Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Is My Cancer Different?"

When you hear that someone has been diagnosed with the big C what is the first question that pops in your head? For me, I want to know what type of cancer. I know when it boils down to it "cancer is cancer," and no matter what type of cancer a person has, it's horrible. However, the statement "cancer is cancer" really isn't that true.

Let me backtrack.

There is a new movement that forces us to ask ourselves, "Is My Cancer Different?" Maybe I would have answered differently had I not been diagnosed with melanoma already in my young age, I don't know, but now I want to scream it from the roof tops: MY cancer is different! Every cancer is different! The same cancer in different patients is different!

When people first find out about my history with melanoma they ask if I had to have chemo and radiation. I would have asked the same thing 4 years ago! However, we melanoma patients have had that frustrating conversation. You know the one, that heartbreaking conversation with the oncologist where he informs us that melanoma doesn't respond to the typical chemo cocktail.

I remember calling my Gran after that first meeting in New York, crying in the bathroom floor, because the doctor basically said the options are limited when it comes to stage 3 melanoma. They just can't treat our cancer like they do other cancers. It doesn't work!

This is why it is so important to be followed by a melanoma specialist. On their website Is My Cancer Different? discusses how patients with the same cancer are still totally different: (View their 2.23 minute video here!) I think many of you have already seen that in our melanoma community. Some of us have been a part of the same clinical trial and had very different reactions! We can't give up though just because one treatment works for one person and not for us. We move on to the next thing that may help!

I encourage you to take a few minutes and view their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

...And don't forget to ask yourself the question: "Is My Cancer Different?"

You know it is! Treat it like it is!



Strong Steph said...

Thanks Chelsea, it is hard to explain to people about melanoma. Unfortunately, us Melahomies know all too well about how different our cancer is... :(

Take Care Girl!!

Kristie O said...

Thanks to you. I am also a Stage Three Melanoma patient. Can you let me know where you are on facebook or other contact methods? Thanks..God Bless. .stay strong! My ever enduring prayer to God is for the day no more animals or people ever have to suffer cancer again!
Kristie O'Brien

Hannes Pelser said...

In 1994 I was diagnosed with melanoma. The cancer spread to my glands and after surgery, doctors found a tumor on my brain and also cancer in my neck vertabrae. Afterwards I found out they did not had chemo for the cancer I had. But they gave me chemo just to give something. I prayed and the cancer dissapeared. I am cleand for more than 17 years now. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ. When I was dying at one stage, just after a prayer, HE touched me and the pain was gone and I was healed. God bless all of you who are struggling with C.
Hannes Pelser, Bethlehem, South Africa. hp7@telkomsa.net

Unknown said...

I have been thinking about this post since I read it earlier. Just had a discussion with my husband along these lines at dinner. There are so many things that people don't know about melanoma- and they don't think it will happen to them, so a lot of them are not even willing to hear anything about it. There is a skin cancer stigma as well. Subscribing to that stigma are those who don't know the details about melanoma, but also those of us who do. For example, a lump in the breast that needed to be surgically removed because it was cancer (and said breast required no further treatment) would be no different than the WLE I had on my thigh, right? Cut out the cancer, it's all there, no other treatment needed...I'd be a breast cancer survivor, right? Why am I not viewed (by most folks) as a melanoma survivor? It's just skin cancer...that is the thought. That all cancers are the same (except most people don't think of skin cancer as "real" cancer)and treatments are the same. It's not...you are right on with your post.
There is an 18 year old girl here in our area who was just diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. 18 years old. God bless her.