14 August 2008

Closing Down for Awhile....

Wow.... I had really hoped I would never have to sit down and write a post like this, but sometimes life just comes at you fast and you have to sink or swim. I'm sharing this info in the hopes of both explaining our business closing for a little while and maybe helping someone else to never have to go through what we're going through today.

Three and a half years ago I was diagnosed with melanoma. I was 27 years old. The melanoma had developed on a mole I'd had all my life. I'd gone to a dermatologist to have it looked at when I first noticed a brown spot appear, but he said not to worry about it. He said if I wanted to have it removed because of the way it looked, I should go to a plastic surgeon. I let it go for a few months and then noticed it growing and shifting around a bit. I asked my husband to find a plastic surgeon in our area who could remove it quickly because it just didn't seem right to me. Of course by then the melanoma had formed. When I was diagnosed I was not given a good prognosis due to the depth of the cancer, and the entire experience was kind of like being hit by a truck in slow motion. It permanently altered my life and the lives of the people around me.

After coming out of a fog of "how the hell did this happen?" we all (my family, friends and I) decided we had to find options to treat this and start fighting back. I ended up in a clinical trial for a cancer vaccine which I received every 3 weeks for a year. My last treatment was in August of 2006. Since then I've just been going for follow up scans every 6 months and everything has been great. That was... until yesterday.

Unfortunately my doctor's found a new growth which they believe is melanoma wedged between my liver and my back ribs. The good news is that the location is accessible and it's not actually in an organ. We also think we've found it early on. The not so good news is that I'm going to have to go back in for surgery and possibly a high dose treatment program which requires me to stay at their facility while I'm on it due to side effects. This news has been really shocking as I think in my mind I'd finally put this behind me. It's kind of like I'm back in front of that truck again. I'm hopeful, and a little scared, but I have a great support system around me to prop me up when things start getting tough.

So... how will this effect the company? Well, for now we've shut down our print shop for a few weeks. We don't have a firm re-opening date, but we are hopeful that I'll be back at work making proofs and printing orders the first week of September. My family and friends have graciously offered to take over shipping out jewelry orders and silk items so that we can continue to have something moving normally. Dade and I really appreciate your support during this time, and of course we hope to be back on track just a couple of weeks from now. I will also be blogging as much as I can to keep in touch with everyone.

We'll make it through this one day at a time.

All the Best,