Frankie Melendez

Meet Frankie

Patient / Survivor

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Frankie’s Story

From Jul. through Aug. 2015 I experienced four main colon cancer symptoms. At the time I did not know that these were symptoms that I needed to look out for. Those symptoms included severe stomach/abdominal cramps and pain, I felt tired, weight loss, and loose/runny stools.

 

The pain continued to worsen so I decided to go to the doctor, and he ordered a CT scan. The doctors found an apple-sized tumor in my lower left colon. I was diagnosed with stage IIA colon cancer.

Two days later I had surgery, in which a foot-and-a-half of my colon was removed. The surgery turned out to be successful. There were no signs that the cancer had spread anywhere else.

I was declared cancer-free by age 46.

After 1 1/2 years of good clean scans, good lab results and very low number CEA (6). I contracted the flu and my CEA numbers started to rise and go back down repeatedly. My oncologist got concerned and within a two-week period, she ordered a PET scan, MRI and a biopsy.

Unfortunately, she was right. The scans revealed spots on both sides of my liver and the biopsy confirmed it was cancer. My cancer reappeared and metastasized to my liver.

On Mar. 24, 2017, I was re-diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 47.

I now have a port and I am about to start my third round of chemo and 5FU. A new journey has started for me in my fight, and I am determined to help others fight this disease.

Frankie’s Advice

When fighting this disease you must have faith and believe in yourself. You must be strong, upbeat, positive and always be yourself. Attitude is key! Be an advocate, learn and educate others on the importance of listening to your body and do not ignore the signs.

JOIN ONE MILLION STRONG

If you’ve been impacted by colorectal cancer, join One Million Strong by sharing your story! And, get involved! Get behind a cure!

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2 comments on “Meet the One Million Strong- Frankie Melendez from Arkansas”

  1. 1
    Jenny Magar on May 31, 2017

    Frankie was my boss back in 2014 at little Caesar pizza and love him as my boss he was funny and goofy to but he was a hard worker on top of all that

  2. 2
    Jessica Flanigin West on May 31, 2017

    Frankie, one of my fellow AR Warriors! I’m so happy to see you in such great spirits during the GYRIG event a few weeks ago! You’re a true image of what a positive warrior is, even faced with your diagnosis! Stay strong — if you need anything we are all here for you!

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