Survivor Stories

Gena Attebery, Stage IV

Diagnosed 01/16/2017

On January 16, 2017,  I went to the emergency room due to terrible headaches that had been getting progressively worse and my eyesight going bad very quickly. After several tests, the doctors decided to send me home because they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Just to be safe they did a CT scan on my head before they released me which revealed a black golf ball sized tumor in my brain.

A few hours later, I had emergency brain surgery to remove the tumor. The headache was gone and so was my hair! I can live with that…really…I lived! 🙂

After two very difficult years that included two weeks of brain radiation, four major surgeries, immunotherapy and target drugs I am NED! I have No Evidence of Disease at this time.

I knew basically nothing about melanoma before I was diagnosed. That was probably a good thing since I didn’t realize just how sick I was. I have learned more about medicine than I ever wanted but I think I have a calling to help inspire those in the same situation as me to keep fighting.

I found out I can rock a pixie cut, my husband is super man and prayer is essential for healing. I will continue my treatments but I am enjoying a quality life. I am still here thanks to the fantastic team of doctors and nurses and the amazing new medicines released just a few years ago. Life IS good.

I do not know how long I will be NED but I wasn’t expected to live six months. I consider each day a victory! I am alive and well thanks to organizations like AIM. Thank you for continuing to educate people like me, search for answers and support those who do the same.