Lisa's story  

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Lisa
 Lisa
Active Member
Joined: 7 months  ago
Posts: 6
16/02/2017 10:26 pm  

I was diagnosed with stage 3 malignant melanoma aged 32 in 2012. I went for a routine smear test at my gp and asked her to have a wee look at my 1 and only mole. So we decided to get it checked by a specialist as it was beginning to itch and I wasn't sure if it had started to change colour. I had it for as long as I can remember. I met the specialist and he said I needed to have surgery to have it removed the week after. I said I didn't have time and he told me it had to go asap. So I agreed to surgery the week after in the afternoon so I could do what I had to do in the morning. I had the day off after and went back to my busy life. 

2 weeks later I got a phone call to come back, yet again I was too busy, so he told me the biopsy came back positive, I had melanoma and was being referred to a melanoma specialist in Galway the following week. We met him and he said he would need to operate again on my arm to check that it hadn't spread any deeper or wider on my arm and take the sentinel lymph node... guess what? I hadn't time! We were going to Paris for a week, the week after was the all Ireland final, Mayo vs Donegal. So I had to make a choice, we went to Paris. Surgery was the following week, my cheering arm was in a sling when I own county beat my adopted county in the final. 

I couldn't go back to work after this surgery. The biopsy came back, the arm was clear but the lymph node wasn't. Reality kicked in, but I couldn't understand why I had cancer with no sickness, pain, tiredness and all the things we associate with cancer. So it was back the first week in November for more surgery, all the lymph nodes in my left arm were removed. I asked what was my worst case scenario and they said they would expect to find it in some more nodes and my time could be short, best case was they would find it in none. They found none thank God. 

They found 2 lumps in my neck in December but both came back clear. I then began interferon treatment in January for a year, I had 161 doses in total which finished on the 10th of January 2014. It was without a doubt the toughest year of my life, with many of the side effects of other chemotherapy patients. It was 5 days per week for the first month, my body refused a few doses in the first month, it got too weak to take it, then 3 times per week for 48 weeks.

After that I began to attend dermatology and will attend for 7 years. We got engaged in March and got married in July 2015 and after checking with oncology, we decided we would try for a baby, but we're not expecting it to be an easy journey. In September I began to get tired and sick, I automatically thought it was melanoma again.... nope, I was pregnant. The shock!! When I went back to oncology I got discharged. A few weeks later at our scan we got another shock, I told the lady about my journey and how shocked we got pregnant so fast.... she had another shock for us!! We were expecting twins!! 

The pregnancy was straight forward, there were no complications, it was fairly easy after going through interferon. Our miracles were born at 34 weeks, which is normal for twins and are now 10 months old. Just over 4 years ago I nearly died and had a very rough 2 years, it just makes us appreciate life even more and we are so blessed to wake up with these 2 happy and healthy babies every morning... and the odd night!! And you never know our wee man could be in Croker in the 3rd Sunday in September some day!!! 


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