Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays out there!  I have not posted in a couple months and with Christmas next week I have memories of Christmas 2010, when I was not sure if I would survive to see another holiday.

For those who do not know my story:  In short: In the fall of 2000 I had a clark's level 4 melanoma removed from my left forearm. It was followed by a lymph node biopsy. The result of that was GOOD, no cancer in my nodes. Life went on...... 10 years later, in the spring of 2010, I felt something under my left armpit. I put it out of my mind until breast cancer awareness month. That is when I really realized something was wrong. After weeks of tests to determine what was going on.... by late November of 2010 I FINALLY saw an oncologist who told me to go home, there was nothing that could be done.  IT WAS HORRIBLE.

At that time, I lived in a very isolated mountain town. My Mom and I headed towards southern California, praying that we would be led to someone around Christmas who had an option for treatment.

The MIRACLE of MIRACLES is a very good friend of mine in New York knew someone who knew someone on the board of the Melanoma Research Foundation. This connection got me an appointment on December 23rd, 2010 with Dr. Morton at the John Wayne Cancer Center. I had a tumor the size of a grapefruit under my left armpit and was in EXTREME PAIN.  This appointment led to test after test which indicated the cancer had spread and I needed a medical oncologist. My next visit was to the Angeles Clinic to see Dr. Hamid.  He told me, I will try to save your life Stephanie and if the shit hits the fan I will tell you. I was admitted in for bio-chemotherapy on Jan 5th, 2011.  I AM ALIVE!!

It was extremely painful and hard and I thought I was going to die at least 2-3 times during the treatment. My life has changed SO much since the daughter suffered depression after the treatment....we lost our dream cabin in the mountains....BUT, I am alive!!!

With Christmas next week I will remember how BLESSED I am and even when I wonder WHY did I survive and so many others are gone, I will spread a message of HOPE & FAITH.

 My daughter & I at the start of my last treatment.

 My family, 1 year after cancer. 
My hubby & I in Glacier National Park, MT. 

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