Tina Rhodes



My Fight

In January I went to the Dr. thinking I had a spider bite under my right arm. Well after an ultrasound and a mammogram, the doctor wanted a biopsy of my lymph nodes. It cane back positive for cancer. I was in shock. I also had a mole that had come back positive. Well the McAlester surgeon per Tulsa Cancer Institute put a port in, removed all the skin cancer and took out 16 lymph nodes. Only 6 tested positive. The next day I had to see the chemo specialist at the McAlester site of Tulsa Cancer Institute. She never once smiled and she didn’t even know they had done the surgery and she still wanted to do 20 rounds of chemo without even knowing what type of cancer I had. I said no. I called Cancer Treatment Centers of America and because of insurance I had to fly to Phoenix for treatment. I am 48 years old and was in my last semester of college. Every 2 weeks I would fly out to Phoenix on a Wednesday, get chemo on Thursday and a shot on Friday then fly home hopefully getting to Tulsa by midnight, drive 90 miles to Quinton and be in class at 8:30 on Friday. I had classes every day except Thursday. I was started with a two drug combo for 4 treatments then 4 treatments of a single drug for a total of 8 treatments. I graduated May 8th from Eastern Oklahoma State College and also made the Honor Roll. I finished my chemo June 25th. I have surgery for a double mastectomy on July 28th along with reconstruction at CTCA in Phoenix. The best thing I ever did was make that phone call. Cancer Treatment Centers of America are awesome! I feel like I’m at home when I walk through the doors. It’s really hard to make ends meet with just my husband working and me having cancer. It’s pretty tough. He tells me not to worry but I can’t help myself. I just wanted to share my story. I’m a FIGHTER and I don’t ever give up. Staying positive and upbeat is half the battle!