Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The story below is written by my friend, Sue Lescure, who is a Stage 4 Melanoma survivor, 5 years into remission. She is an incredible woman who is CONSTANTLY supporting and lifting those around her. She helped me tremendously through my treatments by offering tips and advice on getting through some of the side effects. I asked her to share her story as a way to give hope to our other melanoma comrades, or "molemates" out there that are still in the fight! Sue is a living miracle, who has beaten all odds, and is still kicking cancer's ass!

In Sue's words...

My story began in 2003. I had what I thought was a freckle on the inner corner of my eye, right where your tears come out. I had this ever since I can remember. It started to form a tumor on the surface of my eye. I had it removed and got the call two days later that the initial pathology report showed "malignant melanoma." What?! You can get melanoma on the surface of your eye? Well, I did. It's called conjunctival melanoma and it's a very rare form of melanoma.

After the diagnosis, I underwent 10 eye surgeries, proton beam radiation, and two different kinds of chemo eye drops. The melanoma managed to stay localized to my eye until 2006.

In 2006 I had a metastasis to my neck lymph nodes and underwent a radical neck dissection. When I went into my post-op appointment, my head and neck doctor informed me that I also had a spot on my lung. He then referred me to Dr. David Minor at California Pacific Medical Center. The treatment regimen Dr. Minor put me on was 6 cycles (months) of Biochemotherapy with Interleukin-2. For the next 12 months I would also be hospitalized for treatment with 3 days of IL-2. In between hospitalizations, I also had to give myself injections of Leukine and IL-2. This treatment was tough to endure to say the least, but it completely shrunk away the lung met without surgical intervention!

Surprisingly enough, during treatment my ocular melanoma was stable of disease. However, once I was not on chemotherapy, I started showing symptoms of previous "freckling" spots in my eye again, but now it was on the outside skin, on my eyelid to be specific. Dr. Minor suggested I have my eye removed in the fall of 2011. This was a no-brainer for me, being that my vision was just light and shadows anyways from all my previous surgeries, chemo and scar tissue.

So, I had my eye removed on October 14, 2011. I have no regrets. I would rather lose my eye than my life. I have no desire to let melanoma enter my bloodstream again if I can help it!

During this long journey, my perspective has changed so much. I was only given 6 to 9 months to live back in 2006. Every day I'm alive is icing on the cake. I really don't sweat the small stuff. I cherish my family so much more. I believe in the power of prayer. I feel like I am here to do more to spread awareness of this disease and let you know that melanoma can show up in unexpected places on your body. My doctor does not think mine was sun related and I have never been in a tanning bed.

I am the "Fight Back" Chairperson for Relay For Life in my community this year, I was a guest speaker to tell my story back in 2008. I am happy to say that I celebrated my 5 year NEDiversary this last November!

~Suzanne Lescure


{amy} said...

As an OM spouse, this is so encouraging! Congrats to 5 years NED, Sue!

Christina said...


I know, I was so happy that you read this post because she is a prime example of someone beating the odds!

There ARE survivors out there, most of them are just not "blogging" about it, they are out living life to the fullest, like Sue!