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In October 2020, we learned that Leslie had been diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. Our world altered drastically in an instant. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Leslie was understandably hesitant to get into the hospital to have a concerning mole examined in person. Even as doctors on video visits told her not to worry, she knew in her gut that something about this mole was different. When Leslie was finally able to see a provider in person, the results were the ones no one ever hopes to hear: Abnormal, cause for concern. What should have been a small mole had grown vertically into her skin over the months she couldn’t get in to see a dermatologist, and it had reached her lymph nodes. It was a flurry of doctors appointments — dermatologist, surgeon, oncologist, hemotologist. This scan, that procedure. This and that biopsy, praying for different results. Feverish googling of life expectancy, what stage 3 means, webmd, and treatment options.
Leslie spent November of 2020 preparing for life with cancer. She had a port placed in order to make her biweekly immunotherapy treatments more bearable. We were told a few days later that Leslie had been lucky to get surgery when she did, as it was still considered an “elective” surgery, something that was no longer allowed just a few days after her procedure, due to increasing Covid rates. We were all very scared.
Leslie’s attitude through this ordeal has been nothing but positivity. She identified her mantra “I choose life” from day 1, to keep the eye on the prize that she would beat cancer. She has changed everything about her daily lifestyle to promote health and healing. We are so proud of her passion to not only survive but thrive past this challenge.
Fortunately, melanoma research has gotten so much better over the last decade. With each passing treatment, every doctors appointment, and every CT scan showing us progress, we are cautiously optimistic and wildly hopeful that this will be the end of Leslie’s cancer journey.
Leslie is set to finish her 26th and final round of immunotherapy treatment on December 15th. To celebrate the end of treatment as well as to celebrate life and what comes ahead, we hope that you will join us in supporting melanoma research.
Step up and donate to Miles for Melanoma today.
Team Choose Life!
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