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Lori's personal story

Skin cancer survivor, Lori Gingrich
My story is long, but I am here and doing well. My husband spotted a small spot on my right thigh. From there, it went the 1st surgery removal of 1 lymphoid wide excision. At my 6 month PET, it metastasized, which was the 2nd surgery. It removed all lymph nodes in my right groin and a large section of skin, muscle, and tissue. They used my sitoris muscle, which they cut in half and put in a drain to graph the area. It was extremely painful and took a year to begin feeling normal. I will never get feeling back.

Then treatments began, every other week for 12 months. The treatments attacked my pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, which were permanently damaged. Treatments had to be ended. 7/19 was surgery #3 after another metastatic move. They gave me the worst possible news. Hearing palliative care is soul crushing and a terror that won't leave. I was lost. How do I tell my daughter, my family? This can't be happening. The surgery was a success. And I could breathe again.

Now on to the adrenal failure caused by the immuno and recovery after 100 mg of prednisone for 3 weeks, and I am still here. 6/19 2nd adrenal failure that I beat again. Too many days of not knowing how I may feel and if I will have the energy to go anywhere. Trying to explain to people even though they won't understand. 11/19 surgery #4. Removal of both ovaries due to more tumors. Whew, a lot and this is just a snapshot.

This will be my new life, but I am ok with it. I am here and for today, I am great. I started the gym, better food, and trying to be just a little selfish. The ups and downs are endless. But I keep a positive attitude, most days. But when I need to, I let the feelings flow then get back up and start new. We never know how cancer will change us, but it does. We need to be selfish sometimes and do what is best for us. Cancer comes in all colors, races, religions, gender, social status. No one is immune. Support one another. Everyone has their own things they go through, and it is okay.

I share my story hoping to help others. I have been in the waiting room feeling like hell and looking even worse, so when I see someone is new I start to talk to do what I can to help. CANCER SUCKS!!! BUT I AM HERE AND HAPPY — I HAVE MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I never thought that tiny spot would change me forever. GET CHECKED — IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.