My name is Beth Meyer from Olathe, Kansas. I was diagnosed with StageIIIC melanoma. Time seemed to stand still as I sat in the surgeon’s office waiting for the biopsy results which came back positive for melanoma. The black beast had returned for a second time with a vengeance. I was told surgery would be scheduled to remove my parotid gland and a neck dissection to remove lymph nodes. This was followed by radiation and one year of immunotherapy. Each stage of treatment delivered its own set of challenges and side effects. It seemed as though the hamster wheel of fatigue, sickness, and doctor visits would never end. My loving husband, mother, and faith saw me through many dark days.
In addition, I dealt with fear and anxiety of recurrence. I worried that my care would put a financial strain put on my family. Guilt from a lifetime of worshipping the sun and tanning beds. And hearing from a lot of people that melanoma wasn’t really cancer. This led me to isolate myself at a time when I should have been surrounded by loved ones.
The whole journey changed my life. I appreciate the little things like the birds singing, a smile, or hearing my cat purr. I have gratitude for being able to take a walk, ride my bike, or spend time with loved ones. I take opportunities to bring awareness to those who don’t know how serious melanoma is. I still love being outside now in a smart way. I wear sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoid the sun during mid-day hours. I learned that you have to trust in your medical team and making decisions together is important. Having just one person who cares for you makes a huge difference. Every cancer survivor has a story. Thank you for letting me share mine.
Date Diagnosed: 03/01/2018