Below is the first post I ever wrote, I choose to keep it up as a reminder of where this all started. I now love to share other people’s stories and learn about all forms of nevus. By no means am I an expert but have come a long way in understanding what our future holds. When I start to question if I should continue this blog I come back to this post and remember the place I was in at the very beginning. Welcome, and if your new… start here!
Hello there, however you got here, I’m glad you made it. Welcome to Mommy’s Mermaid, let me tell you a little about our journey.
In 2013 our family was blessed with a beautiful baby girl. From birth I noticed this odd spot on her arm, multiple Dr’s assured me it was nothing, just a tiny birthmark and home from the hospital we went. As she grew, so did this tiny birthmark. Eventually filling her left armpit, around her ribcage and down her arm onto her hand. Now it didnt resemble a birthmark at all, more so a fungal infection. Multiple creams and a perplexed primary care Dr. Later we landed in dermatology.
I will never forget how calmly I was told that what my daughter had was called a nevus and it had no cure. A type of birthmark that could potentially take over the left side of her body and to be conscious of something called a wilms tumor. Keep it moist, avoid harsh soaps, see you later. I was so fixated on the fact that it would be there forever that I didnt ask the questions I should have.
We left and went for lunch, I got out my paperwork and googled the diagnosis shown of “melanocytic nevus” and a wilms tumor. If your not familiar with either, as I was not, take my word for it, what begins to pop up is a parents worst nightmare. Cancer, cancer, cancer. I felt sick, confused, sad. Why was it taken so lightly? Whats going to happen now? I immediately emailed the Dr. Who said a modifier didnt populate and what she had was not melanocytic but a linear epidermal nevus. Better but still not good.
I cried a lot in the following days. Sometimes with my family, sometimes alone. I thought about what the kids would say in school, would she wear a swimsuit when she was older, what about her prom dress? Would she develop kidney cancer, how would I know? Will she be tough enough to handle the vain criticisms I knew lay ahead? My anxiety’s plagued me. I searched night and day for anyone like me. Another Mom who felt sad or scared, a positive story about someone in adulthood with this disease and time and time again I came up empty handed.
I researched and did my due diligence on the disease and made a decision right then to start raising my daughter not to be ashamed of her “birthmark.” I jokingly said they were special scales she got to keep from when she lived in the ocean as a fish. Hey, she does love water! A friend said can’t you at least make it something better than a fish? Like a mermaid? and it stuck. Her special scales from when she was a mermaid. Mommy’s Mermaid.
I wanted to create a place for people to come for support. A place we can talk about products that have or have not helped, challenges and successes. A place where we can help eachother understand more about the disease and feel safe. A place where families like mine can find eachother just as I needed so badly in the beginning and am sure I will need again throughout our long journey. I pray for those who’s nevus has resulted in surgery and or cancer or left them feeling alone or insecure. Please know, you have a friend in us.
I hope in time to gain followers, strength and knowledge as I publicly share our walk down this road.