My Name is Melissa and in August I will be 5 years cancer free.
My story starts back in 2001 when I noticed a small dark spot on the back of my left shoulder. A biopsy was done and it turned out to be melanoma . I had surgery to remove that and to check lymph nodes . At that time the lymph nodes were clean. Fast forward to December 2005 and I had a lump under my left arm . My oncologist ordered a needle biopsy to see what it was. Could the melanoma be back or was it a return of my breast cancer. ( in 2004 I had a lumpectomy for ductal breast cancer ).
It was melanoma , and I had a CT scan and PET scan . Those scans show the melanoma had metastasized to my liver .I had 2 tumors on my liver. My oncologist decided after surgery to remove the lump , I would do chemotherapy . After 3 month there was no change in the tumors. I took a few months off while nothing changed, after a year . We tried cyber knife that was a long shot and unfortunately it didn't help me . My oncologist sent me to see an interventional radiologist (dr. eric wang ) to see if he could help me . Dr. Wang decided I would be a good candidate for Sir Spheres . I had that procedure in December 2008. It worked and killed almost all of the tumors. I had a couple of RFA's (radio frequency ablation) in 2009 to clean things up .
Since that last procedure I have been active cancer free. 'I have gone from stage IV melanoma with liver mets to NED or No Evidence of Disease. This has been a long difficult journey, never knowing what the next scan might show. I've gone from a CT scan every 3 months to now once a year. I was willing to try everything to beat this and so far I have . I had a great support group , My family (especially Mom ), my co workers and friends . They helped me get thru this , I want to thank all who prayed for me and supported me , They made this journey easier .