Melissa McPherson

I’m Melissa McPherson from Springtown, Texas. I have been married to my husband, Scott, for 29 years and we have two children. Jessica is 25 and Logan, 22, is a senior at The University of Texas at Dallas. I am a high school counselor and cheer coach at Azle High School.

I was diagnosed with EHE in December 2015 when I had a .8cm lesion removed from the left lateral canthus. One small nodule in my lung was also discovered in the CT scans after diagnosis. My ophthalmologist at MD Anderson performed another resection in March 2016 to ensure negative margins. I was put on the “wait and watch” protocol where over the next two years, nodules continued to spread in the lungs, liver, thyroid, and spleen.

When diagnosed, emotions were pretty much all over the place and fear had taken over. I did as much research on EHE and holistic healing as I could. Feeling helpless with just waiting, I decided to do as much as I could to improve my fundamental health by eating a plant-based diet and improving the environment in our home. I began to remove products that contain toxins in hopes of decreasing our exposure to these chemicals. Scans from 2018 to 2019 show that I am stable with no new nodules.

For me, the most challenging part of EHE is the fear of the unknown. This cancer can be stable or slow growing until it’s not. Worrying when the switch will flip and turn the EHE to aggressive is a constant battle. I find peace when I relinquish that burden to God and just live. I have become empowered through the changes that my family has made in nutrition, removing toxins from our home, and living in the moment. I wish that people knew that EHE is unpredictable, as is life. I encourage everyone to live life like they received a diagnosis. Face your fears with bravery, live life to the fullest by simply being present, do not take a single moment for granted with those you love, and live in a constant state of gratefulness for the life God has bestowed upon you.

The EHE Foundation’s mission to research and to advocate for and support each of us has been a blessing to me personally. The community the EHE foundation has created has brought comfort and fellowship between families affected by EHE. Most importantly The EHE Foundation provides us with information on treatments. They are committed to research so that we increase our understanding of EHE, are correctly diagnosed, and find therapeutic treatments. The EHE Foundation and the members of the EHE family raise all the funds used for research. There is no donation too small because together the impact of each gift is large. The EHE Foundation has united us and given us a voice that is being heard by the nation’s sarcoma community.

What do you want others to know about EHE?

“I want people to know that EHE can be very frustrating. I say this because EHE is so different for each of us. What works for one person, may not work for the next. It also can cause lots of anxiety for us as we wait and watch to see what it decides to do–will it grow or will it lay low for several years and then become aggressive? I believe that is why the motto of Just Live is so important for each of us. We have to press on and live our lives without allowing EHE rob us of our Joy! When you have no control over the circumstances, you simply must Live with a grateful heart for what today brings!”

~ Melissa McPherson

Melissa McPherson
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