Year seven

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    • #12685
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hello All,
      My name is Beth and I was first diagnosed with stage IIIA Superficial Spreading Melanoma on my left leg in 2010. After SNB, LWD and radical lymph dissection in the left groin I completed the 52 week course of Interferon A ( only option at the time). I have since been free of any reoccurrence but do have stage lymphedema that is under control, well most of the time. I did speak once at ( poorly I might add, I was terrified lol) as a patient story at one of the information sessions held at Juravinski Cancer Centre in 2014. I have since been pretty quiet as a participant, as I returned to school and have been consumed with working on my new career as a RPN.
      I don’t call myself as survivor as I feel that lets Melanoma define who I am. I consider Melanoma my disease, so many of the population have disease that they live with; Heart Disease, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, other Cancers, Melanoma is just mine. Worse than some, better than others, stage wise and complication wise and outcome wise it is just part of my life but not me. In some ways it changed me for the better, I would never of had the courage to return to school had I not gone through the experience of the first year, but I will always live with the nagging voice in my head saying ” Will you leave remission and will your outcome be as positive as the current outcome?” It’s that voice that drives me to reach out to this group again. I refuel my strength by talking with others that have been through or are going through what I went through. It’s coming up on the seven year anniversary of my initial diagnosis this April 14th and I guess I have reached out again because I needed a little refuel.

    • #12686
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Beth, thanks for sharing your story. Seven years is amazing and it sounds like your oncologist is making very good choices, and that is positive! If you crossed that bridge, who’s to say you cannot cross others that may or may not reoccur at whatever time.

      For what it is worth hearing survival stories like yours is inspirational for those that have just been diagnosed, including myself. It sounds like you have also made a lot of positive changes as well, this should all be applauded! Stay strong, and be proud!

    • #12688
      Annette Cyr
      Participant

      Hey Beth,
      Were your ears burning? We were just talking about you on Monday as we were going through our volunteer list. Isn’t it funny how the world works? I will be emailing you and hoping we can touch base next week. You were a wonderful and inspiring speaker and we would love to get you more involved. So amazing you reached out. I look forward to chatting.
      Annette – MNC

    • #12689
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Bluejay,
      Thanks. That is exactly the other reason why I reach out. When I was first diagnosed, in particular the time between finding out the SNB was positive and waiting for the all the scans on the rest of my body, to check for metastases, were being done that I reached out for support. I started where most of us start, The Cancer Society, and was referred to a peer support volunteer named Rob who called me within 24 hours, possibly even the same day. I can still feel the sensation of my body relaxing when he spoke after listening to my story. It wasn’t profound really but no other words could have had as much impact. Rob said “that was me, ten years ago”. With those words hope and optimism flooded back into my being. No doctor, website, nurse, friend or family member could have said anything to ease my mind more. Well, hearing the scans were negative was pretty momentous also lol. That phone call gave me a goal outside of survival and was the first step in my developing attitude toward my disease, I wanted to be “Rob” for someone. I wanted to do more than survive, I wanted to thrive! I guess that is my hope for my posts. If I can help someone thrive then I gain strength. I’m so glad you responded and I hope I could ease some of your fears.

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