I've done a lot of volunteer work in my adulthood, and I'm a social tango dancer. I never imagined I'd experience anything like what I went through.
Immunotherapy patients don't lose their hair. Some people in my life didn't take my cancer seriously because I didn't look like a cancer patient. That's when I came up with, "What does a cancer patient look like?" That was emotionally painful. Sometimes people said odd things. It took me time to realize they needed to say something, but didn’t know what to say.
I was blown away by the people who did show up for me. I’ll be forever grateful to them. I received more love than I've ever received in my life! My son and his girlfriend were only 20 when I was diagnosed. They showed up, grew up, and took me on. My son went from being my child to my savior and my rock. I will always be in awe of them. It brought us so much closer together.
I didn't realize a cancer patient could have more than one oncologist. I now have a team of three: a local oncologist, an oncologist who specializes in melanoma research, and a neuro-oncologist. My entire medical team works together under the guidance of my melanoma oncology specialist.