San Francisco, CA
Stage Four Metastatic Melanoma
Words to Live By
“I’m thriving, I sleep through the night, I go to yoga, I cook in the kitchen, I do I do I do I do, for as long as I can.”
“Don’t panic. That’s number one. We are now cautiously optimistic and able to say things like “melanoma is no longer a death sentence, but a managed condition.” And I have to take that to heart, because you can’t live in fear.”
Undergoing testing to find out that she was BRAF negative provided Linda with a clear treatment path. Since she didn’t have the BRAF mutation, her doctors were able to exclude options like targeted treatments, and put her on the immunotherapy course that yielded incredible results for her. Without this testing, Linda’s doctors wouldn’t even be able to consider these options. Knowing all your options is crucial to getting the best care, and genomic sequencing is an important part in unlocking all your possibilities.
After Linda’s trial was completed, Ipilimumab was approved by the FDA. On October 1st, 2015, scans showed no evidence of cancer in her body. “In terms of being unremarkable and healthy and being BRAF negative, and having everything sort of in place for the doctors, they ran with me. The panic makes you want to do certain things but you just let the doctors do what they do and I’m really glad I just listened to them, and I was with it.”
Today, Linda is back to work, her back is healed, and she is living a full life with her husband, son, and daughter. She works as a personal chef and caterer in California and continues moving forward in her life. “I’m thriving, I sleep through the night, I go to yoga, I cook in the kitchen, I do I do I do I do, for as long as I can.”
When asked what advice she would give to a newly diagnosed cancer patient, Linda offered: “Don’t panic. That’s number one. We are now cautiously optimistic and able to say things like “melanoma is no longer a death sentence, but a managed condition.” And I have to take that to heart, because you can’t live in fear.”
It’s been over a year since her diagnosis and Linda has all but forgotten everything that got her to where she is today. “I got in a car accident and all that other stuff but I’m a healer. I feel good I feel healed. I’m so grateful. They’re trying to take me off the drugs they gave me for the brain seizure, which I’m now getting off which is fantastic. And this will be the last little bit. Today I’m going to go back to my oncologist in Napa and say ‘remember me?’.”
I believe that getting your genomic profile is the first step to using your DNA to influence your treatment plan. The findings within your DNA can better help you and your doctor understand what type of treatment is right for your unique cancer.