Shawnda first messaged me on Facebook on June 25, 2011 after she found my blog. Shawnda was diagnosed with stage III melanoma in March 2011. Because of our similar stories, Shawnda found comfort in my blog. In June of 2011 Shawnda was finishing biochemo to treat the melanoma that had QUICKLY advanced to stage IV. She wrote to me, "As of today scanning clear and doing radiation with possibly one more round of biochemo just to make sure everything is gone." Things went downhill soon after that message.
Today, at 5:26 AM, Shawnda took her last breath. She leaves behind a supportive husband, 6 beautiful children, and many friends and family. Shawnda was only 36 years old.
For my One Year Cancer-Versary Shawnda wrote me a letter, "I hope and pray that knowing you and the hope and drive you have will inspire me to be that to someone else and to be able to give them hope." Well, Shawnda, you have already been that to so many of us. You fought a brutal battle, girlfriend, a brutal fight. I know that so many of us gained inspiration, hope, and courage by watching you approach your fight with such class, sass, and that smile.
I love you, "mole-matey."