“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it”
Laura was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma in 2017 but she didn’t give up and continued to fight cancer. She has now successfully defeated her cancer. She is now a community manager, YouTuber, and designer.
“I was diagnosed with Stage I Melanoma in January 2017 ”
“You’ve got stage one melanoma.
I’ve gotta say, those are definitely words you don’t want directed your way – but at the beginning of January 2017 that’s exactly what I heard.
I remember I was in the mailroom of my condo when I got the call from my dermatologist. At the time it was like getting hit with a brick wall of information – and when you don’t fully understand what it means yet, your head does this funny thing where it automatically jumps to “what if this is it?”
Despite it all, I was pretty darn lucky. Although I had a level 3 for cell re-growth rate, it was only 0.9mm deep and wasn’t ulcerated. All of which sounds super scary, but are actually not bad results!
Over the next couple of months, I had plenty of appointments where they checked in on the spot and gave me information about my surgery which would take place in March. I remember the day before I went in to get a radioactive injection, so the surgeon would know which lymph nodes to remove and test the next day – and holy smokes. As I’m sure some of you may be able to relate, whatever that radioactive stuff was felt like fire! Luckily it didn’t last long and soon enough I was out of the giant machine they used to take pictures, and on my way home.
My surgery the next day was bright and early. Despite its kind of being a fairly significant one (or at least for a gal who hasn’t had many in her life leading up to that point), I can’t say I was nervous. I guess I was just ready for it to be over with and to have cancer fully taken off my body. All of the doctors and nurses were so calm and friendly, it definitely took the nervousness out of the whole situation as I was going into the operating room (I joked with the doctors which looked just like the one on Grey’s Anatomy!)
The next thing I remember was I was waking up in the recovery room and then brought back up to another room to rest for the day with my parents. The recovery itself over the next couple months was tough. I’m not going to lie, but it’s definitely one of those things that makes you stronger.
Some days were better than others in terms of pain, and the exercises I had to do were really tough but each day, I started to become more and more comfortable.
All in all, this experience definitely taught me a lot though. As someone who never really took care of their skin, it’s definitely become one of my top priorities and is something I’m more aware of now.
Plus, on a super cheesy note, it also taught me that life is too short! Like really, if you’re not happy or feeling stuck in a certain situation, what the heck are you waiting for?!
GET THAT TUSH UP, and make that change my friend!”
Motivation to fight cancer
“I was lucky in the sense that I didn’t have to go through any chemo or radiation – just surgery. So my motivation was definitely to get healthy and take care of my body, especially my skin after recovering.”
The biggest hindrance
“My biggest hindrance was definitely in the recovery. After surgery, my immune system was really low, so I kept getting sick for months afterward with various illnesses like colds, step. throat and infections – which really took a toll on both my mental and physical health.”
Message to other fighters
“My message is to stay positive and know you have a world of people behind you that love you. I’m not gonna lie, cancer sucks. But you are an even stronger person because of it.”