Bronwyn Abbott

MPA Patient Story - Bronwyn Abbot smiling at the camera

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Bronwyn Abbott and I’m 53 years old. My wonderful husband and I have been married for nearly 30 years and we have two sons 2 sons, aged 28 and 26.  We are from Melbourne.

When and how did you first find out you had melanoma?

I woke on the morning of February 17 this year with the right side of my face drooping and slurred speech. I was taken to our local hospital by ambulance we thought I had had a stroke. Within minutes of arriving I had my first seizure and within half an hour I had two more. Soon after I was transferred to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where they found a large brain tumour which had begun to bleed. The doctors carried out a craniotomy and it was Metastatic Melanoma.

Tell us about your treatment

It was decided at this stage to commence the combination immunotherapy ipilimumab and nivolumab every three weeks. I finished the full course of four and am now on nivolumab only. My side effects have included colitis and extremely sore joints which has been hard

What challenges did you and your family and/or friends face after your diagnosis?

I think the challenges we faced were more the unknown and what was/is going to happen rather than what has already happen

Tell us about your involvement with MPA

I was speaking to an old school friend and found out about MPA through him. The facebook closed support group has been wonderful – being able to share my experiences with others who understand the journey.

How has melanoma cancer affected your outlook on life?

My outlook on life has changed in many ways.  And I’m trying to be more organised with everything I do. I think things that were important to me before this diagnosis such as cleaning the house just don’t matter as much now. My attitude instead is let’s go and sit be the river and have lunch! Spending time with my family is something I’ve always loved to do but now it’s even more important than doing other things.

Do you have a motto or personal mantra?

I’ve got this! Meaning I’m strong and I’ll beat it.

I’m happiest when…

I’m happiest when I have family around me, I’m in my garden or travelling our great country.

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