MY NAME IS CHANTELLE DELPORT
My journey started with a tiny beauty spot just below my left eyebrow. Over a course of a few years it started growing and itching. Eventually in 2016 I had it cut out, results confirmed it was stage 1b melanoma....
What? I had wider excision surgery and a SLNB done and I was given the all clear. Great right! ... but to be honest I wasn't worried, after all it's just skin cancer, I thought.... how naive! I did however have regular oncologist checkups post as recommended.
Fast forward to 2019, I was 23 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby. Thanks to my husband being so adamant, I went to see my oncologist because my skin looked bruised around my ear (where they removed the lymph node) and I developed tiny bumps under my skin, I also had a swollen lymph node in my neck. She looked at it and told me "this doesn't look good". My heart SANK. The next day I had a biopsy and that afternoon, 15 Nov 2019, my oncologist phoned me to say the cancer is in my lymph node. Things got real very quickly to say the least....
It was very difficult to process the news and to decide what the next steps would be going forward, as I was pregnant, so I didn't have treatment options at the time.
We decided I would carry my little girl until 32 weeks. Monday, 20 Jan 2020 she was born. She was admitted to NICU. The day after her birth, I had a CT scan done and the next day an MRI.
Results confirmed that I had Stage IV Melanoma. The scans showed cancer tumours in my ear, neck, arm, abdomen wall, back, breasts, liver and my placenta. This meant my little baby, who was only a few days old, was in serious danger and could have cancer.
I started targeted therapy a week later. And doctors performed so many tests on my little one. There were various doctors surrounding her NICU bed daily. For hours on end. Praise God all tests showed no sign of cancer and to date she is healthy and thriving.
Things were going very well with me up until April 2021 where I started experiencing headaches. MRI results showed the cancer had spread to my brain. Another blow... how do I do this, I thought. I have a 3 year old, a 1 year old and an amazing husband, family and friends that I need to fight for.
God has always been good to me and I was put on a clinical trial with new treatment almost immediately.
A few months down I started feeling terrible and an emergency MRI showed my brain tumours are growing and they had caused swelling on the brain. Treatment stopped and my oncologist referred me to a radiation oncologist. I had Gamma knife in August 2021. Since then I have started my clinical trial again because it assisted in keeping all the tumours in my body stable (liver, breasts etc). So now its scans every 3 months still and I continue with my clinical trial of immunotherapy and a combo drug.
This, this is a tough journey but I keep my head up and PUSH as hard as I can because I have 2 little girls looking up to me and I need to show them what it means to be brave. I have 2 little girls that need to see what it means to fight and give it your all even if it's hard. So that's exactly what I'm doing.
God has been good to me and I have so much faith that I will be healed.
One step at a time... the sun will shine again!
I have also launched my own merchandise line in support of melanoma awareness.
You can follow my journey on FB or Instagram Not_today_melanoma
FAITH OVER FEAR