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Tammy Riley

“… Have there been days that I have wanted to give up and have begged God to please just let me die because I can’t take any more pain? Yes…many. But I haven’t died. And I am here, writing this to you about me…Nearly 2 1/2 years later after having been diagnosed with Stage Three Metastatic Malignant Melanoma.” – Tammy Riley

Tammy writes, “My story…it is difficult to write without breaking down in tears but I will try.

December 14, 2017, it was the day that the old me died. It was the day my doctor called me in her office and told me I had Metastatic Malignant Melanoma, and to me, that meant death.

To make a very long story short, the originating melanoma was not found. I had surgery in January of 2018 to remove six lymph nodes from under my left arm pit. I started immunotherapy on February 23, 2018 and from there everything went downhill.  Mononucleosis re-activated in me. I got over that. Then I developed the most horrendous headache I had ever experienced. I wanted to die. I wanted to kill myself. I begged God to take me because it felt like my brain was on fire. It turned out to be hypophysitis, inflammation of the pituitary gland. I suffered for 10 days like that, it was hard. That was one of the rare side effects of the immunotherapy.

Things continued to go down hill, developing more and more horrible side effects. Then, I was told I was in remission in July 2018.

But I wasn’t.

I found out on December 30, 2018 that a small piece of melanoma remained and had hid for multiple scans. I had to resign from my 22 year career as a social worker because of the damage immunotherapy had done. I had surgery again in January 2019, then 20 rounds of radiation, and now more immunotherapy until the end of 2020.”

Her battle is not over.

Tammy Riley is one of our newest Beca’s Care Program recipients and part of our Beca’s Care family. She is currently fighting for her life, a metastatic Melanoma diagnosis, and she is not giving up. She is a beautiful soul with a heart wrenching story of how Melanoma has changed her life; the ups and downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Her story is emotional, raw, and real. Through all of her pain she keeps her sense of humor, her passion for life, and remains hopeful.

We hope to share more of her story in the coming months.

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