Tamron L. on December 22, 2022
I was Diagnosed with:
Type and Description of Treatments:
I underwent a 10 hour surgery called HIPEC. This involves heated chemotherapy and the removing of the tumor. The chemotherapy drugs are infused and circulated throughout the abdominal cavity to treat any remaining cancer cells.
How do you feel today?
I feel blessed and grateful. To be able to overcome a rare cancer and to share my story with the world. I feel great to know that just by me sharing my story I can help others but giving them hope, inspiration, and encouragement.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
A lot has changed in my life. I was told that I had 18 months to live and after my surgery was told I couldn’t have anymore kids. Once you have cancer your life isn’t the same. You can see the change for better or worse. I do believe everything happens for a reason and people will always go through something but it’s how you go through it which determines how you’re going to come out.
I’ve also learned how to be my own advocate and ask those hard questions when I am talking to my physicians.
What is going well for you right now?
A lot of things are going well in my life. I face things with faith and push through whatever I go through. I won’t complain.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Navigating the healthcare system to find information and options about a rare cancer I knew nothing about. I didn’t fit the typical patient demographic either. I was 21 years old new mother when I was diagnosed. The typical patient is usually a male in his late 60s early 70s.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
Prayer works, and goes where we can’t go. I go to my husband for support. I am also apart of a support group specifically for patient and caregivers impacted by Mesothelioma.
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I look at goals as something that helps you grow. My goals haven’t changed at all. My diagnosis gave me the push to want to achieve my goals even more. I went back to college after a 7 year hiatus received my bachelors and masters degree.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I work full time at a local hospital as the Communications Specialist. I’m also a contributing writer for Asbestos.com and social media influencer. I know I said a mouth full. But I love what I do!
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
My intentions of finding out what I really want to do in life and acting upon it.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
Doing what I love. Communication is my thing and one of my gift. It is true when they say when you love what you’re doing it’s not work.
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Take things one day at a time. Give yourself grace and learn to ask for help.
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
Making sure I am aware of different symptoms and talking to my doctors about it.
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
You will get through this, keep pushing, don’t give up and be present in the moment.