 to 5 job title. It takes everything I have to keep going when I get home at 5:30. I know and so does the family, that if I come home from work and sit down, this momma is done for a day. :)

Thanks so much for following me rant on and on. Until next time, hugs, much love and peace.