My Story

I am 61 years old, married with 3 grown children and 2 beautiful grandchildren. I went to the dermatologist in March of 2014 for a small brown spot on my right ankle which was changing a bit. It was Stage II melanoma.

I had surgery which left a huge hole in my ankle (ugly). They did a skin graft and lymph node dissection which showed no more melanoma. In December of 2014 I ran into a desk at work and got a huge lump in the groin in the exact area of the lymph node dissection. My surgeon did a fine needle aspiration (thinking it was just a bump from running into the desk) and it tested positive for melanoma. Then I had an MRI, CT, liver biopsy, PET, all resulting in 3 tumors in my liver, one in my spine, one on the adrenal gland and my 2 lymph nodes in the groin.

In 2015, I was treated with Yervoy and in the fall, the cancer was still growing. I have had radiation to the spine (resulting in nerve damage), radiation to the adrenal gland, and last summer (2016) was treated with Keytruda, which after 7 rounds attacked my lungs and it gave me pneumonitis. I was on steroids for 6 months. My last treatment was radiation in November of 2016 to the adrenal gland. The cancer still sits in the adrenal gland and my lymph nodes, but has remained unchanged since June 2017.

Due to the stress of my work and treatment, in May of 2016 I had to quit my job of 40 years as a Paralegal in the Family Law field... and this was the best thing I could have done for my health! Therefore, I am happy to say I'm enjoying my summer right now while we wait patiently for the devil to return. Every scan, every doctor visit fills me with anxiety; and every day that I wake up and feel good, fills me with joy.

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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.

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