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Stage IV melanoma survivor, still here 8+ years and counting

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mainegal
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2005

Stage IV  now 7+years cancer free.

Sharing my story and offering hope to those of you newly diagnosed and or currently battling, or even new to becoming cancer free. Over 8 years ago I was told to" get my affairs in order", that I was looking at 6-9 months to live.

My melanoma began on my knee as stage 0 in 2004. Less then a year later I was shocked to learn that it had indeed spread and I had tumors in both my lungs, on my liver, a tumor on my esophagus, all through my lymph nodes in my chest and two hot spots on two of my bones......

I sought out a melanoma specialist and spent 9 months in and out of ICU undergoing High dose IL-2 and a complete overhaul of my diet and engulfing myself into the holistic world, which included a strict macrobiotic diet, PH balancing, Juicing, listening to Louise Hay's CD "Cancer, discover your healing power" and an agressive herbal and supplement plan, combined with traditional treatment of IL-2. Fast forward to now, over 7+ years NED and sharing my story to offer HOPE and to let you know this cancer can be beat.

Im not on here a lot, as I finally stopped waiting for "the beast" to rejump me and have resumed life at a much slower pace to make sure I don't miss a dew drop falling from any leaves! However I do get message notifications if anyone has any questions, or just needs a kind ear to bounce stuff off of. 

I know all about the darkness this diagnosis can bring, and the fear that sets in. You are not alone, and yes I will never forget reading the first long term survivors story and how much strength and hope it instilled in me. Not to mention the feeling of finding another "alien" just like me here on this earth. Yes it is normal to all of a sudden feel "different" and alone from friends and family....because after all, unless they walked in your shoes, how could anyone possibly understand the terror that bites at our ankles each day! Well your reading my story, and I'm telling you, the number ONE thing you should do to beat this disease is;

Seek a melanoma SPECIALIST that will offer you a platter of choices, and by this I mean in a melanoma comprehensive hospital. This will allow you a wider range of treatment options. Not just what drug company might be paying (funding) that doctors golf outing for making their drug your first line of defense.....when there might be other drugs out there that genetically you might be better suited for! Make sense? 

DO NOT just take a word for gospel!! Do your own research and make sure you stay current with any and all options that a might be out there for you. In other words, find a melanoma specialist that says "Here's plan A, B, C and D if needed. Be your own advocate for your own life.

Stay strong, and remember "You are here in this life because you are strong enough to be in it" Grateful for every day <3

huffman6djgirl
Posts: 23
Joined: May 2009

Very inspiring... I was also diagnosed in April 2009 stage 3a, and then the beast reared again in Feb 2013, which put me at 3c, I endured surgery, and am participating  in a clinical study since april, I am still here.. and as of today NED, and praying I continue. My youngest child was 3 when I was diagnosed...what a wake up call. You are right, you must have good doctors that specialize in the field, and are willing to go to bat for you. I love my derm, my surgeon, and my oncologist, They are all a very special team to me, and have gotten me this far...along with my research, and many questions. Many good wishes to you, thank you for sharing .....Rhonda

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