Survivor Stories

Jessica Bailey

Diagnosed 12/22/2015

I was 7 months pregnant with my only child when I found out I had cancer. Over Christmas break, I went to the dermatologist to check on a mole that started to “act funny” during my pregnancy. Within a month, I had surgery to remove it and a handful of lymph nodes to see if it had spread. Lincoln was born a week late, barely missing becoming a Leap Year baby. I was able to breast feed her for 6 weeks before I had to move into my parents’ house to start treatment. My dad took me every day for a month while my mom stayed at home and cared for Lincoln. My husband worked full time and was unable to help. After a month of infusions, I began an 11 month journey of at home shots.

I went in for my quarterly scans unaware of how aggressive melanoma can be. A year and a half later, it was back and stronger than before. I had another surgery which caused permanent lymphedema in my right leg. I started monthly infusions which should conclude by this Christmas. My last scan indicated possible spreading to my left groin. I have a follow up scan before Halloween. My daughter is 3 now and will never know the precancerous version of her mommy. She will never remember my leg being a normal size or me having feet that matched. She sees the scars and remembers the drainage tubes and bulbs that hung from my right leg after my surgery. I am grateful that I am still around for her to make memories with and treasure each day with my family.