I got an email Thursday evening from one of our regular No Sweat, York contributors, Cori Strathmeyer, with some bad news.
As the director of healthy living at YMCA of York County, Cori has shared with us her many tips for making good choices when it comes to diet and fitness. She works hard to practice what she teaches those around her.
But sometimes life hands us challenges we cannot control.
Cori found out recently that she has Choroidal Melanoma, or eye cancer. She’s in Philadelphia right now waiting a second surgery on Monday to remove a tumor. Despite struggling with some pain and dealing with this news on a personal level, Cori thought that maybe her story, even in its early stages, can help others.
She shared this post she wrote recently. Read her story and then please share your comments below to show Cori we’re wishing her a quick and speedy recovery. You also can visit a Facebook page created by her daughters called Eye of the Tiger. Share a photo of yourself wearing an eye patch to tell Cori you’re thinking of her.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I strive for a healthy life for myself, my family and friends and for those in the greater York community. I try to model healthy living by eating whole foods, exercising daily, getting plenty of sleep, laughing and surrounding myself with positive people. You can imagine my utter shock when the retina specialist stated that I had Choroidal Melanoma. My response, “you mean eye cancer???”. Yup. That was exactly what he meant.
And so I now embark on the greatest challenge of my life; fighting a cancer that only affects 1 out of 1 million people. There are roughly 2,000 cases each year. Getting rid of the eye tumor is the easy part. I will have a radiation patch surgically planted over my tumor on Thursday (April 10, 2014). I will remain under the care of specialists (the best in the world) at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for 5-7 days until the tumor is gone.
The hard part will be waiting for my systemic test results that determine whether the melanoma has spread to my liver or lungs. Metastasized melanoma = not a happy ending. I am not exactly sure how to proceed. By nature I am a fighter; I am strong and I don’t back down easily. But I am also a realist.
Frankly, I’m pretty pissed off about this. Who is ever going to believe all my rants about healthy living now? Who will take my advice to “put down the crap food and get moving”? And the age-old question from all cancer patients: “why me?” To a point, I am flattered. Cancer had to be sneaky and had to appear in a place that no one really thinks to search. Cancer couldn’t affect all of the “normal” body parts because of my health practices.
So dear friends, family, “followers” and community members, I ask many favors.
- PLEASE make sure that YOU are too healthy for cancer to ever invade your body. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, exercise daily, laugh often and sleep well!
- Please pray for my family: my husband and four amazing children. I love them more than anything and this trial will affect them deeply.
- Please pray that God will provide me with the strength and wisdom to endure this challenge, and if it is His will, let me not have metastatic cancer.
- Finally please send lots of positive energy our way.