I Officially Survived Cancer!
This post is really just a BIG blubbery ball of gratitude.
Honestly, I’m not sure how all of this would have come together without the ABUNDANCE of love and support. I can promise you this post wouldn’t have been nearly as joyous without your collective aloha.
So a bit of backstory…
When I was initially diagnosed with melanoma, the first thing that crossed my mind was, this is going to bankrupt me. Honest-to-God— not, damn, I might not survive this— but, this is going to take me down financially!
Because, as I mentioned, I was insurance-less. Hence the circus of attempting to find affordable coverage with a pre-existing condition, or finagling financial aid when living above the poverty line.
Amidst the circus came the magic!
First off, my sister created a GoFundMe (bless her BIG golden heart), which has effectively covered ALL of my medical expenses— medicinal supplements, two surgeries, plus, post-op care— truly AMAZING! The outpour of assistance has been incredible— support came out of the damn woodwork— friends of my father’s, family of my fiancé’s (now hubby 😍), and co-workers of my sister’s— many of whom I’d never met. My current bosses and coworkers, my former bosses and coworkers, my ex’s and estranged high school friends all stepped up to bat for me— UN-FRICKEN-BELIEVABLE!
Beyond that, I was awarded a $1000 grant from Amber’s Antibodies (thank you William for the info and good word), which has allowed me to take off extra recovery time and not stress about bills.
And the best part, I now have affordable insurance coverage— at $200 a month I’m jumping for joy!
Insurance. Now that comes with another story.
So I’m on the phone with the insurance rep of Jimmy P’s (my part-time job), and she’s telling me that open enrollment isn’t until June (at this point it’s April and the doc’s telling me I needed these surgeries yesterday). So I let her in on the situation and ask if there’s any way around open enrollment. She informs me of “special circumstances,” which I immediately follow with— like a wedding?!
“Sure.” She says.
Great! I reply, How’s Monday?! Actually, Monday won’t work because I’ll be getting married. How about Tuesday? If I’m married Monday, how soon after will I be eligible for insurance. I could practically see her perplexed look through the phone.
“Immediately.” She says.
I belted out a teradata screech— which translated to— you are a LIFESAVER, hung up the phone and dialed my hubby. Hey babe, how would you feel about rushing our wedding plans? We had casually planned on an intimate wedding in Estes National Park circa Spring of 2021.
“Yea, what are you thinking?”
I was thinking Monday— because we’re both off work (at this point it’s Wednesday).
Without hesitation he enthusiastically responded, “let’s do it!”
So I hung up with him and texted (not even called) my immediate family to inform them of our plans. I certainly wasn’t sending out invites because it was WAAAAY too last minute and far too big an ask. But before I knew it (I’m talking 24 hours later), we had planned a damn wedding— my sister had become a minister, my father was flying in from Cali, my mother and brother from Michigan and I was off for champagne, a $100 dress and wedding bands.
That’s my sister in the banana suit I was telling you about! Bahahahahaha!
It was absolutely MAGICAL— by far the biggest blessing to come out of all of this!
2 weeks later I was scheduled for surgery, and a week after surgery I was cleared of melanoma!
Now here’s the super interesting part— at least in the perspective of a nerdy nutritionalist. When I went in for my post-op consultation I was told that the sampled area of skin (which was a pretty sizable portion— note the scar in the featured image) came back with no trace of melanoma— interesting right?!
So the doc said, “perhaps you’re wondering why you’re left with 2 gnarly scars when the report came back with no sign of melanoma.” Curious yes. Tell me more. He explained that the biopsy is performed in a sort of cross section— and perhaps it didn’t catch any of the infected areas— however, as long as the margins are clear (and they are)— I’m cleared of cancer.
So I had to ask, what are the chances that my anal-retentive diet and pre-op medicinal supplements actually killed off the cancerous cells?
He replied with, “there’s no way to tell for sure— but it IS a possibility.”
So you’re telling me there’s a chance!
So that’s the story. Within 2 months, 2019 went from the most dreadful year of my life to the ABSOLUTE best! Thank you ALL from the very bottom of my heart— for reading, for following, for donating, for supporting and for loving me so unconditionally. You have all aided in my healing— and that is worth all the gratitude in the world!
With love and aloha 🌺,
XO Katie Rodriguez
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