Survivor Stories


Melanoma

My Survivor Story

I was diagnosed in 1986 with malignant melanoma. That same year we were expecting our first grandchild, so I wanted to be around for that. All I kept thinking about was family and how there was so much I wanted to do and experience. The thought of ‘not being here’ was not part of my plan. I did what the doctors told me to do and I thought about how short life can be, so I tried to keep a positive attitude, take my chemotherapy and go to bed to get away from the pain. This went on for one year and my health improved and the chemo was no longer necessary.

 

Two years passed, and I never considered or even thought that the cancer would come back, but in 1995, nine years later, to my surprise it came back in the same leg (only 5 inches above the first site!) I started my chemo again – only this time I was a little discouraged and went through a short period where I didn’t think I could do it again. But with a lot of love from my family and help from the wonderful staff at the Cancer Care Center, Dr. Latif, my Oncologist, and his great staff, I was able to work my way through and beat the cancer one more time. This time I kept a close eye on my body and didn’t for one moment think that it could not come back.

 

I continued with my life – maybe not letting so much bother me as it had in the past. I made an effort to keep closer contact with my brother and sisters (at least a lot more than I had in the past.) About eight years later, in 2003, the cancer came back in the same leg (now it’s at the knee) so here we go again! I had the same treatment, chemo for 12 months and lot of support from my family and the Cancer Care Center.

 

I want everyone to remember to keep a positive attitude and to laugh whenever you can. I wake every morning and think about all the things I have to be thankful for - being alive is one of them – along with my family, friends, husband and I still have a job and a roof over my head! You can always find things to be thankful for, but sometimes we fall into thinking about what we don’t have, and that just takes far too much energy.

 

Live while you can and enjoy life the best you can.

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