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Tennille Djuve

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One day, one hour or even within one minute your whole world can change. You had it all planned in your head. Every little detail laid out for what the future would look like for you. Sure, you can’t ever predict EVERYTHING that is going to happen but you think you have a pretty good idea how it is all going to pan out. 

My whole world came crashing down within that one minute, an instant. A point in time that I will never forget.  

11 years ago my melanoma fell into a category that had a 5% chance it would rear it’s ugly head up somewhere else in my body. That the nasty cancerous cells from that tiny blob would hitch a ride and find themselves a new home.

5%. At 5% you feel pretty darn cocky that this ain’t gonna happen. Well, NEWSFLASH, you shouldn’t. You should never get comfortable with ANY mole let alone a melanoma. 

Melanoma is the number ONE cancer in 20 -39 year olds. If left untreated melanoma can become life-threatening within SIX weeks. One person dies every SIX hours from Melanoma. So you can understand now why my 5% doesn’t look so glamorous anymore.

Whilst in the PET & CT scans which were deciding my future I prayed. I cried. I thought constantly about Ben and Hamish, he was 5 months old with still so much more life ahead of him. But, I'll never forget when "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Toploader came on and I remembered how much I used to LOVE this song.  It brought back lots of memories of making CD mixtapes for my friends when I was in high school, shed parties, the Torquay pub and living overseas. Shit, I have had a pretty bloody good life and if this is going to be my way out, well, I have achieved a fair chunk. Deep deep down though,  I knew I wasn't ready and that scared the absolute 'bajeepers' out of me. 

Thankfully, that latter scenario has not played out. I have been given a second chance, a winning lottery ticket. From the scans, so far, the cells have not spread aggressively elsewhere in my body. With surgery and 12 months of targeted immunotherapy we have hopefully kicked some tiny cancerous cells butts which are potentially in my organs but in such small amounts that they can not be picked up on PET/CT scans.

It doesn't take a melanoma cell much to become problematic and they are stubborn little buggars. BUT we have HALVED my chances of those s***y cells rearing their ugly heads again. Rather than a 30% chance, I now have a 15% chance of a reoccurance - an opportunity to not fear the future and see this world out on my terms! 

This would not be possible without all the incredible work of those within the melanoma research field. The scientists who spend hours studying these unpredictable critters and coming up with data and information for our angel oncologists to work with. The patients who volunteer themselves to try the treatment so the rest of us can continue living a life, they put themselves out on a limb and I will forever be grateful for that. In particular Melanoma Institute Australia, the work that they have done is AMAZING and the impact their work has on people like me, it's life-saving. 

Every March they run an initaive called "Melanoma March". This year's Melanoma March is looking a little different and will run through until the end of May. MIA are aiming to raise $1 million for a world-first clinical trial of a Personalised Immunotherapy Platform which TRANSFORMS melanoma treatment by giving people the opportunity to have effective therapy based on their own genetics and tumour biology. Thousands of people like me CAN get their own winning ticket. 

Melanoma March represents people getting out there and walking for this amazing cause. Various walks were held across the country in March but due to the floods a number had to be postponed. It's like the universe spoke to me and said, "Hey girl, it's time to get out there and say THANK your bit".

Being able to get out and run again is something I just can't put into words. In between falling pregnant, having Hamish, surgery and treatment it meant that I hadn't ran since November 2019. But I'm back baby! Something I took for granted, I cherish every moment. Call me crazy but being able to MOVE again, it's awesome. 

I cried alot of tears. I struggled through alot of days. And I experienced some things I never thought I would get through. But with my incredible husband, we got there. One day at a time. 5 pills a day. 1,760 pills in a year. 

So..for the month of May I'll be RUNNING. Starting on the 1st of May I'll be doing 5km in the Mornington Running Festival and I'll continue to clock up the k's for the month, aiming for a 5km 'fun run' every weekend. 

I would LOVE your donation to support the MIA's cause BUT I can also appreciate everyone's personal circumstances. 

If you can't donate, just pick up the phone or jump online to book your skin check. You may not have had one done yet or you may be due for another. I never dreamed my life would look like this and whilst we are over one milestone, my journey isn't over nor will it probably ever end. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you. Let's do it people, #MEETYOURMOLES x 

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