Other People Share Their Experiences

What others say about:

Feeling Scared or Regretful

“There may be a time to give up hope, but when you are first diagnosed with metastatic disease – as scary as it is – that’s not the time. There is hope and I’m here to tell the tale.”—Mark

“People wish they had done more to find the disease earlier. Try not to beat yourself up about what caused [melanoma] to happen. It could have been sun exposure, but then it also may have been bad luck.” – Dr. Postow

“I should have gone [to the doctor] much earlier, but we can’t change the past. Do what you can to beat it now.” – Donna, 51

Staying Hopeful, Sometimes Against All Odds

“If you look at the statistics, I should be gone already.  It’s not an easy road, but every day is truly a gift.”  -- Donna, 51 

“Live in the moment. You can’t control the future or go back in time.” – Catherine Poole, Melanoma International Foundation

“There are a lot of new treatments that are being developed and they seem to work better and better.” –Dr. Gangadhar

Not Letting the Disease Define You

“Patients with metastatic disease often have to rearrange their lives to fit in their cancer treatment. I try to remind them, we are doing this so they can live as normal a life as possible – take vacations, visit family and so on. We want to keep them feeling well and keep their melanoma under control.”  -- Michael Postow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

“Do things that make you feel better.” 

“In the back of my mind, I know melanoma can kill me. But I am going to live my life and not let my children or grandchildren feel sorry for me.” – Donna, 51

Finding the Right Doctor

“How much trust you have in your doctor is key to any treatment. You need to feel comfortable. If you don’t, you should find another one.”  -Mark

“Having a good relationship with your doctor is so important. I know I can call or go in anytime I have a concern.” – Donna

Telling Your Family

“Telling my family each time I’ve had a recurrence has been the hardest things for me. I can see the pain in their faces. It helps them to see I’m willing to fight. I’m not going to throw in the towel.” – Donna, 51

Keeping Up With the Costs of Care

This is often a concern for patients and their families.  See CSC’s booklet, Coping with the Cost of Cancer Care.

Thinking About the End

“There may be a point when the body has given up, but the soul won’t. We are all going to be there someday and it’s not fun or fair. But knowing that you have tried and done your best goes a long way. No one lives forever, so you have to cherish the time you have.” – Mark

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