F*** Cancer, by Jill Marino

I just took a shower. I'd been a few days (depression sucks right?) and it was time to get myself cleaned up. Turned the water on as hot as I could stand it. Put my right wrist in the heat, let it soak. My right hand is turning into a bit of a useless claw now due to treatment side effects. I washed myself - and as I did I was feeling all the scars, all the pain, all the parts of my body that are carved apart, forever altered. And I just immediately started sobbing. Like, down on my knees gut wrenching sobs. All that's been taken away. Knowing it will continue. More of me will continue to be cut away. More stitches. More lines, more scars. Until they won't be able to keep up with the growth. Who knows when that'll be. Hopefully I'll get to see my son grow up. Hopefully my husband will continue to be gentle and understanding. Hopefully I will one day see them as battle wounds. It's just not today. And it's taken me by surprise. It's taken the breath clear out of my lungs. Looking in the mirror at my eyes. My eyes are the same eyes. Trying to remember who I am. Cancer is just an odd situation. Having this constant reminder in my head. I wish I could take a break. I know that I can't because... The treatment side effects are getting worse each time. Last week I slept through my whole infusion and woke up as it was finished. Went to pee before they removed my port IV. Was in the restroom and proceeded to get sick all over myself and the restroom. Couldn't stop it. So embarrassing. And now the immunotherapy is causing my body to attack itself. The arthritis in my hips. My right wrist which is causing neuropathy (again, The Claw). Just keep on keepin' on... Bad days happen. Crying happens. Pity parties happen. Good days will come again. Scared of how I look. How I've physically changed. Knowing that there will be more. Just one of dem days I guess. This is cancer. #fuckcancer I have stage 3b malignant melanoma. My cancer has spread from it's original tumor site to my lymph nodes under my left arm, and most recently the lymph nodes in my throat. All in all I've had 50+ lymph nodes removed. I've had 5 surgeries within 18 months. I'm coming up on 2 years since diagnosis and nothing is slowing down yet. I have a chest port for my immunotherapy treatments I get now every two weeks. Chemotherapy doesn't kill my type of cancer. Radiation doesn't kill my type of cancer. Opdivo (my current immunotherapy medication) is at best a time extender. Until, hopefully someone finds a cure. All of my doctors have told me the same thing - my cancer won't stop. My body won't stop turning healthy skin cells into cancer cells. All I'm asking for is time to see my son grow up. To help my husband (he's a disabled veteran). I need time. Unfortunately, bills keep on coming in. So any donation and every share matters. It all helps. Thank you for reading this novella, and thank you for your support. J

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  • Kathleen M Smith 
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    • 8 mos
  • Jill Cloud 
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    • 12 mos
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Organizer

Jill Marino 
Organizer
Westville, NJ
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