In March 2015, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma following a mole biopsy, at the age of 20. I began cancer treatment in May of that year, and by the strength of the Lord poured out on me, finished treatment at the end of May 2016. To read my initial post of the story, click here.
Melanoma: a tumour of melanin-forming cells. The most dangerous form of skin cancer, a malignancy of the melanocyte, the cell that produces pigment in the skin.
Malignant: very virulent or infectious.
Chemotherapy: the treatment of cancer using specific chemical agents or drugs that are selectively destructive to malignant cells and tissues.
Interferon: Any of various proteins, produced by virus infected cells, that inhibit reproduction of the invading virus and induce resistance to further infection. The goal of interferon therapy is to eradicate a virus from an infected person.
I completed a full year (52 weeks with a two week “break” period in-between my induction and maintenance phase) of Interferon treatment for malignant melanoma. Interferon is a type of immunotherapy therapy used to treat many different kinds of cancer as well as other diseases. The drug acts against cancer cells by either slowing their growth or stopping them from reproducing and the drug helps to aid the immune system to better fight the “bad” cells. I was being pumped full of proteins that naturally occurred in my body to boost my immune system to hopefully better fight off cancer cells. Interferons are the types of proteins that your body naturally produces when you get sick.
I received treatment through IV for 4 weeks at the cancer centre where I am being treated with a high-dose of Interferon. After completing those four weeks of 20 treatments, I had a two week break period to allow my body time to rest and recover. Following the break, I began subcutaneous injections of the same drug, which involved injecting myself three times a week at home for a period of 48 weeks. You can see my post about the injections that I did every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 48 weeks here. When I completed my cancer treatment protocol, I had injected my body with Interferon 164 times.
For over a year, my life was defined by injecting myself with a toxic drug, three times a week and dealing with the side effects of doing so. I am now in the recovery process — Praise God! Click ‘cancer’ in the sidebar to see posts about this part of my story.
SEPARATION + DIVORCE
As a young divorcée, my desire is to provide hope to anyone facing the pain and heartbreak that comes with the loss of a marriage. You can read about my experience here.
Thank you for reading my words and following my story. I’m humbled that you would take time out of your day to engage with my writing. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have or support you in any way I can. Connect with me here.