Stage 3C Melanoma, BRAF+
26 Infusions w/ Port,
Lymph Nodes Removed (neck & armpits)
Addisons / Arthritis / PCOS
In 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Metastatic Melanoma. To be frankly honest, I had never expected it to be more than an outpatient procedure. Instead, I ended up in a 10+ hour surgery (with two different primary surgeons) where they removed lymph nodes from the base of my neck and under each arm. In fear of lymphedema, they weren’t able to remove all of the cancer.
Therefore, I also had to do immunotherapy for 14 months (every other week) to sweep up the remaining cancer cells. My immune system not only kicked cancer’s ass, it kicked mine too.
I experienced almost every side-effect one can get from immunotherapy, and to my surprise it continued to attack my body long after the treatment had ended... & always will.
As a result, I have to take multiple immune suppressants (during a world pandemic).
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop the pain, but it does allow me to have normal bodily functions – such as the ability to walk!
As always, I don’t tell you this for pity, that is the last thing I need. I share my story to raise awareness about the importance of sun safety, the necessity of regular dermatologist appointments for early detection, and for others out there who are currently battling melanoma (you can beat this).
So, remember…. Melanoma is not just skin cancer! Prevention is key! Respect the strength of the sun!