Sammy here – I decided to let my Mom do a blog post today – aren’t you proud of me for being so generous? Well, the reason is because she decided to pawticipate in Ann of Zoolatry’s LIVESTRONG blog. She put the word out that anyone who wanted to share their story of dealing with cancer could tell their story there if they wanted to and my Mom thought she’d like to do that.
Even though Mom spoke of her OWN journey with cancer in her post, we have known many friends and family as well as many pets who have had cancer and it seemed important to my Mom that she tell her tale of being a CANCER SURVIVOR….hoping to bring HOPE to some who might need it.
Her post is up at WELIVESTRONGTODAY along with other posts from other people, but she’s going to tell it here too. TAKE IT AWAY MOM!
Thanks Sammy! I sometimes think about how many people I’ve known in my 68 years who either have HAD cancer, or known someone who did – it’s a very widespread disease and until researchers can come up with cures for this incredibly complex disease, I’m afraid we’ll just have to deal with it as best we can. There’s new research almost every day so there is a LOT of hope out there.
My personal journey began in 1985 when I was diagnosed with cervical and vaginal cancer. I had a total hysterectomy and was confident that was the one and only time I’d hear a physician tell me I had cancer. Not to be though……….even though over the ensuing years I had some minor skin cancers – basal cell and then a more serious one – squamous cell, it wasn’t until 1996 when I had a mole on my right leg begin to “look funny” and had a biopsy that I found out just how dangerous “MELANOMA” was. This was a very deep and wide amount of tissue involved – I had a lot of tissue removed until they found clear margins – and I had to have a skin graft to go over the four inch diameter and half inch deep operation site. I was in a soft cast for three months; the cancer had JUST missed my muscle tissue in that leg. I was lucky!! Then in 2006 out of nowhere I got a large lump at the top of my right leg – I immediately saw my doctor and he immediately sent me to a surgeon but they both thought it was a swollen lymph node and it was. I had surgery almost the next day – the lymph node and ancillary nodes were removed and only the one was cancerous. I was pretty upset about having “RECURRENT MELANOMA”…….and was told that I needed to undergo treatment which would be for at least a year and was somewhat experimental because there was no real effective drug to tackle melanoma. What I wound up with was treatment for an organ which had shown “some” effectiveness with recurrent melanoma. After one year of treatments I felt I had learned a whole lot about myself and my tolerance for discomfort! I began thinking of myself as a true survivor…………my positive thinking and my REAL confidence that I could beat it and never get melanoma again has held until this day. Here it is 2015 and I’m BEYOND cancer. It’s where I intend to stay.
Thanks Sammy – you’ve been with me for some of this journey as have many friends and my family. I am grateful and I am STRONG and I will live out the rest of my life being grateful.
OK Mom – thanks for telling your story – I know you want it to be uplifting to those who might be going through cancer treatment now or have received the diagnosis………….I’m just so happy that you’re still with me and Dad! We are FAMILY and we need each other!
Hope is a wonderful thing……………………….KEEP HOLDING ON TO IT – that’s from me and Mom……..deep in our hearts!