Hello, my fellow cancer warriors. My name is Maura McGee from the UK. In March 2015, I was terminally diagnosed with stage 3, advanced melanoma skin cancer, and was told I had three months to live. With so many things going on in my life, I had to build resilience. I needed to dig deep and fight no matter how hard it got, and it was hell, but my biggest inspiration was the love I had for my Mum. She saved my life, along with multiple surgeries and clinical trials I was placed in by Bupa Health Insurance which I received while working for Saab.
Although I no longer work for them, I am thankful that I landed the job due to my previous work experience while residing in Virginia. At the roughest times in my life, something always turns up. My Mum said I was born aware, but I think it is called faith. Given the brutal early life my Mum endured and; survived and the domino effect it had on us. I refused to die on her watch. I refuse to let that happen because she has suffered enough.
Cancer does not discriminate, and in some way, it affects everyone you know and love. In 2021, I lost a beautiful friend in VA just before Christmas. Another Theresa, better known as Mother T. At only 40 years of age and with a teenage son, battled cancer for 13 years and then lost the battle within weeks. It devastated me. She was one of our tribes!
Having lost my Mum to cancer in October of 2019, who was my best friend, her dog Gizmo, who was 17 and a half, and my sister in September of 2020, all within 18 months of my Mums passing, I can say I have been in a dark, dark place, but I feel like I am coming back to the light. I owe it to my Mum, my sister sitting in the picture next to me, and all the cancer patients. They were taken away early from this life, where we live, love, and feel everything. When you have lost a loved one, grief is an extraordinary feeling that will stay for a lifetime.
Anyone with cancer will tell you that fighting this battle is hard, and many people will quit the clinical trial. I hung right in there and allowed them to give me higher doses. However, they had to stop because it was making my body highly toxic, but it worked just enough to keep me in remission. I go to bed and wake up every day, thanking the universe, God, the moon, and Mother Mary. My life is full of the two ‘Tudes,’ Attitude and Gratitude. The only way to survive this life is to have hope and; faith and to find happiness through it all; you will need an abundance of both.
Please see below the pics from the surgeries that I had. Malignant melanoma skin cancer KILLS.! There is still no cure for advanced melanoma, and your survival depends on intrusive surgeries and clinical trial drugs, which can leave you with life-changing side effects. If you are lucky, they will extend your survival rate, but at some point, it will wake up and start to spread again. My groin had to be reopened five months after my first operation to remove all the lymph nodes. Not fun.!! PLEASE use a factor 50 sunscreen with UVA & UVB filters, especially on your children and teenagers. I have never shared my melanoma pictures, but I hope it helps bring awareness of the damage the sun can cause.
You can tan, but please do not burn yourself until your skin is red. Tan slowly, it could save your life…..!