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Nikola 

Strachan

Stage 3 Melanoma

Warrior

This is my story

2020 was a globally challenging year, but towards the end, my own safe little world was turned on its axis.  

 

August 2020

Felt a pea size lump in my groin. Maybe it’s just over-active lymph fighting something.  No great concern.

 

8 November 2020

Lymph ultrasound and concern setting in slowly.

 

9 November 2020

Needle biopsy.

 

10 November 2020

GP calls with results. Panic.

 

12 November 2020

Meeting with surgeon.

 

16 November 2020

Lymphadenectomy.

 

23 November 2020

Dreaded news – metastatic malignant melanoma. Total despair.

 

27 November 2020

Telephonic consult with oncologist. Calmed down to mild dismay.

 

2 December 2020

PET scan.

 

4 December 2020

Ridiculously, an awesome day amidst all the turmoil. 

 

Consult with Dr Ogude. Good news, my scan didn’t "light up like a Christmas tree" (my words, not his)!

 

Diagnosis: Stage 3 Melanoma. Okay, I can handle this. Yes, I have stage 3 Melanoma.  No, it is not a death sentence. Yes, there’s hope!

 

Between Dr O, his medical team and Keytruda, miracles are possible and so is recovery. They have made me feel far more positive and calmer about this whole process. Their reassurance and positive outlook were all I needed, and I walked out of my consultation with a new attitude. I was positive and knew I could fight!

 

22 December 2020

Who would’ve thought a drip would be my Christmas wish? It’s 2020, anything is possible. Nervous and excited, I was ready to start this battle with my beautiful children and husband. We set off to obliterate this enemy.

 

With the support of my wonderful family, parents, sister, friends and a superb oncology team, I know with all my heart that the victory will be mine at the end of the day! In the meantime, I will not let this dis-ease control my life. I will control it! It will not slow me down.

 

11 January 2021

2nd Keytruda drip. Still excited. Best of all, no side effects except feeling tired. Nothing I can’t deal with.

 

1 February 2021

3rd Keytruda drip.

 

Waiting for my results and having to pretend was amiss to my children was devastatingly difficult and all-consuming. My fear was suffocating as my mind did Olympic status jumping from one scenario to the next. My children! How will this affect them? Will they cope? What is going to happen to them? I can NOT go. I will NOT go! This is NOT my end! I can do this, I have to.

 

I have realised “I am a WARRIOR” and will not let this stop me from living an adventurous and meaningful life and making fantastic memories along the way.

All my love

Nikola Strachan

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