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7 time survivor and still brave!

Posted on August 14 2012

I am 54 years old. I was first diagnosed with melanoma when I was 24 back in 1982. A mole turned color, was examined and removed. I didn’t even know what malignant meant at that point! 5 years later, the oncologist told me not to worry anymore… move to 2000, after I’d married and had 2 beautiful daughters. A lump under my arm turned out to be a recurrence of the melanoma I’d had 18 year prior! I became a cancer patient, going through painful injections for a year with interferon, with no guarantee this would help. I knew I would do everything and anything to survive, to see my then 3rd and 5th grade daughters graduate from HS at the least… I had recurrences again in 2003, 2004 and 2006 in my lungs. I sought out the best medical treatment at the time, clinical trials. The first trial did not work for me; the 2nd put me in the hospital in 2007 because the vaccine attacked my pituitary. Luckily, an MRI while in the hospital found a small brain tumor which turned out to be another recurrence, this time in the brain. Now that was scary.. brain tumor sounded much worse than lung metastases to me. My family and friends were so supportive, and it was important for me to feel brave in the face of this adversity. The neurosurgeon removed my tumor, but this affected my left leg and I had to learn to walk again. I still walk with a slight limp, but I’m still here! My last recurrence was in 2010, and a small tumor in my lung was removed. I try to find humor in life, and try to enjoy what gifts I’ve been given. Bravery is a state of mind. There’s no doubt in my mind that it it is more than medical treatment that has kept me alive. Cheers to all survivors; we are warriors and warriors are brave. Be brave and fight on!

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