December 29, 2010

Carol Lovelace Wadley | Breast Cancer and Melanoma Survivor

“I’ve learned from my cancer experience that life is not about the destination, but about the journey. 

In 2005, I was treated at the Cancer Institute for breast cancer, which was both DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) and invasive. At the time, I was a 37-year-old single mother. 

I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and chemo. During my treatment I only missed one week of work. 

Carol Lovelace Wadley and daughterThen in June 2009, I found a bump on my abdomen. I went to a dermatologist who didn’t think I had cause for concern. Within four months, there were eight bumps. At that point I was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. 

I learned that there’s a 90 percent mortality rate with that diagnosis. 

I went to an oncologist in private practice. He said he wanted to send me to the best doctor for treatment, so he referred me to Dr. Laura Hutchins at the Cancer Institute. 

I underwent treatment during which I was hospitalized for a week at a time every three weeks. 

In March 2010, I found out the cancer had spread to my intestines. I had a bowel resection and had my ovaries removed. 

About three months after that, a scan showed that I had lesions on my brain. I underwent Gamma Knife surgery on Aug. 10. 

That was when I asked God to leave me here and leave me healed, or to take me home. 

Then, in October, I returned for a follow-up visit and body scan. On Oct. 28, I got a call telling me that while my tumors were still present, they were no longer active cancer! 

I would tell other patients going through this experience that you have to claim hope for yourself.  Now I’m looking forward my life’s next adventure, which is going to Ecuador on a mission trip with my church.”

Carol Lovelace Wadley
Breast cancer and melanoma survivor
Sherwood, Ark.