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My Cancer Story

In March of last year I was just a happy healthy 35 year old woman. I had experienced melanoma before but just was able to have them removed without any further problems. One day after having been diagnosed with pneumonia I went for a routine chest x-ray after coughing up blood for several days. When my chest x-ray came back I had a tumor in both lungs, spleen, shoulder blades and lower back. It was devastating!
The next few days were a whirlwind. I was scared, sad, and worried all at the same time. I had a bronchoscopy to test my tumor for cells so that they could better determine how to treat my melanoma and then had my first hospital stay. My melanoma was termed as Stage 4 and we began treatment immediately. Seems like my life has been a continual doctor appointment since then. I take 6 Zelboraf pills daily and 1 mekinist, plus steroids and other medications for pain and am constantly tired.
Through all of these past 8 months I have tried to remain positive and keep fighting, even when I thought there was no fight left in me. I have found that posting on facebook and emailing has helped me feel supported and remain positive.
I almost died in August when my immunotherapy IV treatment (opdivo) went after my heart and I went from a normal functioning heart to being on a ventilator for two days in cardiac ICU and then being on the cardiac floor for an additional 9 days. Thankfully my heart is back to normal and I am no longer in heart failure.
I wouldn’t say that melanoma has changed my life for the better but it has made me look at things differently. I appreciate the little things, like coming to work each day when I can. Being around friends and family whenever possible. Taking in things around me and really looking at them and not taking them for granted.
I don’t wish this disease on anyone and try to spread the word about the dangers of not taking care of your skin and prolonged sun exposure. My hope is that anyone who takes the time to read this values each day and experiences hope and joy whenever possible.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Nina M moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi @skbrooks82! As you can see, your story is such an important one to share. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Hope you are still finding hope and joy, and know that you are an incredible fighter! I wanted to share the Facebook comments your story has received. You can read them here: Thinking of you! – Nina, Team

  • BHPen99
    2 years ago

    Praying for you!!! Thank you for sharing your story. Keeping fighting!!!

  • jlplank
    2 years ago

    My heart goes out to you. Keeping you in my prayers.

  • April Pulliam moderator
    2 years ago

    Your story makes my heart ache. It’s terrifying the toll this disease can take on the body and on the mind. I’m glad you are able to find the positives in your day-to-day life. Goodness knows it’s hard, though! You are an inspiration to so many people just by coming forward and advocating for Sun safety and skin cancer awareness. Keep us posted on your progress! Sending you hugs, positive energy, and prayers!

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