Melina Christianson is a mom, a wife, a survivor. The proud mom of two children, Melina and her husband, Jordan, were considering expanding their family.
But after having a miscarriage, Melina began to experience persistent bleeding and spotting between her regular periods.
She put off seeing her doctor because the bleeding was mild and COVID-19 public health orders were quite strict at the time. She was also wary of unnecessary travel with her young children from their farm near Preeceville to Saskatoon for the appointment.
By the end of December, the bleeding had worsened to the point that she finally decided to see her physician. Initially they suspected it was just an infection resulting from the miscarriage, but Melina knew it was something more.
At only 33 years old, Melina was told she had Stage 3 cervical cancer. As a young wife and mother, she immediately thought of her husband and her children. How would they cope if she had to leave the province to get the care needed to save her life? What would happen to her family if she was gone?
The day she received her diagnosis, Melina experienced a whole spectrum of feelings. She felt relieved to know why she had been experiencing bleeding for the past few months. She felt worried for how her husband and children would cope while she was receiving treatment. And she felt sad; along with her diagnosis, the gynecologist confirmed that she would be unable to have any more children.
Melina started radiation treatments at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, followed by chemotherapy to shrink her tumour. Lastly, to make sure all of the cancer was gone, she received High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy treatments for her cervical cancer.
HDR Brachytherapy is the delivery of internal radiation. Tumors can be treated with very high doses of localized radiation – all while avoiding damage to healthy tissue and organs.
Melina received four HDR Brachytherapy treatments, which she described as, “really cool because during every appointment they could see how much the tumour had shrunk.”
The Allan Blair and the Saskatoon Cancer Centres each have a HDR Brachytherapy Suite that urgently need new equipment.
Cancer patients like Melina are already facing one of the hardest journeys of their lives. Every dollar you give will make sure that leading-edge equipment for the HDR Brachytherapy Suites is available to help your loved ones beat cancer right here in Saskatchewan.
Melina’s thankful she received incredible treatment in Saskatoon. She says, “if HDR Brachytherapy wasn’t available here in the province, I would have had to go to Alberta. I don’t know how we would have managed with a young family.”
You can make sure that every mom has the same chance Melina had. When you put the right tools in the hands of the right people, you can change what’s possible for cancer patients.
Make your donation to purchase new HDR Brachytherapy equipment and help shape cancer care in Saskatchewan.
To learn more about HDR Brachytherapy: